June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.43.1 - 24.43.12
A Departmental Initiative to Effectively Incorporate Technology Use in Engineering Mathematics Education: A Case Study AbstractThe paper presents a case study of the ongoing efforts of the department of XX at a medium-sized, urbanuniversity, to incorporate educational technology in its engineering mathematics courses. In 2007 the XXSchool of Engineering formed a new department, with primary focus on first year engineering education.The department teaches Introduction to Engineering, Engineering Graphics, and Engineering Mathematicscourses, with the majority of student credit hours in Engineering Mathematics. Part of the Department’smission is to improve retention of first year engineering students, and success in the first year, especiallyin mathematics is critical for retention (Edge and Friedberg, 1984). One effort towards this objective hasbeen a departmental effort to incorporate of a variety of educational technologies into the engineeringmathematics courses. The department has worked to see that the use of educational technologies isreasonably consistent across courses and faculty, and that the use of the technologies persists beyondany initial pilot phase. The ongoing challenge is to assess these efforts as part of departmental strategicplanningThe educational technologies that are now an integrated part of the engineering mathematics sequenceinclude: 1) a custom multi-media textbook, 2) the classroom interaction system DyKnow® coupled withstudents Tablet PCs, and 3) the online interactive system MyMathLab®, which provides students withalgorithmically generated problems, computer scoring of their results, and various learning aids. Allfaculty who teach engineering mathematics courses now use DyKnow® and the department has createda set of reference lecture notes which are available to all faculty. Similarly, the use of MyMathLab® is nowan integral part of the sequence of calculus-based, engineering analysis courses, Engineering Analysis I, II,and III. Using MyMathLab®, the Introduction to Calculus course, a remedial course for those admittedstudents who are not calculus ready, has been redesigned as an emporium model (Twigg, 2011) class thatis being pilot-tested in Fall 2013.This case study describes the approach taken by the department in adopting these technologies, how theywere and are used, how challenges were met, and what challenges remain. The major ongoing challengeis determining the best way to assess the impact of these educational technologies on student learningand evaluate the overall effectiveness of the mathematics program. Most departmental faculty agreethat the technologies provide great benefit to students, but measuring those benefits continues topresent challenges. This paper presents some preliminary results of studies that show improvement toDFW rates, but more importantly describes the department’s plan to measure effectiveness by trackingstudents’ progression time through the sequence as well as students’ performance in other keyengineering courses in undergraduate engineering programs.Edge, O. and Friedberg, S., “Factors Affecting Achievement in the First Course in Calculus”, Journal ofExperimental Education, Vol. 52 (3), 1984, pp. 136-140.Twigg, Carol A. 2011. “The Math Emporium: Higher Education’s Silver Bullet.” Change 43 (3): 25–34.
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