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Monitoring Students' Study Behaviors In Thermodynamics

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.874.1 - 7.874.11



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Paper Authors

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M. P. Sharma

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Matthew Hayes

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Edward Anderson

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Roman Taraban

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

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Session 2793

Ethical Responsibility of Engineers for Alumnus Whistleblowing

Roman Taraban, Edward E. Anderson, M. P. Sharma, and Matthew W. Hayes

Texas Tech / Texas Tech / University of Wyoming / Texas Tech


College workload—the amount of academic work expected of students—is one of the most important factors affecting students’ engagement with their college studies, the quality of instruction and learning, and the drop-out rate.1 Workload is determined primarily by college instructors, who control it through the number and nature of assignments in a course—i.e., through the demands they make of students in class and out of class. 2 Students distinguish good teaching from bad teaching in part by whether they perceive the learning as being deep, engaging, and reflective, versus superficial, passive, and mostly memorization. This latter condition arises when workload is too high. 1 Therefore, the teacher faces a dilemma. On the one hand, he or she must demand enough of students, 2 but on the other this will only be effective, and be perceived as effective, if students have sufficient resources to rise to those demands and to fulfill them in a deep fashion. Time is a resource, and an excessive workload can force students to complete tasks superficially. These general instructional issues apply to much of the contemporary development of computer-based and multi-media instructional materials. Computer materials must be developed and tested in ways that assure that they engage students in a deep fashio n and that they can be completed within the temporal constraints faced by the students.

The demands of the instructor interact with student characteristics. It is important to know how much time students allocate to study, how they distribute their time among the demands and resources available to them, what motivates students, and which learning resources are of greatest benefit to students. We will show that much can be learned about how to implement materials and measure their effectiveness by monitoring students’ study behaviors through questionnaires and dynamic computer records. This kind of information is useful to curriculum developers in the ongoing refinement and improvement of instruction.

A Case Study Involving Texas Tech University and the University of Wyoming

The research described here is part of an ongoing project to develop computer-based materials and to identify effective teaching and learning methods for engineering students in introductory

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Sharma, M. P., & Hayes, M., & Anderson, E., & Taraban, R. (2002, June), Monitoring Students' Study Behaviors In Thermodynamics Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10960

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