CCE Theses and Dissertations

Authentic Learning in Engineering Technology Through the use of a Technology and Learning Matrix Based Curriculum

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Lynn Spampinato


This study was designed to investigate the effects of the use of a technology matrix curriculum in the classroom. The students enrolled in the Engineering Technology course at the Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center were the subjects of this research and were tested for any significant difference of immediate retention of the course material.

The Career Education Center, which is located on the north side of Denver, Colorado, with a population of about 950 students, is considered a magnet school for special programs. The school consists of a very diverse population, which is multicultural, and students are from every socioeconomic background. The cultural make-up of the Denver Public Schools' student population is approximately 38% Hispanic, 22% Black Americans, 30% Caucasian non-Hispanic and 10% other nationalities of students. Students enrolled at the Career Education Center are from several high schools, both public and private.

A learning matrix was designed to correspond with the development of an Engineering Technology curriculum. The learning matrix was offered as a means for matching teaching and learning technique to the individual learning styles of each student. The Learning Matrix incorporated the use of cable television, video based instruction, electronic classroom presentations, database access, oral presentation and lectures, computer presentations, computer testing, satellite communications, on-line conferences, libraries, interactive video, small group and individual activities and haptical assignments.

This study was designed to investigate the effects of the use of emerging technologies along with the use of a learning matrix curriculum in the classroom. The study investigated if there was a significant difference in the retainment of knowledge in an experimental group using the authentic technology learning matrix curriculum, as compared to a control group using more traditional educational methods.

Career Education Center students enrolled in the Engineering Technology course were tested before and after completing the nine - week Drafting Technology module. Data was gathered regarding the students' direct and immediate retainment of knowledge, following the module, by means of a computerized test covering the material in the Drafting Technology module. Demographic data for the students was gathered through class data sheets.

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