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Assessing the Impact of Peer Mentoring on Performance in a Fundamentals of Engineering Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Postcard Session 1: Retention and Student Success Strategies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Qudsia Tahmina Ohio State University at Marion

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Dr. Qudsia Tahmina is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research is focused on Algorithm development for Cochlear Implants and Hearing Aids to enhance speech perception. She has experience with online teaching and ABET accreditation. She joined The Ohio State University in 2016 and teaches engineering courses at the Marion campus. She has developed an interest in engineering education and have been studying areas of education research including student enrollments, strategies to enhance student learning, first year engineering programs and K-12 STEM outreach.

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First Year Experience Programs are designed to build the foundation for incoming freshmen students at college level. Fundamentals of Engineering courses offered within these programs teaches required problem solving and technical skills and forms the basis for admission into engineering majors. Students often find these courses to be challenging and overwhelming. Many students experience difficulty in transitioning from high school level to college level as the goals and expectations vary significantly. Although several learning pedagogies such as active learning, flipped classroom and interactive discussion groups have been implemented by instructors to make student’s experience more rewarding and impactful, there is still a need to explore strategies to further enhance students’ performance and overall success. The goal of this study is to address the research question: Will providing peer mentoring sessions help improve the performance in Fundamentals of Engineering course offered at a regional campus? The concepts covered in the course integrate the scientific principles and mathematical problem solving with practical applications utilizing engineering tools. Data analysis in Excel, application based programming in MATLAB and software design project are three main components of the course. Although most of the application assignments encourage teamwork, students find it difficult to learn and implement the functionality of tools and lacks confidence in accomplishing the tasks in a timely manner. The rationale behind peer mentoring approach is to provide support and a medium for students to interact with peers who have successfully completed the coursework. It also helps students learn from other’s experiences to avoid any mistakes, thereby developing a sense of confidence and motivation. In this paper, we describe peer mentoring learning strategy to assess the performance of students in Fundamentals of Engineering course at a regional campus. The peer mentoring sessions are offered by the STEM enrichment center where the students are paired with the mentors. The study is being conducted during the autumn semester of 2017 and it is a work in progress.

Tahmina, Q. (2018, June), Assessing the Impact of Peer Mentoring on Performance in a Fundamentals of Engineering Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29829

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