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A Student Centered Learning Lab to Increase Motivation and Interest in Environmental Engineering

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Hands-on Laboratory and Design Experiences in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

25.105.1 - 25.105.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20865

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

biography

Sandeep Sathyamoorthy Tufts University

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Sandeep Sathyamoorthy is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. Prior to this, Sathyamoorthy was a Project Engineer at AECOM Water, focusing on BNR/ENR wastewater treatment plant design and water reuse treatment processes.

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biography

Linda Jarvin Paris College of Art

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Linda Jarvin, Ph.D., is the Dean of Paris College of Art in Paris, France, and an Adjunct Professor at Tufts University, Mass.
She received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Paris V and her postdoctoral training at Yale University. She has extensive experience with curriculum planning and development, designing and implementing professional development opportunities for teachers and faculty, and facilitating programmatic evaluation in the United States and abroad.

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Michael Hollis U.S. Air Force Academy

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John Anthony Christ U.S. Air Force Academy

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C. Andrew Ramsburg Tufts University

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Abstract

A Student Centered Learning Lab to Increase Motivation & Interest in Environmental EngineeringProblem based learning (PBL) is a well established student-centered approach which promotesapplication-based learning, enhances problem solving skills and fosters peer learning. This paperdescribes implementation of a PBL within a junior-level course on environmental engineeringprocesses. The PBL was an open-ended, two-hour lab, where student teams designed, built andtested a prototype water treatment system to achieve stated water quality criteria (UVtransmittance and turbidity). Each team was given a scope of work that outlined the problem,objectives, design criteria, available materials, constraints, effluent quality testing protocol (usinga synthetic influent) and evaluation criteria. Students were given no prior information about thelab, and the PBL lab was the first lab of the semester.A multidimensional instrument was developed and administered three times throughout thesemester. Questions were designed to evaluate whether or not the PBL had a quantifiable effecton learner motivation (for the course and environmental engineering), and self efficacy. Resultsindicate that the students enter the course as highly motivated learners (cohort motivation forcourse (out of 5): median=5, mean=4.32). This ceiling effects limits assessment of the directimpact of the PBL lab on learner motivation. The data do, however, suggest that learner selfefficacy increased as a result of the PBL. Evidence from post-lab student presentations supportsthis observation, with teams applying knowledge from previous classes to this new problem.The PBL lab was received; students reported enjoying collaborating with their peers to develop atangible solution to a real-world problem. Student feedback suggests the influence of the PBLmay increase if learners had an opportunity to see the influent prior to construction. This studyprovides additional empirical evidence to encourage more widespread inclusion of PBLteaching/learning experiences into environmental engineering curricula.

Sathyamoorthy, S., & Jarvin, L., & Hollis, M., & Christ, J. A., & Ramsburg, C. A. (2012, June), A Student Centered Learning Lab to Increase Motivation and Interest in Environmental Engineering Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20865

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