Several studies have shown that laboratories that implement interactive learning and cooperative group exercises lead to an improvement in student outcomes as compared to the passive listening characteristic of traditional lectures. The disparity in these experiences is one of many reasons that several undergraduate engineering subjects are taught with both lecture and lab sessions in parallel. At the authors’ university, Vibrations and Controls is a junior level class in mechanical engineering that has a 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab that are co-requisites, but are not required to be taken in the same semester. This offers a unique opportunity to analyze student performance for the three distinct groups of students enrolled in lab only, lecture only, and lecture plus lab. We hypothesized that students in the lecture plus lab group would have higher grades in the lecture course than the students enrolled only in the lecture. Our results support this hypothesis.
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