June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
26.941.1 - 26.941.11
Incorporating Multimedia Content to Enhance and Re-focus Course Delivery for a Multidisciplinary Engineering LaboratoryWhile electronic and on-line resources have made the remote delivery of lecture-based coursescommon place, the importance attached to the undergraduate laboratory experience has, incontrast, grown. Engineering-based knowledge is traditionally gained practically in educationallaboratories. Initiated in 1997, the Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory Sequence (MEL)was created to provide students with a foundation in engineering fundamentals, skills to adapt torapidly changing technology, and an aptitude for life-long learning. MEL’s educationalobjectives have been focused on experiments that span multiple disciplines, extend knowledge,and cultivate teamwork and leadership. From the beginning there were challenges to deliveringa uniform curriculum. Instructors wrestle with a “hands-off” approach versus a traditionalexplain-all-the-steps approach to successfully develop a student’s cognition (instrumentation anddata analysis), psychomotor (apparatus operation and sensory awareness), and the affectivedomain (learning from failure, creativity, and communication). Also, it has been observed thatlaboratory apparatus credibility and data relevance are critical for students to successfullyinternalize their experience. Preparation in advance of an upcoming exercise is the key tostudent success, and efforts to encourage preparation have lasting returns.There may be as many as seven sections for each course in the sequence taking place each week.Scheduling necessitates the involvement of several different instructors to staff the course, eachbringing with them areas of expertise ranging from theory, to instrumentation, to dataacquisition, to lab experience. The diversity makes the laboratory experience rich, but alsopresents challenges to optimizing course delivery to individual sections. To enhance studentexperience, short videos and slide presentations bringing together all of the instructors’ expertisewere created to supplement the written introductions, descriptions, and pre-laboratoryworksheets that have traditionally been provided. The resulting multimedia resources addressmultiple learning modes, accommodate the student’s schedules, and provide a host of differentmeans by which students can access the material. The ability to view the material multiple timesand concentrate on challenging subject areas appears to be popular among students; it hasincreased efficiency and allowed for the expansion of course content. The viewing statisticsshow that video modules are initially viewed prior to the lab period and, again, during thepreparation of the final report.This paper will explore the concerns and motivations that preceded preparation of multimediacontent, outline thoughts to aid future production of effective course material videos based onexperience gained, and assess changes in terms of the student experience and outcomes.
Karaivanov, V., & Holley, J. A. (2015, June), Incorporating Multimedia Content to Enhance and Re-focus Course Delivery for a Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24278
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