May 13, 2005

Effect of Guided Research Experience on Product Design Performance

The above titled articled has appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education v94i2, p255-262. It's by Gul E. Okudan and Bonnie Osif. Preprint here.

It's a great article about how a bit of library training can make a difference to the quality of student engineering projects. I plan on distributing photocopies at the next Engineering Program faculty meeting I'm at and perhaps other departments as well. A quote from the abstract: "First, the approach for incorporating guided research into curriculum is explained, and then the results of the study are presented, which indicate that a higher design performance can be achieved when guided research is added to design teaching."

Unfortunately, their argument is weakened somewhat by the actually statistical analysis they do on the data they've collected. It shows that the correlation between library training and project mark is almost but not quite statistically significant. The explain this by various factors including small sample size. Mostly good news but not quite the ringing endorsement you would hope for. via Joe Kraus on eldnet-l.

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