The use of constructive alignment in the design of laboratory activities

European Society for Engineering Education
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:, 2018
Issue Date:
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Laboratory experimentation has long been considered an important component of engineering education, allowing students to explore and understand physical phenomena in a controlled environment. Despite this claimed importance there has been relatively limited research into approaches for effective engineering laboratory design, or even the intended learning objectives of laboratory activities (a key exception being an ABET colloquium which resulted in a taxonomy of thirteen laboratory learning objectives [1]). While it is generally accepted that for any teaching and learning activity thoughtful design is required to elicit demonstrated achievement against the associated learning outcomes, such thoughtful approaches are not always evident in the design of laboratory experiments where it may be assumed that by simply viewing the physical phenomena students understanding of the associated theory is automatically improved. The application of thoughtful laboratory design processes is required if the significant potential educational outcomes are to be achieved through this important educational modality. In this paper we explore the relevance and use of constructive alignment as a guiding framework for laboratory learning activity design.
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