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Augmenting Activities in Engineering Courses with Tools, Technology, and Kits for Remote Experiential Learning

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Pedagogy 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36733

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36733

Download Count

48

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Paper Authors

biography

Sonia Travaglini Stanford University

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Dr. Sonia Travaglini specializes in the intersection of engineering and active learning. After becoming fascinated with engineering education during her PhD in Mechanical Engineering with the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Travaglini leads Skilling and Learning with the Aeronautics and Astronautics department at Stanford University, and is an educator passionate about new technologies and collaboration.

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three:" Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.

At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

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Helen L. Chen Stanford University

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Helen L. Chen is a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She has been involved in several major engineering education initiatives including the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), as well as the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education. Helen holds an undergraduate degree in communication from UCLA and a PhD in communication with a minor in psychology from Stanford University. Her current research and scholarship focus on engineering and entrepreneurship education; the pedagogy of portfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and redesigning how learning is recorded and recognized in traditional transcripts and academic credentials.

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Swetha Nittala Stanford University

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Swetha is currently a Lecturer and a Science and Engineering Education Fellow at the Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University. She recently completed her PhD from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue where she focused on identifying and developing leadership and other socio-technical capabilities among engineering students and professionals. She is passionate about improving engineering education and practice and has been working in the areas of innovation, leadership development, diversity, equity, and inclusion, ethics, and, faculty development.

Previously, she also worked for companies including Deloitte, Sprint, ProStem and Credit Suisse, both as an internal and external research consultant focusing on areas of leadership development, performance management, competency development and people analytics. She integrates her research in Engineering Education with prior background in Human Resource Management and Engineering to understand better ways to develop STEM workforce both in universities and companies.

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Abstract

With remote teaching continuing in the 2020-21 academic year, one of the biggest challenges has been to determine how to design and integrate hands-on experiential learning for students studying remotely. The solution being developed in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department at Stanford University involves supplying students with a kit for the department’s senior capstone course (Spacecraft Design), a 'mezzanine course' for both undergraduate and graduate students. The course instructors redesigned the hands-on learning activities from in-class or in-lab experiences, to activities that could be completed within students’ homes. The kit included engineering components that students used to apply the engineering principles they learned in the courses, through a build-it-yourself nano-satellite kit to apply aircraft design principles. These learning experiences play a critical role in enabling students to integrate theory with practice through a design/engineering curriculum where students are able to use physical items to demonstrate their mastery of engineering principles. Furthermore, we believe that this engagement with real hardware, even in a remote setting, will contribute to student overall engagement in these courses. We note that the supplied kits are just one piece of technology being integrated into these remote learning experiences, along with Zoom (as a course delivery platform), and other tools including Canvas, Piazza, Panopto and Gradescope. It is this combined suite of technology tools that we consider in looking at educational effectiveness. Along these lines, our key pedagogy questions are: how do these two engineering courses use a suite of technology-tools to engage students in hands-on learning? How effective are these approaches? To help us answer our first pedagogy question we analyze the approaches taken in these courses using Puentedura’s SAMR (Substitution – Augmentation – Modification - Redefinition) model which has typically been applied to the introduction of new educational technologies. We use this framework to characterize the development of kits and the other associated technology and curricular elements. The kit plans were initially conceived as a strategy for substituting access to the practical components available on campus, however, rather than a simple 1:1 replacement, the faculty and teaching teams have already identified new opportunities for augmenting course activities. These first two stages represent enhancement however, the longer term interest will focus on the modification and redefinition stages and their potential for continued use, transformation of the curriculum, pedagogical design, and student learning. To help us answer our second pedagogy question in this early exploration of kits, we rely mainly on student feedback through a survey and the end-of-the-quarter course feedback. This paper also describes the collaboration between the instructors, staff, course assistants, and administrators to address logistical, financial, support, safety, and equity considerations. Therefore, the preliminary findings of this paper will be of interest to programs and institutions who are facing similar challenges to integrate experiential learning into remotely taught courses, and who may be interested in learning about the challenges and benefits of kits as an augmentation to course activities.

Travaglini, S., & Sheppard, S., & Chen, H. L., & Nittala, S. (2021, July), Augmenting Activities in Engineering Courses with Tools, Technology, and Kits for Remote Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36733

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