June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
NSF Grantees Poster Session
24.24.1 - 24.24.11
Classification of First Year Engineering Courses Based on Descriptions, Outcomes and AssessmentA proliferation of first-year engineering programs exists nationwide. These are often designedfrom scratch and tend to be “personal courses” – designed by instructors to cover what they feelis important. Therefore, while they may be prerequisites to second-year courses, first-yearengineering programs are not necessarily integrated into the curriculum. Further, since they areoften designed with little consideration for existing models, overall outcomes and content varywidely. This leads to, first, the issue of course developers “reinventing the wheel” as successfulmodels are not adequately disseminated. The problem is exacerbated by a lack of definition offirst year models: a developer may know what they want in a course, but how do they find acourse with similar outcomes with nothing more than “first-year engineering” as a description?Through an NSF sponsored study, we have developed a classification scheme for first‐yearengineering courses, and have begun to synthesize and identify the assessment gaps. Multiplemethods of data collection were employed, including a focus group at a national engineeringeducation conference and a survey of syllabi available on the Internet. An Imen‐Delphiprocedure was used to survey participants in multiple rounds toward building consensus on theclassification scheme. A culminating workshop was held at a major conference in which theparticipants tested the scheme based on courses at their home institution.We are pleased to present the intermediate results, documenting the scheme as it developed, andthe final classification scheme that is suitable for classification of any Introduction toEngineering course. Results of testing in a group workshop will also be presented.The anticipated impact is that the scheme will allow universities, community colleges, fundingagencies, etc. to use the developed classification scheme as developed to accurately determinespecific credit awarded for transfers, to develop introductory engineering coursework, and toidentify and fund efforts toward appropriate assessment gaps.
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