New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Two Year College Division
This paper describes an active-learning-based, first-year, introductory course for engineering students at a community college. The course emphasizes working in teams on hands-on projects, analyzing data with EXCEL, and programming with MATLAB. Assignments involve using EXCEL to display and analyze data for Ohm’s Law and the speed of sound in air, distance measuring using ultrasound, designing an ultrasonic range-finder, using programming in MATLAB to control the movement of a stepper-motor rotor, designing programs in MATLAB to identify different translucent materials from their visible spectra, and a final project combining the stepper-motor rotor with spectroscopy to automatically identify different oils by their spectra produced with visible light. Students are required to make presentations of the projects and the results obtained.
During the first four years of this course, Supplementary Instruction was gradually introduced and is now incorporated into all sections of the course including DCE offerings.
To document student success, data on student achievement in the course has been collected for twenty-two sections of the course over a span of four years. Additional data on course completion rates for this course will be presented and compared to course completion rates for other engineering courses in the community college and compared to the course completion rates for all courses in the community college. Longitudinal data on student persistence in engineering in the community college and on engineering students transferring to the university will also be presented.
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