Asee peer logo

Assessment of Peer Mentoring of Teams in a First-Year Design-Build-Test-Communicate Class

Download Paper |

Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Assessment

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27636

Download Count

16

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

James A. Coller University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3825-923X

visit author page

James Coller is an engineering graduate student at the University of Michigan where he also completed his B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 2017. He spent three years during his undergraduate education as an Instructional Assistant for a first year engineering course. His research interests include autonomous robotics for both land and marine environments as well as naval ship design problems.

visit author page

biography

Magel Su University of Michigan

visit author page

Magel Su is a current undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying materials science and engineering with a minor in chemistry. He is also a member of the engineering honors program, an instructor for a first-year engineering design course, and a researcher in the Yalisove Lab Group.

visit author page

biography

Laura K. Alford University of Michigan

visit author page

Laura K. Alford is a Lecturer and Research Investigator at the University of Michigan.

visit author page

biography

Stephanie Sheffield University of Michigan

visit author page

Dr. Sheffield is a Lecturer in Technical Communication in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.

visit author page

biography

Robin Fowler University of Michigan

visit author page

Robin Fowler is a lecturer in the Program in Technical Communication (College of Engineering, University of Michigan). She particularly enjoys coaching students through the difficult rhetorical situations of open-ended design projects.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Assessment of Peer Mentoring of Teams in a First Year Design-Build-Test-Communicate Class

Peer mentoring has been associated with beneficial outcomes in higher education, from increased retention of minority students[1] and women[2] to learning gains for both mentors and mentees[3]. Most of the peer mentoring relationships investigated in the literature are of mentors not tied to a specific course [e.g.,2]. This paper reports on how one section of a first year, intensive, project-based learning class uses peer mentors to guide student teams throughout a design-build-test project in a first year engineering course.

Our one-semester course is a four-credit combined technical and communication course. Students work in teams of four or five students to design, build, and test two underwater vessels (one an unpowered bathysphere, one a remotely operated vehicle [ROV]), as well as to report on those designs. Former students of the course participate as peer mentors, working directly with a single team to guide design decisions and provide feedback on all facets of the design and communication process.

In Fall 2016, we conducted an assessment of our current peer mentoring system by surveying students and peer mentors. From this survey, as well as our experiences facilitating the course with peer mentors for eight semesters, we are able to report a few “best practices” for facilitating the peer mentoring experience in our context. Importantly, we find that both students and mentors benefit from the mentoring experience, enough to justify our efforts to manage it. This report contains the results of the survey, as well as instructor conclusions on what aspects of the peer mentoring experience are most important for successful implementation.

Coller, J. A., & Su, M., & Alford, L. K., & Sheffield, S., & Fowler, R. (2017, June), Assessment of Peer Mentoring of Teams in a First-Year Design-Build-Test-Communicate Class Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27636

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: © 2017 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