Product dissection has evolved into a versatile pedagogical platform useful across the engineering curriculum. With the advent of digital, cyber, haptic, virtual, and immersive technologies, the opportunities to implement product dissection as an instructional tool increase dramatically. However, the effectiveness of cyber-enhanced dissection must be studied and the advantages and limitations of each type of platform must be understood in the context of achieving educational outcomes. In this paper, we first outline the history of dissection and carefully delineate the difference between physical, virtual, and cyber-enhanced dissection. We then study the impact of variations of cyber-enhanced (a blend of physical and virtual) dissection across two populations of sophomore engineering students at two universities using a number of exercises and data collection methods. We report on student perceptions regarding the affordances and disadvantages of physical vs. cyber-enhanced dissection. Students perceived the cyber-enhanced dissection exercises to be relevant to the students’ own professional preparation, to facilitate easier dissemination, to better align with emerging industrial practices, and to provide unique experiences not available in other courses the students had taken. Some potential drawbacks of cyber-enhanced dissection were also reported by students, including technology distracting them from the core educational objectives and overreliance on historical data of unknown origin. Although there are important tradeoffs between physical and cyber-enhanced dissection that need to be considered, using a blend of physical and virtual instructional tools may provide an effective platform to teach a wide range of engineering concepts across a curriculum.

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