June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.119.1 - 26.119.9
A Systematic Review of Factors Influencing The Effectiveness of Mechatronic Based Projects in Introductory Engineering and Technology CoursesFor well over two decades, engineering and technology educators have been deploying hands-onproject-based learning activities in freshmen courses, in the hopes of inspiring students,increasing retention, and creating better educated graduates. Some of these educators have alsobeen reporting the results of their efforts through papers published and/or presented in a widevariety of settings. In an attempt to understand the broad results of these efforts, this paperdiscusses the effects of mechatronic-based projects on the retention of engineering andtechnology students. To facilitate this discussion, we conducted a systematic review of well over120 related sources of literature spanning the years from 1990 to 2014. This effort constituted aconfigurative review and allowed us to construct a methodically mapped landscape of the topicby applying a code or codes to each source. We will present the results of this effort, includingtabulations of the works that allow identification of the trends and gaps in the literature specificto the categories of Course Level, Content Delivery Method, Retention, InvestmentLevel/Duration, Improvement Process, and Pedagogy. We will discuss our categorizationstrategies, and present conclusions about the efficacy of these approaches and the areas thatappear most fruitful for additional research. In so doing, we hope to lay a strong foundation forfuture efforts towards improving the education of freshman technology students at a large land-grand, research-based university in the United States.
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