Asee peer logo

Improving Engineering Laboratory Experience Through Computer Simulations And Cooperative Learning

Download Paper |

Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.852.1 - 12.852.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1762

Download Count

17

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Ning Fang Utah State University

visit author page

Ning Fang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology Education, College of Engineering, Utah State University. His areas of interest include engineering education, manufacturing processes, and product design. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 and has published 30+ papers in refereed international journals. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, and a senior member of SME.

visit author page

biography

Gary Stewardson Utah State University

visit author page

Gary A. Stewardson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology Education at Utah State University. His PhD is in technology education. His areas of interests include manufacturing, automation and control systems; curriculum development; and instructional strategies. His current research and creative endeavors focus on the development of innovative curriculum in the areas engineering and technology education utilizing problem solving and design instructional strategies. He is a member of ASEE, ITEA, and CTTE.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Improving Engineering Laboratory Experience Through Computer Simulations and Cooperative Learning

Abstract

Engineering laboratory experience has been widely recognized as valuable for students to develop a solid understanding of a variety of important engineering concepts taught in classroom lectures, especially those involving manufacturing engineering and technology. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires that graduates of manufacturing programs must receive and demonstrate proficiency in laboratory experiences. Specifically, ABET 2000 states, “graduates must be able to measure manufacturing process variables in a manufacturing laboratory and make technical inferences about the process.”

This paper presents a new pedagogical model that we recently developed from our teaching practice. In this model, real-world laboratory experiments and computer simulations are integrated with each other. It is described in detail how the new model works, using an example of student laboratory assignments and results. The paper also presents a modified-jigsaw cooperative-learning approach that we developed and that is proven particularly useful when dealing with large classes. There exists a long-standing misconception that laboratory experiences become impractical as class sizes grow in numbers. Our modified-jigsaw approach requires the instructor to meet with only a portion (one-fourth in our case) of the class, making a laboratory experience manageable even as class enrollments reach 100 or more students. The paper describes the logistics of the modified-jigsaw approach along with a specific example of student laboratory assignments. Our new pedagogical model and modified-jigsaw approach make a positive difference in the way students gain fundamental understanding of engineering concepts and applications.

Introduction

Developing innovative and effective instructional strategies to improve engineering and technology education has long been an important issue of research and practice 1-4. Researchers and educators in our engineering and technology education community have made a tremendous amount of effort over the past decades to address this issue and have developed a wide variety of pedagogical models and approaches, such as multimedia and web-assisted lectures 5-6, real-time visualization 7, comprehensive and high-quality course design 8, and cooperative learning 9,10.

Among these existing instructional strategies, engineering laboratory experience has been widely recognized as an effective pedagogical practice that plays a significant role in developing and reinforcing students’ understanding of a variety of important engineering concepts taught in classroom lectures 11-14. Engineering laboratory experience has been integrated into such methods as active learning, cooperative learning, project-based learning, problem-based learning, and research-based learning in various engineering disciplines.

Engineering laboratory experience has been particularly emphasized when it comes to the teaching of manufacturing engineering and technology courses that involves numerous real-

Fang, N., & Stewardson, G. (2007, June), Improving Engineering Laboratory Experience Through Computer Simulations And Cooperative Learning Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1762

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: © 2007 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