July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
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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