June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1686.1 - 22.1686.12
Which comes first – theory of experiment?The positive effects of laboratory exercise on engineering education are well recognized.To enhance student learning, many engineering technology courses include laboratoryexperiments. Traditionally, students are introduced to the knowledge and/or the theoriesfirst. The lectures are then followed by laboratory sessions. However, it is hypothesizedthat the timing of the laboratory sessions with respect to that of the lectures mayinfluence student learning. In a reverse sequence, giving students opportunities toconduct experiments before presenting the knowledge or theories may improve or impedelearning.This paper presents an effort in investigating the effects of lecture-laboratory timing onstudent learning for engineering technology students. In a Fluid Power Technologycourse, a group of students were taught in the traditional “theory first” approach. Anothergroup of students were assigned to conduct experiments before attending the lecture (the“experiment first” approach). It was found that there is no significant difference instudent performance between the two groups. The same arrangement was made in aStrength of Materials course. In addition to the regular assessment, surveys wereconducted to inquire students’ character and learning style. Preliminary results showedthat, depending on the student’s character and learning style, student learning could beaffected by the “theory first” or “experiment first” teaching approach.
Wang, J., & Fang, A., & Golla, M. R. (2011, June), Which Comes First: Theory or Experiment? Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18660
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