CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Gertrude Abramson

Committee Member

Marilyn V. Olander

Committee Member

Helen St. Aubin

Abstract

Hands-on experiential learning activities are an important component of computing education disciplines. Laboratory environments provide learner access to real world equipment for completing experiments. Local campus facilities are commonly used to host laboratory classes. While campus facilities afford hands-on experience with real equipment high maintenance costs, restricted access, and limited flexibility diminish laboratory effectiveness. Web-based simulation and remote laboratory formats have emerged as low cost options, which allow open access and learner control. Simulation lacks fidelity and remote laboratories are considered too complex for novice learners.

A web-based combined laboratory format incorporates the benefits of each format while mitigating the shortcomings. Relatively few studies have examined the cognitive benefits of web-based laboratory formats in meeting computing education students’ goals. A web-based combined laboratory model that incorporates motivation strategies was developed to address non-traditional computing education students’ preferences for control of pace and access to learning. Internal validation of the laboratory model was conducted using pilot studies and Delphi expert review techniques. A panel of instructors from diverse computing education backgrounds reviewed the laboratory model. Panel recommendations guided enhancement of the model design.