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Living WITH the Lab - a freshman curriculum to boost hands-on learning, student confidence and innovation

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3 Author(s)
Hall, D. ; Louisiana Tech Univ., Ruston, LA ; Hegab, H. ; Nelson, J.

A new freshman engineering curriculum has been implemented at Louisiana Tech University to boost hands-on learning, student confidence and innovation. The new curriculum, called living with the Lab, increases experiential learning by moving the ownership and maintenance of laboratory equipment from the university to the students. Each student purchases a robotics kit with a programmable controller, sensors, servos, and software along with a toolkit to provide the basis for a mobile laboratory and design platform. A basic tenet of the curriculum is that student-owned labs motivate student learning and broaden the spectrum of projects and design topics that can be addressed, thus facilitating innovation. The curriculum has been piloted for the past five years, and we are currently in the first year of full implementation to over 350 students thanks to a Phase II NSF CCLI grant. The paper presents the curriculum objectives, details of the three courses that make up the freshman curriculum, faculty training activities, and assessment results.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008. FIE 2008. 38th Annual

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2008