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A Lego Robot Project Using Concept Maps And Peer Led Teams For A Freshman Course In Engineering And Engineering Technology

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Collection

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Projects and Problems in First-Year Courses

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

14.44.1 - 14.44.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4657

Download Count

145

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Paper Authors

biography

Mehrube Mehrubeoglu Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

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Dr. Mehrubeoglu received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering, respectively, from Texas A&M University. After working as a research engineer and software engineer at Electroscientific Industries, where she developed new algorithms for machine vision problems, she joined Cyprus International University as the Chair of Department of Computer Engineering. After returning to Texas she taught at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She has been with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since fall of 2005. Dr. Mehrubeoglu's areas of research include machine vision and image processing applications (digital watermarking, degraded fingerprint recognition, object detection and tracking), applications in biomedical engineering, and effective teaching pedagogies.

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

A Lego Robot Project Using Concept Maps and Peer-Led Teams for a Freshman Course in Engineering and Engineering Technology

Abstract

In this paper, the use of concept maps is presented as they are applied to a class project in a freshmen course with engineering technology and pre-engineering students. Concept maps have been implemented in a newly designed Lego Robot Project. The Lego Robot Project consisted of four pre-designed projects each with different difficulty level to be suitable for students with different experiences. The teams were led by peers who had previously completed the project and were not taking the class, and by those who had prior experience with Lego Robots and were registered for the course.

Technical skills, such as designing, programming, and knowledge/use of sensors, as well as professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, and leadership, were included in the concept maps. Deliverables were clearly stated. Student assessment of the Lego Robot Project learning outcomes revealed that the project greatly contributed to teamwork and student engagement (4 and 3.8, respectively, on a scale of 1 to 5). Goal setting and problem solving were ranked the lowest (3.1 and 3.2, respectively), but above neutral (3). Students who participated in the project components also performed well in the course.

The Lego Robot Project was successfully completed with the use of concept maps and peer-led teams. This paper presents the details of the project, implementation and use of concept maps, and dynamics of the peer-led teams.

Introduction

Introductory freshman courses in engineering and engineering technology curricula play an important role in recruitment and retention efforts of the department and program. Besides the technical skills to be acquired, one of the purposes of these courses is viewed to be enticing the student in the field of study, motivating them to learn more, and in turn stay with the program. In a continuously demographically changing classroom, instructors face the challenge of adjusting the content of the course and the projects such that both the lecture and laboratory assignments are suitable, interesting, and useful for all types of students; these students include traditional recent high-school graduate students, transfer students with some prior college course credit, professional students, and other mature students.

In the classical style of teaching this course, it has been observed that in the presence of experienced students in the classroom, the traditional students may get intimidated by the outside knowledge such experienced students may have acquired. Additionally, the

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