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Engineering Graphics Instruction Outside Of The Lab: How Prepared Are Our Students?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.436.1 - 6.436.10

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Paper Authors

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Aaron C. Clark

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Eric Wiebe

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2238

Engineering Graphics Instruction Outside of the Lab: How prepared are our students?

Eric N. Wiebe, Aaron C. Clark NC State University


The 1990’s have seen a rapid expansion of the use of networked computers on college and university campuses. By the Fall of 1995, half of all college students and faculty had recurring instructional experience with information technology while more than half of all college students and three-fourths of faculty had access to the Internet and WWW. This infusion of computer technology has had a significant impact on how and what students are taught in engineering design graphics. Though the establishment of computer labs on campuses has hit near saturation, instructional issues concerning the use of computers in engineering graphics are still evolving. As more and more instructional activity takes place outside of traditional labs via distance education technologies, what access students have to computing resources at their homes or dorms and what computer skills they possess to use these computer-based tools becomes increasingly important. Instruction taking place outside of traditional computer labs provides fewer opportunities for instructors to provide remediation in computer skills. This paper will report on a survey of students enrolled in engineering design graphics courses at NC State University the Fall 1999 semester. The results of this survey provides a snapshot of how prepared students currently are to make use of computer-based instruction within and outside of traditional labs.

I. Introduction

The instruction of engineering design graphics has always been closely linked to technology. Whereas the technology used to be based on manual instruments such as compasses, T-squares, and triangles, in more recent years the tool of choice has been computer-based CAD systems. What has not changed at many institutions has been the centering of the engineering design graphics curriculum around the on-campus laboratory. While the focus of the lab has shifted from instruction in manual instruments to computer-based CAD software, pedagogically the strategy has continued to be one-on-one interaction in a laboratory environment between an instructor/tutor and the student. With the rapid expansion of networked computer technology on and off campus and the instituting of distance education courses, the question arises how this lab-based model will

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Clark, A. C., & Wiebe, E. (2001, June), Engineering Graphics Instruction Outside Of The Lab: How Prepared Are Our Students? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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