Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for Engineering Laboratories

Half of the courses that undergraduate engineers take are labs, but relatively little literature studies exactly how labs make students learn. This project is trying to fill in that gap.

This wide-ranging project is trying to link different psychological and educational concepts – goal orientation, group formation, level of inquiry and more – to student learning in lab experiences.  We are using a mix of methods to answer these questions, including quantitative in-class assessments and qualitative interviews. The underlying goal is developing more efficient, interesting and educational experiential learning for everyone.

ESSAY PROMPT: Total length is ~3 paragraphs.  1. Tell me about a time you you needed to learn about a completely new topic. How did you go about doing it?  2. Explain why you're interested in this project and what you hope to get from it.

NOTE: Successful applicants to this project will be recruited to the research group during the spring semester and compensated with academic credit.  Full time, paid summer hires will be recruited from within the research group in the spring.

Name of research group, project, or lab
Analog Circuit Engineering Lab
Why join this research group or lab?

The ACE lab SoTL group studies crucial parts of Mudd’s engineering curriculum, and our findings inspire significant changes in instruction at Mudd and beyond.  Further, the techniques you learn in the SoTL group can inform your practice in a wide variety of professions, engineering or otherwise: join to learn new ways to do research and think about understanding people and their experiences.

ACE lab meetings are also ways to learn about the semiconductor industry, giving presentations and reading academic papers. Students have said that the meetings fun, relaxed, and a welcome chance to pursue interests of their choice.

Representative publication
Logistics Information:
Project categories
Circuit Design
Teaching & Learning
Student ranks applicable
Student qualifications

This research is accessible to any interested student.

Time commitment
Spring - Part Time
Summer - Full Time
Academic Credit
Paid Research
Number of openings
Techniques learned

Modern pedagogy, literature review, protocol design, survey design, interviewing, qualitative analysis, statistics.

Contact Information:
Matthew Spencer
Name of project director or principal investigator
Matthew Spencer
Email address of project director or principal investigator
2 sp. | 2 appl.
Hours per week
Spring - Part Time (+1)
Spring - Part TimeSummer - Full Time
Project categories
Circuit Design (+1)
Circuit DesignTeaching & Learning