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Analysis of the Barriers, Constraints, and Issues for Dual Credit and/or Advanced Placement® Pathway for Introduction to Engineering/Design

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design in Freshman and Sophomore Courses

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.206.1 - 22.206.17



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Paper Authors


Leigh R Abts University of Maryland, College Park

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Dr. Abts received his Bachelor’s of Science in 1973 from Brown University, and his Ph.D. in Engineering in 1982 from Brown University. Currently, Dr. Abts holds a joint faculty appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the College of Education and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park.

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Analysis of the Barriers, Constraints and Issues for Dual Credit and / orAdvanced Placement® Pathway for Introduction to Engineering / Design Over the past five years a national research effort has elicited the opinions, attitudesand expertise of individuals and focus groups, and has conducted a limited number ofcase studies to explore the need, the barriers, feasibility and alternatives for a pre-collegestudent to earn transferable, undergraduate credit for Introduction to Engineering or as analternative, Introduction to Design. The presentation would review the research to date and field studies with respect tothe following issues, constraints, and factors that can impact the preparation of studentsand instructors, the development of the courses (course of study), and the transferabilityof credit: • Existing standards that define and guide the curriculum for Introduction to Engineering Pre-college, Community College and University courses; • Existing preparatory pathways to prepare students for the Introduction to Engineering course. • Comparative analysis of Introduction to Engineering courses relative to learning goals, performance benchmarks and teaching of Engineering core competencies; • The bridging classroom courses of studies to co-curricular activities as preparatory pathways into Engineering studies through Portfolio assessments; • The need for a ‘reference’ curriculum Introduction to Engineering (or Introduction to the Design Process) as a model for a dual credit course; • The importance of the preparation of secondary teachers in Introduction to Engineering and Design course content; and • The importance of assessment tools, such as a Rubric for the Design Process and the Electronic Portfolio. As indicated, the research and field studies have demonstrated that there are a numberof barriers to transferability of credit for the Introduction to Engineering and / or theIntroduction to the Design Process courses between secondary school and undergraduateprograms, but also across undergraduate institutions. A recent focus group and expertinterviews have indicated that a Design Process Rubric would form the initial referenceframework for the learning, teaching and performance guidelines of not only for courses,such as Introduction to Engineering, but also for courses of study related to the DesignProcess, such as a senior-level Capstone Design Project. The creation of a referenceDesign Process Rubric would begin to lay the foundation to address barriers, the teachingand learning goals for a dual credit course. 1

Abts, L. R. (2011, June), Analysis of the Barriers, Constraints, and Issues for Dual Credit and/or Advanced Placement® Pathway for Introduction to Engineering/Design Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17487

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