Enhancing the learning experience of undergraduate technology students with LabVIEW™ software

Tiernan, P. (2010) Enhancing the learning experience of undergraduate technology students with LabVIEW™ software. Computers and Education, 55 (4). pp. 1579-1588. ISSN 03601315 (ISSN)

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Many universities and colleges, throughout the world, that deliver undergraduate programmes in science and engineering are currently incorporating virtual instruments as teaching, measurement and analysis tools for student learning. The aim of this study is to enhance the learning experience of undergraduate engineering students and stimulate their research interests by incorporating hands-on, hardware linked programming. The framework for the current research consisted of, initially, observing and recording the interest students showed in a graphical-based computer language for programming control and data acquisitions. Secondly, in the software laboratory sessions, the students were introduced to the concept of research activity and the use of computer software in such activity. LabVIEW™, an easy-to-use, interactive, graphical programming language that can be used to build virtual instruments was used in the current study. This software allows creation of sophisticated programs and applications in a shorter amount of time without needing an in-depth knowledge of computers or indeed programming languages. The methodology consisted of an introductory learning period for the LabVIEW™ programming language, followed by hands-on programming with a specific set of laboratory exercises aimed at solving typical industrial automation type problems. Finally the results of a detailed student questionnaire and created programs were analysed to establish the learning experiences. It was established that student experiences in designing and developing LabVIEW™ programs with associated hardware has hugely stimulated their interest and enthusiasm in the subject of industrial automation. Students acquired knowledge by direct experience, explored phenomena, visualized expected outcomes and experimented with possible solutions. Critically, the LabVIEW programming laboratory sessions undertaken during the course of this research has stimulate students interest in pursing further research at post-graduate level. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :12; Export Date: 23 February 2015; CODEN: COMED; Correspondence Address: Tiernan, P.; Department of Manufacturing and Operations Engineering, Schrodinger Building, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; email: peter.tiernan@ul.ie; References: Bourdieu, P., (1988) Homo Academicus, , StanfordUniversity Press; Brew, A., (2006) Research and Teaching: Beyond the Divide, , Palgrave Macmillan London; Coate, K., Barnett, R., Williams, G., Relationships between teaching and research in higher education in England (2001) Higher Education Quarterly, 55 (2), pp. 158-174; Ertugrul, N., Towards virtual laboratories: A survey of LabVIEW based teaching/learning tools and future trends (2000) International Journal of Engineering Education, 16 (3), pp. 171-180; Faraco, G., Gabriele, L., Using LabVIEW for applying mathematical models in representing phenomena (2007) Computers & Education, 49, pp. 856-872; Feldman, F., Research productivity and scholarly accomplishment of college teachers as related to their instructional effectiveness: A review and exploration (1987) Research in Higher Education, 26, pp. 227-298; Gibbons, A., Fairweather, P., (1998) Computer-based Instruction: Design and Development, , Educational Technology Publications Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Haertel, G.D., Means, B., (2003) Evaluating Educational Technology: Effective Research Designs for Improving Learning, , Teachers College Press New York; Halsey, A.H., (1992) Decline of Donnish Dominion: The British Academic Profession in the Twentieth Century, , Clarendon Oxford; Hattie, J., Marsh, H.W., The relationship between research and teaching: A meta-analysis (1996) Review of Educational Research, 66 (4), pp. 507-542; Jencks, C., Riesman, D., (1968) The Academic Revolution, , Doubleday Garden City, New York; Jenkins, A., Breen, R., Lindsay, R., (2003) Reshaping Teaching in Higher Education: Linking Teaching with Research, , A. 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Uncontrolled Keywords: Industrial automation; LabVIEW; Research; Teaching; Computer language; Current researches; Direct experience; Graphical programming language; In-depth knowledge; Laboratory exercise; Laboratory sessions; LabVIEW programming; Learning experiences; Measurement and analysis; Possible solutions; Post-graduate levels; Programming language; Research activities; Science and engineering; Software laboratory; Student learning; Undergraduate engineering students; Undergraduate programmes; Virtual instrument; Automation; C (programming language); Computer hardware; Computer programming languages; Computer software; Digital instruments; Engineering education; Industry; Linguistics; Problem solving; Query languages; Students
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 20:14
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2015 20:15
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3782

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