June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.258.1 - 26.258.17
Assessment of Communication Skills during an NSF REU Program Related to Sustainable Management of Wastes and ByproductsAbstractA National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site wasestablished through the Global Waste Research Institute (GWRI) at California Polytechnic StateUniversity (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo to engage participants in research related to sustainablemanagement of wastes and byproducts. Project themes included waste containment, waste-to-energy conversion, remediation of contaminated sites, sustainable underground construction, andbeneficial reuse of byproducts in geotechnical engineering applications. The principalinvestigators, faculty researchers, and graduate student mentors have assessed various programand participant activities with an emphasis on participant communication skills (oral, written,and graphical modes). Assessments were conducted throughout various phases of the summerresearch experience. Tools used for assessment included: learning style and communicationstyle surveys, incremental and final assessment surveys, weekly journal entries, reflectionexercises, peer reviews, and documentation of experimental procedures and results as a summaryreport. Several activities in the program involved the use of different learning styles such asgraphics-only and quick oral-only communication exercises. These learning-style-specificexercises were also assessed for student performance and pedagogical effectiveness. Overall, theemphasis on communication in this program has resulted in marked improvement of thecommunication skills of the participating undergraduates. Additionally, the paper describes theauthors’ experiences developing program content and assessing student communicationsassociated with the REU Site at the GWRI. Assessment results have been collected over twoconsecutive program years (summer 2013 and summer 2014). Challenges encountered andstrategies for successfully incorporating these methodologies and assessment tools are presented.
El Badawy, A., & Hanson, J. L., & Yesiller, N., & Fiegel, G. L., & Kopp, K. B. (2015, June), Assessment of Communication Skills During an NSF REU Program Related to Sustainable Management of Wastes and Byproducts Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23597
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