St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.286.1 - 5.286.6
Evaluation of Learning Styles and Instructional Technologies Eugene Rutz, Virginia Elkins, Catherine Rafter, Ali Houshmand, Roy Eckart University of Cincinnati
The paper describes the initial efforts of a project to evaluate the impact of various instructional technologies on student learning, and to determine if there is a correlation between learning styles of individual students and the efficacy of specific instructional technologies. The project will use basic engineering science courses (Engineering Mechanics and Basic Strength of Materials) as a platform for evaluating the technologies and their impact on learning. Both courses include multiple sections with rather large student populations. The project is being conducted in the College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, in cooperation with Wright State University, with support from the GE Fund.
Basic engineering science courses are the foundation of an engineering education in that students begin to learn how to apply basic science concepts to engineering problems. The knowledge and problem solving skills the students gain is a crucial step in their engineering education and ultimately their professional expertise. As critical as these courses are, they are rarely taught by the most accomplished teaching faculty, and at some colleges are regularly assigned to graduate teaching assistants. This project will re-engage instructors recognized for their teaching skills in the preparation and presentation of basic curriculum material and in its delivery, using technologies that hold the promise of enhancing student learning.
There is a prevalent assumption that computer-aided instruction can improve student learning by accommodating students’ learning styles. However, little practical research has been reported on the learning styles of engineering students or the evaluation of instructional technology that is effective for a particular learning style. This project seeks to fill the gap by providing an assessment of learning styles of engineering students and the impact of various instructional technologies on student learning. By the end of the study, we will be able to determine whether or not there is a correlation between a student’s learning style and his/her response to a particular instructional technology.
II. Project Description
The GE Fund will support a three-year project that seeks to improve student learning in basic engineering science courses. The goal of the project is to optimize student learning through use of educational technologies that are commonly used. The basic steps in the project are:
• Train faculty in educational technologies and project goals • Assess student learning styles
Elkins, V., & Eckart, R., & Rafter, C., & Houshmand, A., & Rutz, E. E. (2000, June), Evaluation Of Learning Styles And Instructional Technologies Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8366
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