A quasi-experimental evaluation and comparison of two laboratory instructional systems for teaching selected integrated circuit concepts
The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare two laboratory training systems for teaching integrated circuit concepts which surveys of industry have indicated as having a high priority in industrial education electronics programs. More specifically, the study sought to determine if either system could be effectively used to teach those concepts which industry recommended.
The population from which the sample was obtained consisted primarily of industrial arts and industrial technology majors in the Industrial and Occupational Education Department at Mississippi State University. An intact class enrolled in an industrial electronics course was selected as the sample for the experiment. It consisted of thirty-five students who had similar educational backgrounds and abilities. The sample was randomly divided into two experimental groups. Each experimental group received the same instruction in integrated circuit theory through the conventional lecture technique. Experimental Group A utilized existing laboratory equipment while experimental group B utilized a teacher-designed and constructed laboratory training system to conduct assigned laboratory activities. The instructional series which was used in the experiment included four instructional units which were: (1) introduction to integrated circuits, (2) digital integrated circuits, (3) linear integrated circuits, and (4) digital and linear integrated circuit applications. The following hypotheses were investigated in this study:
There is no significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores when selected integrated circuit concepts are taught using the lecture method supplemented by either System A or System B.
The participants' median posttest score in either experimental group A or experimental group B will be less than the cutoff score of 75.
There is no significant difference between the two laboratory training systems in terms of overall student achievement on the complete instructional series when selected differences are controlled.
There is no significant difference between the two laboratory training systems in terms of the students' overall retention of information taught during the integrated circuit instructional series.
There is no significant difference between the two laboratory training systems in terms of student achievement on individual units when selected student differences are controlled.
Six criterion measures were used to measure student achievement and retention on integrated circuit subject matter material. These included four unit tests, a posttest, and a retention test. Statistical procedures chosen for the analysis of the data included: the t-test for correlated samples, the median confidence interval, and the analysis of covariance. On the basis of the data analysis, the following conclusions were drawn:
Existing laboratory equipment, not including commercial laboratory training systems, can be effectively used to teach integrated circuit concepts which industry has recommended and at an industry-accepted level of performance.
Teacher-designed and constructed laboratory training systems, of the type evaluated in this study, can be effectively used to teach introductory concepts of integrated circuits and digital and linear integrated circuit applications which industry has recommended and at an industry-accepted level of performance.
Existing laboratory equipment and teacher-designed and constructed laboratory training systems of the type evaluated in this study produce equal levels of retention of selected integrated circuit concepts.
Teacher-designed and constructed laboratory training systems and existing laboratory equipment of the type evaluated in this study produce approximately equal student performance levels when used to teach: (1) introductory concepts of integrated circuits, (2) digital integrated circuitry including gates and flip-flops, (3) linear integrated circuitry including operational amplifiers and timers, and (4) digital and linear integrated circuit applications.