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Benefits and Challenges of Teaching a First-Year Engineering Experience Course at a Small Campus

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2019 FYEE Conference


Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M2C: Learning by Design 2

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Asad Azemi Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine

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Asad Azemi is an associate professor of Engineering at Penn State University. He has received his B.S. degree from UCLA, M.S. degree from Loyola Marymount University, and Ph.D. degree from University of Arkansas. His professional interests are in nonlinear stochastic systems, signal estimation, decision making under uncertainty, bio-computing, systems analysis and design, and use of technology in undergraduate and graduate education to improve and enhance teaching and learning.

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Maria Jane Evans Penn State Brandywine


Ivan E. Esparragoza Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Ivan E. Esparragoza is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State. His interests are in engineering design education, innovative design, global design, and global engineering education. He has introduced multinational design projects in a freshman introductory engineering design course in collaboration with institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of his effort to contribute to the formation of world class engineers for the Americas. He is actively involved in the International Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and in the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institution (LACCEI) as Vice-President for Meetings and in the International Federation of Engineering education Societies (IFEES) as VP for the Americas and First VP.

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This work, for a full paper consideration, covers our experience teaching a first-year engineering course at a small campus and our continuous effort in improving the course. The paper covers the main objectives of the course, which has remained fairly constant over the years, and includes helping students to better understand what engineers do, introduce them to the range of career opportunities related to the field, and exposing them to an academic experience that combines fundamental concepts of engineering design, practical experience, problem solving skills, management and communication skills, and teamwork through a hands on experience, but the methodology has changed to accommodate the external changes related to students' culture and the technology. Instructors who have taught this course have adopted the same course objectives but have used different approaches. For example, textbook was not required by all sections and sections had different hands-on project. The paper includes experiences from different instructors who have taught the course at our location, the changes that we have introduced and the reasons behind them, as well as a brief literature review. The paper also discusses challenges associated with offering the course from faculty and students prospective.

Azemi, A., & Evans, M. J., & Esparragoza, I. E. (2019, July), Benefits and Challenges of Teaching a First-Year Engineering Experience Course at a Small Campus Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--33680

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