Active learning module assessment and the development and testing of a new prototyping planning tool
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis contains the research findings from my participation in two research projects. The first is the development and assessment of Active Learning Modules (ALMs) for engineering students. The ALMs assist students in learning complex Finite Element Analysis (FEA) principles. We measure the effectiveness of the modules by issuing pre- and post-module quizzes and analyze the differences of the quiz scores. Active learning modules are used to meet the needs of all students’ learning styles. Each student who uses an ALM takes a series of learning style assessment quizzes (MBTI, LIS …). We statistically compare the learning styles and quiz scores to ensure all learning styles are improving equally well. In cases where they are not, we created a tool to make suggestions to the ALM developer on how to adjust the ALM to meet the needs of the outlying learning style group(s). Following modification, the implementation and evaluation process of the ALM is repeated. My second area of research focused on the development of a concise prototype strategy development tool. This tool guides engineering product development teams through six critical prototype strategy choices: (1) How many concepts should be prototyped? (2) How many iterations of a concept should be built? (3) Should the prototype be virtual or physical? (4) Should subsystems be isolated? (5) Should the prototype be scaled? (6) Should the design requirements be temporarily relaxed? This list of choices is not comprehensive but served as a starting point for this groundbreaking research. The tool was tested at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Air Force Academy. Results indicate the method did improve students’ performance across a number of assessment metrics.