Asee peer logo

Board 4: Leveraging Undergraduate Curriculum Reform to Impact Graduate Education: A Case Study

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32341

Download Count

10

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer R. Amos University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Dr Amos joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Teaching Associate Professor in Bioengineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Educational Psychology. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina. She completed a Fulbright Program at Ecole Centrale de Lille in France to benchmark and help create a new hybrid masters program combining medicine and engineering and also has led multiple curricular initiative in Bioengineering and the College of Engineering on several NSF funded projects.

visit author page

biography

Geoffrey L. Herman University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9501-2295

visit author page

Dr. Geoffrey L. Herman is a teaching assistant professor with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also has a courtesy appointment as a research assistant professor with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Mavis Future Faculty Fellow and conducted postdoctoral research with Ruth Streveler in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include creating systems for sustainable improvement in engineering education, conceptual change and development in engineering students, and change in faculty beliefs about teaching and learning. He serves as the Publications Chair for the ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division.

visit author page

biography

Marcia Pool University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Dr. Marcia Pool is a Teaching Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has been active in improving undergraduate education including developing laboratories to enhance experimental design skills and mentoring and guiding student teams through the capstone design and a translational course following capstone design. In her Director role, she works closely with the departmental leadership to manage the undergraduate program including: developing course offering plan, chairing the undergraduate curriculum committee, reviewing and approving course articulations for study abroad, serving as Chief Advisor, and representing the department at the college level meetings. She is also engaged with college recruiting and outreach; she coordinates three summer experiences for high school students visiting Bioengineering and co-coordinates a weeklong Bioengineering summer camp. She has worked with the Cancer Scholars Program since its inception and has supported events for researcHStart. Most recently, she was selected to be an Education Innovation Fellow (EIF) for the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) at UIUC. At the national level, she served as the Executive Director of the biomedical engineering honor society, Alpha Eta Mu Beta (2011-2017) and is an ABET evaluator (2018-present).

visit author page

biography

Kelly J. Cross University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Dr. Cross is currently an Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department at the University Nevada Reno. After completing her PhD in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in 2015, Dr. Cross worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education and in the Department of Bioengineering with the Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Cross' scholarship investigated student teams in engineering, faculty communities of practice, and the intersectionality of multiple identity dimensions. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion in STEM, intersectionality, teamwork and communication skills, assessment, and identity construction. Her teaching philosophy focuses on student centered approaches such as culturally relevant pedagogy. Dr. Cross' complimentary professional activities promote inclusive excellence through collaboration.

visit author page

biography

Michael F. Insana University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Michael Insana is the Donald Biggar Willett Professor in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was head of the Department of Bioengineering from 2008-2013 and 2017-2019, and Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions of Medical Imaging from 2015-2020. His teaching and research interests including topics in biomedical image science.

visit author page

biography

Gabriel R. Burks University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0003-0985-0450

visit author page

Gabriel Burks is a postdoctoral research associate at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is from Louisiana where he also completed his Baccalaureate Degree in Physics with a minor in Chemistry from Grambling State University. Dr. Burks received his doctoral degree from Drexel Unviersity in Materials Science & Engineering and was also a National Science Foundation GK-12 STEM Fellow for 3 years, in the School District of Philadelphia. Primary research interests are: 1) synthesis and characterization of functional polymeric materials, 2) polymer crystallization phenomena, and 3) pedagogical assessment of conventional and nontraditional STEM spaces.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

For more than a decade, American industries have complained that the skills of engineers entering the workforce are not sufficient to meet the challenges of a high-performance workplace (1). In addition, ABET has recently changed the student outcomes required for engineering graduates to reflect many of the skills lacking in undergraduate training (2). Additionally, national studies suggest the preparation of US graduate students is too narrowly focused on academic research skills, at the expense of professional skills such as communication, teamwork, mentoring, and leadership (3). In response to these studies, many departments are trying to radically change their curricula to better suit the changing needs of employers. However, these changes are often made without a full understanding of the programs strengths and weaknesses. To help bridge the academic-employer disconnect, we suggest improving assessments of academic programs to drive evidence-based changes to curricula.

In response to national and local studies of employers, our department decided to radically transform the undergraduate curriculum in both content and delivery methods to better meet the need of employers. Our program conducted faculty surveys and interviews, student surveys, and employer surveys to determine key knowledge and skills that are a priority for our program. In addition, we developed a robust assessment system to take baseline data and then collect data during the change process. During this curricular reform, we trained faculty in pedagogical approaches for the classroom and built active-learning classrooms to support the use of more active instruction. While moving the undergraduate program to active-learning, we moved lectures into online content and noticed that the content needed for support of undergraduate classes was often content that may also be needed for graduate curricula, particularly for remediation. Conversations about the graduate program and gaps in knowledge and is driving us to repeat what we have done for our undergraduate program to inform the graduate program of unique educational needs and skills for graduates. Assessment and instructional modules to link across both the undergraduate and graduate programs are being developed. These evidence-driven processes help to facilitate discussion about curricular reform and how curricular modules and assessment spanning across the department can impact the department culture around education across all levels. Here we present a case study of evidence-based multi-level curriculum reform including sharing our needs identification process from industry and department stakeholders as well as assessment tools used to collect student performance data to support multi-level curriculum reform.

Citations: 1. Van Horn, Carl E. "Enhancing the Connection between Higher Education and the Workplace: A Survey of Employers." (1995) 2. Michael K. J. Milligan P.E., Joseph L Sussman, Patricia Brackin P.E., and Sarah A Rajala. "ABET Update Proposed Revisions to EAC General Criteria 3 and 5". 2016 EDI, San Francisco, CA, 2016, March. ASEE Conferences, 2016. 3. Denecke, D., K. Feaster, and K. Stone. "Professional development: Shaping effective programs for STEM graduate students." Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools(2017).

Amos, J. R., & Herman, G. L., & Pool, M., & Cross, K. J., & Insana, M. F., & Burks, G. R. (2019, June), Board 4: Leveraging Undergraduate Curriculum Reform to Impact Graduate Education: A Case Study Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32341

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: © 2019 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