ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Can the Use of Guided Notes Lead to more Efficient Instruction?

Final Paper
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Guided notes are instructor designed note packs that aim to engage student learning. Previous research has demonstrated that the use of guided notes improves student performance in non- engineering classrooms. However, the use of guided notes within engineering education is under-reported. The purpose of this research was to study the incorporation of guided notes into a senior level engineering course. The study results indicate that the implementation of guided notes led to a 28.9% time savings in covering course material. The study data also indicates that mean student performance on graded assessments did not change when the method of notes delivery was changed from a traditional style of writing all note materials on the board to guided notes (all p-values were greater than 0.05 for a two-tailed t-test assuming equal variance at a 95% confidence interval).
In addition to these findings, students from both junior and senior level classes were polled as to their desire to use or recommend guided notes in future classes. Using a Likert scale from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree), the junior level class (n = 12) which used traditional notes had an average response of 2.75 ± 1.29. However, after participating in a class which used guided notes, the senior level class (n = 24) had an average response of 4.46 ± 0.98. Although this study polled two different sets of students, preliminary findings suggest that switching from traditional style notes to guided notes resulted in time savings that could be used to elaborate on or cover additional material while maintaining the integrity of the learning environment and contentment of the students.


Bryan Boulanger    
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ohio Northern University
United States

David Johnstone    
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ohio Northern University
United States


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