Effectiveness of Simulation versus Hands-on Labs: A Case Study for Teaching an Electronics Course

Mohammed Taher, Ahmed Khan
2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
The use of Simulation-based labs has been gaining currency in the domains of engineering and technology programs. How effective is simulation-based teaching methodology in comparison to traditional hands-on activity based labs? To answer this question a study was conducted to explore the impact of the use of computer simulation design methods on students' learning for circuit construction in an undergraduate technical course. A mixed method research design was employed to identify the presence
more » ... r absence of learning patterns using qualitative and quantitative modes of data evaluation viz a viz cognitive apprenticeship instructional methodology. This paper presents the findings of the research study which tested the hypothesis by investigating three key questions: 1) Does the use of simulation improve students 'learning outcomes? 2). How do faculty members perceive the use and effectiveness of simulation in the delivery of technical course content? 3). How do students perceive the instructional design features embedded in the simulation program such as exploration and scaffolding support in learning new concepts? The paper also discusses the other aspects of findings which reveal that simulation by itself is not very effective in promoting student learning. Simulation becomes effective only when it is followed by hands-on activity. The paper presents the qualitative findings of the study, the quantitative findings have been reported previously. Furthermore, the paper presents recommendations for improving student learning, viz a viz simulation-based and hands-on labs.
doi:10.18260/p.23920 fatcat:5fdybt4ft5bsveys2gyktslvk4