Asee peer logo

Guided Inquiry In An Engineering Technology Classroom

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Non-Technical Skills Build Success in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.659.1 - 13.659.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Robert Edwards Pennsylvania State University-Erie

visit author page

Robert Edwards is currently a Lecturer in Engineering at The Penn State Erie, The Behrend College where he teaches Statics, Dynamics, and Fluid and Thermal Science courses. He earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gannon University.

visit author page


Gerald Recktenwald Portland State University

visit author page

Gerald Recktenwald is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Department at Portland State University. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, IEEE and SIAM. His
research interests are in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, applications of numerical analysis, and in improving undergraduate engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

exposure to the topics then they would otherwise get from a traditional lecture format. This exercise is designed to be used in conjunction with the normal lecture, not to replace it.

To date there is no formal assessment of the effectiveness of this exercise. It is just starting to be implemented and assessed. Preliminary feedback from students is positive. Assessment instruments are currently being created. There will be a survey administered prior to running any exercises. The purpose of the survey is to determine the attitudes of the students relating to the use of lab exercises as tool for learning concepts, not just having them demonstrated. A similar survey will be conducted later to see if any attitudes have changed. Keep in mind that this is just one of a suite of exercises. The students may be exposed to several of the exercises before the final survey is administered. Additionally, the worksheets will be reviewed to see if there is any change in the students understanding of the material between the first demonstration and the final exercise. Other plans are being made to compare the results of answers to exam problems targeting the concepts involved in the exercises between students who did the exercises and those who did not. Results of these assessments will be published at a later date.

There is one hurdle that needs to be further addressed. It is very difficult to get students to commit to outside the classroom work. For courses that have a lab component the exercise could be done during a regularly scheduled lab session, but if there is no lab component then scheduling the exercises is an issue. Various incentives are being considered to entice the students to participate outside of class, but nothing has been tried to date.

The author and Dr. Gerald Recktenwald from Portland State University are working jointly on the development of the suite of exercises and the assessment instruments. A website has been set up to provide more details ( Some information is available now, but much more will be available in the near future. We would like to acknowledge and thank the National Science Foundation for funding this research.

Edwards, R., & Recktenwald, G. (2008, June), Guided Inquiry In An Engineering Technology Classroom Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3223

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015