What students value the most in an engineering lab (and some related work on laboratory practices)

Nikolic, S.; Ritz, C.; Vial, P.J.; Ros, M.; Stirling, D., Decoding Student Satisfaction: How to Manage and Improve the Laboratory Experience, in Education, IEEE Transactions on , vol.58, no.3, pp.151-158, Aug. 2015, DOI: 10.1109/TE.2014.2346474

The laboratory plays an important role in teaching engineering skills. An Electrical Engineering department at an Australian University implemented a reform to monitor and improve student satisfaction with the teaching laboratories. A Laboratory Manager was employed to oversee the quality of 27 courses containing instructional laboratories. Student satisfaction surveys were carried out on all relevant laboratories every year, and the data were used for continuous improvement. This paper will investigate the reforms that were implemented and outline a number of the improvements made. It also examines the program’s overall impact on: (1) overall satisfaction; (2) laboratory notes; (3) learning experiences; (4) computer facilities; (5) engineering equipment; and (6) condition of the laboratory. Student satisfaction with the laboratories increased by 32% between 2007 and 2013. The results show that the laboratory notes (activity and clarity) and the quality of the equipment used are among the most influential factors on student satisfaction. In particular, it is important to have notes or resources that explain in some detail how to use and troubleshoot equipment and software used in the laboratory.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation