Implementing cyberinfrastructure in the classroom and the investigation of its effectiveness through similarity metrics
Devendorf, Matthew D.
MetadataShow full item record
Recent cyberinfrastructure initiatives seek to create ubiquitous, comprehensive, interactive and functionally complete digital environments for research communities that consist of people, data, information, tools, and instruments. The usefulness of repositories based upon these recent initiatives is clearly evident in industry where the workforce has become very mobile and knowledge is lost with each employee who leaves an organization. However, academic settings also experience this loss of knowledge and information with each class of students that graduates. Organizations in industry have implemented design repositories to attempt to throttle the torrent of knowledge being lost with the loss or retirement of each employee. The need for a similar initiative in an academic setting is clearly evident. This thesis addresses the need for a design repository initiative in academia by implementing CIBER-U at three universities (Penn State University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, and the University at Buffalo). CIBER-U is a design repository which captures product dissection knowledge from undergraduate engineering students and is used to communicate that knowledge to other students by project reports. The effectiveness of the CIBER-U project is studied and feedback is given from the students involved in the process. While the feedback from student experience is important, it is also important that the design repository be easy to use and navigate. To address this concern, this thesis develops a similarity metric which is used to evaluate the effectiveness of style guides to control formatting in a digital environment.