Asee peer logo

An Effective Teaching Strategy For Motivation And Rentention Of Engineering And Technology Freshmen

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Effective Teaching to Motivate & Retain

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.186.1 - 8.186.5



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Zia Razzaq

Download Paper |

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

Session 1046

An Effective Teaching Strategy for Motivation and Retention of Engineering and Technology Freshmen

Zia Razzaq Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529


The introduction of a pair of new courses titled ”Explore Engineering and Technology I and II” at Old Dominion University has yielded dramatic results in both motivating and retaining freshmen. Each course is of two credit hours and is divided into three five-week modules. Each five-week module is taught by a faculty member from civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical or another engineering and technology area. The emphasis is on “hands-on” experience through student group projects coupled with a clear introduction to some related fundamentals. This paper outlines an effective strategy while utilizing as an example the student projects involving structural engineering. A very dramatic increase in the retention rate of the freshmen has been observed ever since these courses have been introduced.

The Logistics

In order to motivate and retain the maximum possible number of students, two courses named “Engineering and Technology I and II” have been introduced at Old Dominion University. Hereinafter, these courses will be referred to as EET I and EET II. Two courses each of 2 credit hours were found to be necessary as opposed to a single one since each department generally has two specialty areas, for example, civil and environmental, electrical and computer engineering. Thus, a civil project can be covered in EET I and an environmental one in EET II. Each course is divided into three five-week modules or sessions. In a given week, there are two class/laboratory periods each of a 75-minute duration, and one recitation period of 50-minute duration.

Typically, the first class period is used by the instructor to introduce the related engineering or technology area related to a laboratory project. In addition, the instructor briefly explains about the type of professional opportunities available after graduation. The second class period is utilized to explicitly define the overall requirements and constraints for the project. During the third class period, each student group makes a brief presentation about the proposed project before the class followed by an active discussion by the listeners. The remaining class periods are used by the students to actually build and eventually test their models. A typical class of, say, 45 students is divided up into five groups with nine students in each group. Each group acts like a

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education.

Razzaq, Z. (2003, June), An Effective Teaching Strategy For Motivation And Rentention Of Engineering And Technology Freshmen Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11401

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015