Some labs were run in teams and some were individually based. As the lab experiments list showed, each experiment included dealing with a different complex system, using a computer and an interface/control board, to achieve a new goal. Experiments that were not concluded during the lab period were completed by the students at their own convenience without challenges in equipment availability. A complete technical lab report was requested from a sub-group of students each lab period on a rotating basis to emphasize technical writing and communication. By the second half of the semester the major project started to surface and most of the students resorted to using their own boards as the project centerpiece. At that point they were so familiar with the microcontroller that no hesitation was expressed towards utilizing it on their own in their projects.
Laboratory courses should provide students with practical hands-on skills and knowledge pertinent to their field. Formal lab reports, the work products of lab courses, can be used to quantitatively assess these competencies. However, the requirements of formal lab reports, their structure, and the assessment methodology are often ambiguous. Additionally, the lack of an established assessment method can result in inconsistent and subjective assessments if multiple teaching assistants are involved in teaching the same course. This can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction for both student and teaching assistant. The Electrical Engineering program at Vanderbilt University has developed a quantitative and systematic method for assessing formal technical lab reports. This method utilizes scoring matrices, which are divided into categories based on predetermined criteria. By assessing these categories and combining their results, a quantitative measure of various practical abilities and outcomes can be evaluated from the labs. This paper presents the new quantitative and systematic assessment method.
Writing a Technical Lab Report - HiT
Students shared their results in a technical lab report and presentation that participating Cane Creek residents were invited to attend. Students also recommended in their presentation measures that could further enhance water quality, such as encouraging residents to pick up dog excrement, use fertilizer with care, have septic tanks pumped every three to five years, refrain from dumping oil or grease, and use erosion control measures.