Each year the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers Grants for the Advancement of Teaching Engineering (GATE). Professor Sreenivas (my advisor) and I were awarded funding use the GE320 laboratory kit in the fall semester of 2014.
This will give us the opportunity to conduct a quasi-experiment in GE320 laboratory sections this fall. The control group will be four of the scheduled lab sections of GE320 in the fall semester of 2014. These sections will use the lab equipment that is currently being used in the course. The subject group will be the remaining three of the laboratory sections. These sections will use a laboratory kit instead of the existing equipment. Even though the kit is designed to be portable, in this study the kit will be used during schedule laboratory sessions in the same room as the other sections. The laboratory experiments in this course are designed to reinforce topics learned in lecture and give students the opportunity to practice what they have learned. I will measure how well each group achieves the course objectives to ensure the kit helps the students at least as well as the existing equipment before proceeding with further development of the kit.