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Board # 34 : Work in Progress: Year Two of Analysis of the Impact of a Web-based Student Dashboard for a Multi-agent Approach to Academic Advising

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Work-in-Progress Posters: Computers in Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27835

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

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Oscar Antonio Perez University of Texas, El Paso

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Mr. Oscar Perez received his PhD. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a special focus on control systems and data communications. He was Awarded the Woody Everett award from the American Society for engineering education August 2011 for the research on the impact of mobile devices in the classroom. Dr. Perez has been teaching the Basic Engineering (BE) – BE 1301 course for over 9 years. Lead the design for the development of the new Basic Engineering course (now UNIV 1301) for engineering at UTEP for the Engineering, Science and University Colleges. Developed over 5 new courses, including UTEP technology & society core curriculum classes specifically for incoming freshman with a STEM background. Dr. Perez was awarded the 2014 “University of Texas at El Paso award for Outstanding Teaching”. Dr. Perez has thirteen years of professional experience working as an Electrical and Computer Engineer. leads a team to provide technical support to faculty and students utilizing UGLC classrooms and auditoriums. Dr. Perez is committed to the highest level of service to provide an exceptional experience to all of the UGLC guests. Dr. Perez strongly believes that by providing exceptional customer service that UGLC patrons will return to make use of the various services the university offers. Mr. Perez enjoys working on the professional development of the students’ employees at the UGLC. He shares with his student employees his practical experience in using electrical engineering concepts and computer technologies to help in everyday real-world applications. Dr. Perez has worked with the uTeach and Tech-e camp programs at UTEP since their creation to streamline the transition process for engineering students from local area K-12 schools to college by equipping students and their teachers with teaching strategies and technologies each summer. Oscar enjoys teamwork, believes in education as a process for achieving life-long learning rather than as a purely academic pursuit. He currently works on maintaining, upgrading and designing the new classroom of the future model at UTEP. Dr. Perez is inspired because he enjoys working with people and technology in the same environment.

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Peter Golding University of Texas, El Paso

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Professor in the Department of Engineering and Leadership at UTEP.

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Virgilio Ernesto Gonzalez University of Texas, El Paso

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Virgilio Gonzalez, Associate Chair and Clinical Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, started his first appointment at UTEP in 2001. He received the UT System Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. From 1996 to 2001 he was the Technology Planning manager for AT&T-Alestra in Mexico; and before that was the Telecommunications Director for ITESM in Mexico. His research areas are in Communications Networks, Fiber Optics, Wireless Sensors, Process Automation, and Engineering Education.

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Mike Thomas Pitcher University of Texas, El Paso

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Mike Pitcher is the Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has had experience in learning in both a traditional university program as well as the new online learning model, which he utilizes in his current position consulting with faculty about the design of new learning experiences. His experience in technology and teaching started in 1993 as a student lab technician and has continued to expand and grow over the years, both technically as well as pedagogically. Currently he works in one of the most technically outstanding buildings in the region where he provides support to students, faculty, and staff in implementing technology inside and outside the classroom, researching new engineering education strategies as well as the technologies to support the 21st century classroom (online and face to face). He also has assisted both the campus as well as the local community in developing technology programs that highlight student skills development in ways that engage and attract individuals towards STEAM and STEM fields by showcasing how those skills impact the current project in real-world ways that people can understand and be involved in. As part of a university that is focused on supporting the 21st century student demographic he continues to innovate and research on how we can design new methods of learning to educate both our students and communities on how STEM and STEAM make up a large part of that vision and our future.

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Abstract

The objective of this research is to analyze a system to improve the advising of students in a nontraditional environment. Non-traditional students are becoming more of the norm than the exception at University campuses across the U.S. Specifically, minority serving institutions, commuter campus and institutions with a high percentage of student transfers are unable to keep a tightly controlled cohort of students progressing through the curriculum. Students usually have varied course loads and different priorities due to family, financial need or other responsibilities. Therefore, students need an individualized approach to advising. This pilot program is starting a second year of using the system in department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The school administration faces more challenges scheduling courses and allocating diminishing resources to satisfy the student demand. In addition, the faculty needs to assess the efficacy of the curriculum in a program and collecting longitudinal student data is difficult. This web application system (mobile compatible) is a multi-agent approach to allow the students to take more control over their individualized advising has been developed. In this context, the student tool becomes an agent and the school provides the environment with a desirable behavior for the system. We call the academic control objective the "Operator." This research focuses on analyzing the performance of the distributed control agent system that collects students' information about their progress through the curriculum in a web-based program and generates advising recommendations specific to each student. This fills the advising forms to stream line face to face advising appointments. The agent logic employs principles used in project management tools designed to help the students optimize their resources to complete their degree sooner. It provides a visualization map of course sequences, customized for each student based on the course history, making advising adjustments that will optimize the time to obtain the degree under a constrained set of student resources. At the same time, the agent system provides real-time feedback to the Operator. The second tool is the Operator dashboard that consolidates the collected data from the agents through several semesters (historical data) plus the predicted effects of the recommended plans. This enables a better resource allocation from the administration and deeper analysis of the curriculum effectiveness. Last years’ data has presented some limited insight into the multi-agent approach performance. However, the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud computing enables a larger scale application of the proposed methodology. The results that we have acquired at this point show a very high acceptance of the system by the students. The complete dataset will be discussed extensively in the results section.

Perez, O. A., & Golding, P., & Gonzalez, V. E., & Pitcher, M. T. (2017, June), Board # 34 : Work in Progress: Year Two of Analysis of the Impact of a Web-based Student Dashboard for a Multi-agent Approach to Academic Advising Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27835

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