2010 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition
Awarded 2nd place, 2010 Best Paper Award, of the New Engineering Educators Division.
Fluid power, the branch of mechanical engineering focused on compressed air and hydraulic systems, is an inherently image-intensive subject. Teaching fluid power involves cutaway diagrams of valves, cylinders, pumps, and motors, as well as performance curves and other technical graphs. Chalkboard instruction is inadequate: substantial image degradation occurs as pictures and graphs are transferred from original sources to the instructor’s notes, then to the chalkboard, and finally into the students’ notes. In addition, students often run out of time while copying images, and may miss critical details. One solution is to provide printed handouts with images used in the lecture. However, the standard handout formats available in Microsoft PowerPoint lack the flexibility required for notetaking. The number of slides per page is fixed at either 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9; some combinations include horizontal lines for brief notes, but most formats severely restrict notetaking space. Within these formats, the instructor does not have the freedom to print slides on the same page at different magnifications, to change font sizes, to move images on the page, or to insert white spaces for notetaking. Instead, a new approach is needed, in which images are copied into a word processor, then manipulated to transform userhostile handouts into user-friendly handouts. Assessment of this approach includes studentgenerated improvement recommendations. Students photocopy their notes, then mark them with red pen to indicate recommended changes. This approach is not limited to fluid power, or even to engineering; it lends itself to any image- intensive topic, technical or otherwise.
Construction Engineering and Management | Manufacturing
Barry Dupen (2010).
Designing User-Friendly Handouts for a Fluid Power Class. Presented at 2010 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, KY.