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Board # 75 : Work in Progress: Development of Optional Summer Video Content for Preparation for Sophomore Year, with Initial Findings

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Victoria E. Goodrich University of Notre Dame

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Dr. Victoria Goodrich is the Director of the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Notre Dame. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame. Her research focuses primarily on Engineering Education issues, especially focused within the first-year engineering experience.

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Leo H. McWilliams University of Notre Dame

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Dr. Leo H. McWilliams is Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and the Director of the Minority Engineering Program in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining Notre Dame he worked as a principal engineer at Honeywell International. Dr. McWilliams received his B.A. in economics, B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

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Yih-Fang Huang University of Notre Dame

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Dr. Yih-Fang Huang is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Senior Associate Dean for Education and Undergraduate Programs in the College of Engineering. He received his B.S.E.E. degree from National Taiwan University, M.S.E.E. degree from University of Notre Dame, M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He served as chair of Notre Dame’s Electrical Engineering department from 1998 to 2006. His research work employs principles in mathematical statistics to solve signal detection and estimation problems that arise in various applications that include wireless communications, distributed sensor networks and, more recently, smart electric power grid.

Dr. Huang is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) (’95). He received the Golden Jubilee Medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society in 1999, served as Vice President in 1997-98 and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the same society in 2000-2001. At the University of Notre Dame, he received Presidential Award in 2003, the Electrical Engineering department’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1994 and in 2011, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, CSC Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2011, and the Engineering College’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 2013.

In Spring 1993, Dr. Huang received the Toshiba Fellowship and was Toshiba Visiting Professor at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. From April to July 2007, he was a visiting professor at the Munich University of Technology, Germany. In Fall, 2007, Dr. Huang was awarded the Fulbright-Nokia scholarship for lectures/research at Helsinki University of Technology in Finland.

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This work in progress paper will describe a new program that was implemented in the summer of 2016 to aid students who have completed their first year of engineering and are transitioning into their sophomore classes. At University X, all students complete a common first-year engineering program before entering their choice of engineering departments in the fall semester of their sophomore year. In all engineering departments, students are expected to have common college-level proficiency, knowledge, and skills chemistry, physics, math, and the first-year engineering classes. However, many students struggle with some of these concepts, making their transition into sophomore year much more difficult. In order to help better prepare these students, faculty members at University X developed a set of videos covering topics that students may need additional guidance and practice. These videos were released to students before the start of the fall semester and were completely voluntary. This paper will review initial findings from that release and detail some future directions for expanding this project as a first-year to sophomore bridge. In starting this video site, we identified a number of first-semester sophomore courses. Faculty members from those classes were asked to provide guidance on what pre-requisite concepts students needed to be successful in their classes. In each case, the instructors have an expectation that students have an appropriate background for certain basic concepts and dedicate minimal, if any, classroom time to them. A sample of responses are: (1) All Disciplines: Setting up and solving systems of linear equations through various techniques, including using MATLAB shortcuts or matrix manipulations. (2) Disciplines with additional computer resource needs: Familiarization with university computer resources, specifically logging into and using Linux based machines (3) Statics/Mechanics Course: Proficiency in calculating and manipulating 3 dimensional vectors (4) Introduction to Electrical Engineering Course: Understanding of vocabulary of course and application of mathematical concepts to circuit analysis. The video site was released to students 2 weeks before classes started and material has remained available to them throughout the fall semester. In this preliminary study, we focused only on if students would visit the site when available. A total of 497 students were given access to the videos as determined by student enrollment in the sophomore engineering courses. As of this time, a total of 380 students have visited the site (75% of all possible users) with a total of 1353 visits. Student usage in this first implementation encourages the expansion and continuation of the project. Future work on this project will include: (1) Expanding the video offerings to meet the needs of more students and additional courses that are not yet covered (2) Collecting data on which resources were viewed most and at what point they were used (3) Creating practice problems to enhance skill development in key areas (4) Surveying and interviewing students and faculty to better understand impacts of the video on sophomore course readiness and performance.

Goodrich, V. E., & McWilliams, L. H., & Huang, Y. (2017, June), Board # 75 : Work in Progress: Development of Optional Summer Video Content for Preparation for Sophomore Year, with Initial Findings Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27919

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