At the 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education conference, I presented the preliminary analysis of the quantitative data we collected about a laboratory kit during the 2014-2015 school year. During both semesters, half of the GE 320 laboratory sections used our new kit (treatment) and the other half used the existing equipment (baseline). In this preliminary analysis, we determined that we could not detect a difference in performance on exams between the treatment and baseline groups. The full paper can be found on the IEEE Explore website.
Lab kits allow students to take home laboratory equipment to complete experiments on their own time. Kits like these can expand access to hands-on experiences for online courses and to budget-strapped campuses. Although students like these kits, no previous studies compared student learning outcomes on assignments using these new kits with previous laboratory equipment. During the 2014-2015 academic year, we conducted a quasi-experiment to compare students' achievement of learning outcomes. Half of the laboratory sections in each semester used the existing equipment, while the other sections used the new kit. The objectives of the laboratory assignments were the same and the instructions were kept as close as possible between the two groups.
R. M. Reck, R. S. Sreenivas and M. C. Loui, (October 2015) "Assessing an affordable and portable laboratory kit in an undergraduate control systems course," In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2015. 32614 2015. IEEE, El Paso, TX, 2015, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.1109/FIE.2015.7344319