Practical intelligence in mechatronics: the 'hands on' factor in engineering laboratories and its role in diagnosing equipment faults

Zol Razali

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    273 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] In the evaluation of engineering laboratory work, most assessment involves only explicitly specified learning outcomes and usually the element of tacit knowledge, implicit knowledge or “practical intelligence” has not been assessed or measured. A major part of the justification for laboratory learning is the “hands-on” experience which can be as valuable an outcome as explicitly stated learning objectives. However, it is not easy to assess the level of practical intelligence that students bring to the laboratory classes and any that they might informally gain through the laboratory experience. Practical intelligence could also be useful learning outcomes from a laboratory experience alongside the explicitly defined outcomes; therefore it can potentially be measured and assessed. This thesis addresses the possibility of measuring the acquisition of practical intelligence and would provide a third means to evaluate engineering laboratory class experiences, beyond the established methods of comparing student performance in explicit assessment tasks (e.g. reports, tests) and measurement of student perceptions of their laboratory experience. There has also been extensive research on fault diagnosis in engineering practice and demonstrated that troubleshooters make extensive use of tacit and implicit knowledge which has to be developed through experience. This is a powerful argument in support of the need for engineering students to practice and value the acquisition of practical intelligence. In this research, the researcher developed an on-line survey “Practical Intelligence Measurement Instrument” to measure practical intelligence in the context of laboratory classes. A typical survey instrument consists of a set of domain-related situations, associated with response items.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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