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Partner Selection and Group-based Curriculum Design for Engineering Laboratory Courses

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Curricular Advancements in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Chad Eric Davis P.E. University of Oklahoma

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Chad E. Davis received the BS degree in mechanical engineering, MS degree in electrical engineering, and PhD degree in engineering from the University of Oklahoma, in 1994, 2000, and 2007, respectively. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at OU and serves as one of the primary advisers for ECE students and serves on the ECE Undergraduate Studies Committee. He currently teaches technical courses in circuits, electromechanical systems, electronics, instrumentation, automation, and control theory. He has worked in industry at Uponor Aldyl Corporation, McElroy Manufacturing, Lucent Technologies, Celestica, and Boeing. He has also worked as an engineering consultant to help a variety of different companies in their process automation and test system development efforts. He is a Certified LabVIEW Developers (CLD) and has held a professional engineering license in the state of Oklahoma since 1999. For more information, refer to his website: http:/

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Paul Moses University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Paul Moses received the B.Sc. degree in Physics, B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, in 2004, 2006 and 2012, respectively. From 2007 to 2014, he worked for the Defence Science and Technology Group, Department of Defence, Australia supporting several naval R\&D projects in marine power and energy systems.
Dr. Moses is currently a faculty member at The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA. His interests are dynamic modeling of power systems and components, nonlinear electromagnetic transient phenomena, power quality and system protection.

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Providing engineering students with hands-on experiences in physical laboratories is a critical factor in producing well rounded graduates. Additionally, engineering students need to gain as much experience working on teams as possible, so they are prepared for the teaming environment that is prevalent in industry. While implementing a group-based course design might be more difficult on the instructor, it provides greater benefit to the students and reduces laboratory equipment cost and support staff. The details of how groups are structured and selected plays a major role into how effective the group-based course design will be. Allowing students to self-select their group is by far the easiest on the instructor and one would naturally think it would also be the most popular method for the students. Educators often make the assumption that students will be happier when they are given more autonomy, but in this study that was found not to be the case. When a self-selection system was replaced with the system explained in this paper the course was greatly improved. Many of the issues with self-selection and other common group selection methods are overcome with a novel group shuffling process that is proposed in this study. This study is implemented in an analog electronics laboratory course with 2-person groups, but many of the ideas could be implemented in other settings. A vital part of any group-based course design should be a method to motivate the students to do their best in the group. This study details a group evaluation method that serves as an exceptional motivational tool for the students. Anonymous course evaluation data was used to show how the students perceived the effectiveness of the group selection process and the group evaluation tool.

Davis, C. E., & Moses, P. (2020, June), Partner Selection and Group-based Curriculum Design for Engineering Laboratory Courses Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35038

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