Asee peer logo

2 Nd And 3 Rd Order Refinements/Improvements To An Experiential Design

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Introduction to Engineering: The Present State

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.8.1 - 8.8.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Sandra Courter

author page

Jay Martin

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1653

2nd and 3rd Order Refinements/Improvements to an Experiential Design and Introduction to Engineering Course for First-Year Students

Sandra Shaw Courter and Jay K. Martin University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT A three-credit course for first-year students with the objective of providing an authentic engineering design experience and an introduction to engineering has been in place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1994. From the inception, the course has been centered on real projects the students carry out in collaboration with bona fide clients. During the last eight years, the course has evolved through a series of refinements and improvements based on systematic evaluation and reflection. The basic concept and structure of the course remains the same; however, activities and assignments for the students have seen fundamental changes. For example, when the course was established, in addition to the weekly lab, there were two 1-hour lectures per week that involved all ~200 students. The educational objective of the lectures was to provide an introduction for the students to many different aspects of engineering and design ranging from discussions of engineering ethics and engineering and society to introduction to strength of materials and elementary electronics. As a result of observation of student response (in class, via discussion, and survey), numerous changes have been made to this format. Now, students attend one large group meeting per week where active learning is used in all the activities. Faculty share an example that demonstrates the desired educational concept, and then ask students to apply the concept with their peers to something of specific interest to them. The second lecture each week is now a small group meeting where the content is determined “just-in-time,” as the result of a formal method for determining what the students are most interested in learning to best complete their project. Other changes include • Incorporation of writing into all aspects of the course • Recognition that the design process is similar to the communication process • Peer review of presentations and writing • Philosophy in the types of projects that are selected and the clients that work best with the course and students • Forms of presentation by the student teams • Use of course notes • Means for development of a cohesive and functioning faculty team • Introduction of engineering majors and disciplines to students • Training and identification of responsibilities for the undergraduate assistants. Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Courter, S., & Martin, J. (2003, June), 2 Nd And 3 Rd Order Refinements/Improvements To An Experiential Design Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11956

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015