Reducing Student Writing Time and Instructor Grading Time of Laboratory Reports
A previous study by the authors demonstrated with 95% conﬁdence that the synopsis laboratory report format, a brief, information-rich summary, provides students with an equally positive learning experience in comparison to the longer, introduction/results/ conclusion “traditional” laboratory report format. This study examined the additional beneﬁts of the synopsis laboratory report format; reduced student writing time and instructor grading time. A convenience sample of 56 Iowa State University industrial technology students was randomized into one of two groups that were required to write either ﬁve synopses followed by four traditional reports or four synopses followed by ﬁve traditional reports. The analysis of grading times using the paired-samples t-test revealed that synopsis reports required 4.5 to 5.8 fewer minutes to grade than traditional reports (p < 0.001). The analysis of student writing times using the pairedsamples t-test revealed that synopsis reports required 32 to 44 fewer minutes to write than traditional reports (p < 0.001). The results of an end-of-semester exit survey revealed that students also perceived the difference in writing time (p < 0.001).
The paper, "Reducing Student Writing Time and Instructor Grading Time of Laboratory Reports (D. Hoffa and S. Freeman), JIT/JTMAE 22, no. 3, July–September 2006" is a copyrighted publication of ATMAE. This paper has been republished with the authorization of ATMAE, and may be accessed directly from the JTMAE website at http://www.atmae.org/jit/Articles/hoffa092006.pdf.