Prairie View, Texas
March 16, 2022
March 16, 2022
March 18, 2022
Inadequate math-preparedness among freshman engineering students has been an enduring challenge for Historical Black College and Universities (HBCUs). Due to poor placement in math courses, most of the students spend an average of 1-2 years clearing the math prerequisites and consequently also show poor performance in math-intensive engineering courses. It is observed that the students are not able to link their math knowledge to the engineering applications covered in their subsequent engineering courses, because of different terminology and teaching focus. At Norfolk State University, the Engineering and Mathematics departments partnered with each other to address this issue through redesigning of pre-requisite freshman math courses for engineering majors. Hands-on application modules based on Electrical, Electronics and Biomedical Engineering topics were created for pre-calculus, calculus and differential equations courses for engineering majors. Examples of application modules include graphical analysis of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals, first- and second-order differential equations using electrical circuit responses, and wireless power transfer. Several novel delivery methods were employed such as hands-on sessions in engineering labs using portable hardware kits, team-teaching by engineering and mathematics faculty and co-teaching freshman (calculus) and sophomore (differential equations) classes to enable student interaction and networking during the application modules. The engineering applications were designed in such a way that the same application was used in both freshman and sophomore classes for reinforcement via repeatability, albeit at different level of analysis. For example, the modeling of an engineering application was presented as a topic of discussion in the differential equations course, while the solution to the model was heavily studied and analyzed in the calculus course. Student engagement and learning was assessed through carefully designed lab worksheets and team activities. Student feedback was obtained by survey instrument and student interviews at the end of the semester. The introduction of discipline-specific content in an engaging way in pre-requisite math courses provided a unique learning experience to the students that will empower them to transfer their math knowledge to subsequent advanced engineering courses.
Hallare, M., & Moosavizadeh, S., & Deo, M. (2022, March), Application-Centric Math Curriculum for Electrical Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Gulf Southwest Annual Conference, Prairie View, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--39162
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