Application of a learning model in a traditional engineering classroom and laboratory
Cordelia Magalene Brown, Vanderbilt University, United States
Vanderbilt University . Awarded
The purpose of this dissertation research was to develop a learning model. This three-phase learning model involved administering pre-assessment inventories, facilitating collaborative exercises, and evaluating learning experiences. This dissertation explores the potential effects the learning model might have on course performance and overall academic performance. It focuses on potential relationships between course performance and learning style preferences data, demographics, and level of participation in phases of the learning model. It also examines relationships between confidence levels and the performance of course objectives.
The first and final phases were applied to an introductory Electrical Engineering course. The second phase was applied to selected sections of the course. In the initial phase, students in all sections of the course were administered the Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire, a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and a pre-laboratory evaluation. In the second phase of the learning model, the students in the selected sections participated in weekly learning sessions. The weekly learning sessions provided students with practice problem sets and a structured environment to collaboratively practice problems and discuss course concepts. The final phase of the learning model evaluated the performance of students in both environments.
From the application of the learning model, the effects that various instructional methods would have on students' performance in a laboratory type of environment were investigated. Overall, students that participated in the weekly learning sessions earned grades that were comparable or better than non-participants. Participants and non-participants in the weekly learning sessions with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Engineering Type (INTJ or ISTJ) earned about the same grade. Participants in the weekly learning sessions with types other than MBTI Engineering Type outperformed their peers of the same MBTI type that did not participate in the weekly learning sessions. Students displayed a lack of confidence in the ability to technical write.
This learning model can be applied in its present form to most freshmen engineering courses with laboratory components. The problem sets that were generated can be integrated into a courseware management system. This learning model can also be used to address and track outcomes mandated by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Brown, C.M. Application of a learning model in a traditional engineering classroom and laboratory. Ph.D. thesis, Vanderbilt University.
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