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Student Performance Improvement from a Student-graded Logbook Exercise

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Teaching Methods in Mechancial Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Michael R. Maughan University of Idaho Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Michael Maughan is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Idaho. He received a Ph.D in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. Michael has worked in industry for both Fortune-50 and startup companies as a mechanical designer and manager.

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Joel C. Perry University of Idaho

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Joel C. Perry received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Gonzaga University in 2000, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2002 and 2006. During graduate and post-doctoral work at the University of Washington, Dr. Perry was involved in the development of a 7 degree-of-freedom (dof) arm exoskeleton, a 5-dof high precision positioning robot, a 5-dof surgical simulator, a novel 2-dof surgical grasper, and a 1-dof powered prosthesis for early-stance gait improvements in trans-tibial amputees. Following post-doctoral work at the University of Washington Biorobotics Lab, he spent 6 years in the Department of Rehabilitation Technologies at Tecnalia Research & Innovation in San Sebastian, Spain, where he managed R&D activities for the development of low-cost solutions for upper extremity rehabilitation. Dr. Perry served as a University of Idaho Adjunct Faculty member from 2013-2014 through a European International Fellowship (Marie Curie COFUND) and joined the University of Idaho’s Mechanical Engineering Department as an assistant professor in 2014.

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An exercise was designed and implemented for a mid-program design course in order to improve student performance and effectiveness in the use of engineering logbooks in the context of design projects. Over the course of two successive semesters (control), students received instruction and other resources relating to logbooks. In a third successive semester (treatment), students received the same instruction and resources, but additionally a logbook exercise was introduced wherein students assessed the quality of three example logbooks. To compare student performance between control and treatment groups, a random selection of student logbooks were compared and assessed by a team of instructors on four different criteria: 1) general organization and clarity, 2) written communication, 3) self-evaluation and 4) table of contents organization and accuracy. Students from the treatment semester were noticeably more engaged in record keeping and logbook usage throughout their course as compared to either of the control semesters. On aggregate, treatment semester students demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in all four criteria areas and were performing higher in logbook performance earlier in the semester.

Maughan, M. R., & Perry, J. C. (2016, June), Student Performance Improvement from a Student-graded Logbook Exercise Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25912

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