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A Gateway Course Redesign Working Group Model

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Evidence-based Practices in Faculty Development

Tagged Topic

Faculty Development Constituency Committee

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Paper Authors


Katie Cadwell Syracuse University

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Katie Cadwell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University, where she has taught Chemical Engineering core courses since 2011. After receiving Chemical Engineering degrees from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (B.S.) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.), she pursued a postdoctoral position in engineering education and outreach with the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at UW-Madison. Prior to moving to Syracuse, she taught for several years at Madison Area Technical College. Her interests include development of engineering faculty attitudes and pedagogy, teaching professional skills in the engineering classroom, and engineering outreach at the K-12 level.

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Michelle M. Blum Syracuse University

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Dr. Blum specializes in high performance materials development and characterization for tribological (friction and wear), structural, and biomedical applications. Her primary research interests are in the development of orthopedic biomaterials, and biomaterial characterization utilizing a combination of experimental techniques, nanoindentation, and soft material contact mechanics simulations.
Dr. Blum is also interested in research in improving undergraduate engineering education; including development of student design projects, hands-on activities, professional skills development and inclusion and outreach activities.

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Julie M. Hasenwinkel Syracuse University

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Senior Associate Dean
Professor, Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244

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Carol Elizabeth Stokes-Cawley Syracuse University

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Ms. Stokes-Cawley is the STEM Outreach Coordinator for the College of Engineering & Computer Science and provides administrative support to the Best Management Committee of the ECliPSE grant on faculty teaching & learning professional development.

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As is described in this Evidence-Based Practice Paper, ECliPSE provides professional development opportunities for our engineering and computer science faculty that focus on improving the quality of instruction. ECliPSE seeks to provide an engaging engineering educational experience for our undergraduates to improve both our retention and graduation rates, thus keeping these students in the engineering pipeline. One of the major goals of our ECliPSE program is to help faculty implement best practices, in the form of student-active pedagogies, in target 1st- and 2nd-year gateway courses, improving the classroom environment and student learning and persistence.

To this end the ECliPSE team created an intensive summer pilot program aimed at faculty who teach gateway engineering and computer science classes. Faculty were invited to participate in the 2017 Summer Gateway Course Redesign Working Group. The purpose of which was to modify gateway classes to include and/or enhance students’ active learning and test the success of these changes in the 2017-2018 Academic Year.

Those who participated in the Program received: peer and technical support, time and space to work on new ideas, a summer salary supplement and an additional supplement after implementing class changes and assessing the success of those changes. In order to receive the summer supplement, faculty had to commit to attend the Kick-off Meeting, a minimum of four out of nine 2-hour working sessions, and a mandatory final presentation. In addition, faculty had to complete assigned homework, identify learning outcomes and provide a plan on how to implement and assess the course learning outcomes. Fourteen faculty participated in the summer 2017 program, of which 30% were tenured and tenure-track faculty. During the working sessions, faculty with experience using specific techniques shared their knowledge, guest speakers presented relevant technologies, and faculty discussed adapting methods to various subjects, potential pitfalls, and best practices. 100% of the workshop participants met all the program requirements and 60% met more than what was required and all presented their work/plans at the final meeting. The presentations illustrated the range and depth of innovative teaching techniques that faculty will be incorporating during AY 2017-18 including: flipping or partially flipping the classroom; adding or redesigning student and team projects, experiments and demonstrations; creating more opportunities for student low stake evaluations including on-line quizzes and homework; and incorporating games into the class time.

To determine its success we will evaluate the program after faculty have incorporated the proposed changes into their Gateway Classes (60% after the fall semester and 33% after spring semester). In addition to assessing whether the redesigned efforts met the desired student learning outcome goals, we will survey faculty to determine how likely they would have worked on this project by themselves without the support and accountability that the Redesign Working Group provided. If the program proves successful we hope to continue to offer it to faculty and share the model with other colleges and universities.

Cadwell, K., & Blum, M. M., & Hasenwinkel, J. M., & Stokes-Cawley, C. E. (2018, June), A Gateway Course Redesign Working Group Model Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29685

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