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Implementing a Virtual Laboratory for a Directed and Synchronous Student Learning Experience; Combining Virtual and Real Experimentation: An Effort to Enhance Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Fluid Power

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Curriculum Innovations

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

25.734.1 - 25.734.11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21491

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/21491

Download Count

224

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Paper Authors

biography

Larry Alfonso Villasmil Urdaneta Rochester Institute of Technology

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Larry Villasmil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his B.S.M.E. in 1988 from the Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira in Venezuela. After graduation, he joined Petróleos de Venezuela, working in several positions as a Rotating Equipment Specialist in the E&P division. He earned his M.S.M.E. in 2002 and Ph.D.M.E. in 2006 from Texas A&M University. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics, rotor dynamics and turbo machinery, industrial power generation and refrigeration, heat transfer, fluid power, education, and the use of technology in education. He teaches courses in the area of thermal and fluid sciences, such as fluid power, applied fluid mechanics, thermo-fluid laboratory, and wind power systems. He holds memberships in ASME, AIAA, and ASEE.

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biography

Rob Garrick Rochester Institute of Technology

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Robert D. Garrick, Ph.D., P.E., is Associate Professor in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and thermo-fluids curriculum Co-chair. Garrick worked for 25 years in automotive engineering research and holds seven U.S. patents.

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Abstract

Implementing a Virtual Laboratory for a Directed and Synchronous Student Learning Experience; Combining Virtual and Real Experimentation: An Effort to Enhance Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Fluid Power.The goal of this project is to investigate the value of implementing virtual laboratory sessionswhile combining and synchronizing Virtual Experimentation (VE) and Real Experimentation(RE) with respect to changes in students’ conceptual understanding of fluid power, studentsuccess and student retention (attrition rate).All Engineering Science and Engineering Technology programs include technical introductorycourses that students traditionally struggle with. The Pneumatic and Hydraulics Systems courseis one of many of this type that has a relatively high W/D/F rate (Withdrawals, D and F grades,historically about 23%). Nevertheless, hidden in each student overall course grade is the fact thatstudents do better in the laboratory portion than in the lecture.Since 2006, the syllabus and content sequence and delivery has been improved with success butstudents keep perceiving a ‘disconnection’ between the laboratory sessions and the lecture,indicating that while they enjoy the lab sessions find the lecture portion ‘hard’ and challenging.Beyond the student’s perception, the fact remains that not many students fully grasp thefundamental concepts and principles.From a pedagogical perspective, there is a difference in the approach to education and learningbetween the laboratory session and the lecture of the course (as all courses with a laboratorycomponent). In the laboratory, small groups work together with pre-labs, notes and textbooks athand performing the experiments under the guidance of the lab instructor, where students tend todo better in group reports. In the lecture, the instructor has a more active and traditional leadingrole where not few students underperform on individual assignments and tests with closed noteswhile they tend to do well in group assignments and open notes/textbook quizzes.Following the work developed by Zacharia1, we are investigating the value of combining VEwith RE in respect to changes in students’ conceptual understanding of fluid power. LikeElectrical Circuits, Pneumatic and Hydraulics Systems is an abstract subject and its successfulteaching relies heavily on the use of laboratory experiments. We hypothesize that currentengineering technology students, hands-on oriented who belong to the millennial generation(Sweeny2), would significantly benefit from the combination of VE and RE that would allowthem seeing the connection between abstract principles and equations and the real worldapplications in a collaborative manner.This paper will present the study methodology and its outcome in terms of historical studentsuccess: overall course grades, lecture vs. laboratory grades gap, D/W/F rates, and ABETintended learning outcomes evaluations.1.- Z.C. Zacharia. Comparing and combining real and virtual experimentation: an effort to enhance students’ conceptual understanding of electric circuits. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (2007), 23, 120–132.2.- Sweeny, R. “Millennial Behaviors and Higher Education Focus Group Results: How are Millennials different from previous generations at the same age?”. New Jersey Institute of Technology. PowerPoint at http://library1.njit.edu/staff-folders/sweeney/

Villasmil Urdaneta, L. A., & Garrick, R. (2012, June), Implementing a Virtual Laboratory for a Directed and Synchronous Student Learning Experience; Combining Virtual and Real Experimentation: An Effort to Enhance Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Fluid Power Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21491

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