June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.275.1 - 23.275.10
CCLI: Evaluation of a Cost Effective Program for Augmenting Calculus with Engineering ContentDespite significant improvements made in engineering education, student persistence remains aconcern . The most significant factors to student persistence are a lack of quantitative skills(both perceived and real), poor study habits, and a lack of commitment to engineering as anacademic major. Students who leave engineering to pursue another degree most often cite math,specifically calculus, as the most influential factor in their decision . To address thisphenomenon, a low cost, easy to implement program was presented in  which employed 16modules to augment calculus with engineering content. The modules, which are freely availableupon request, contain real world engineering problems that students solve through theapplication of calculus concepts. Students attempted to solve the modules and discussed them insmall groups. The discussions were facilitated by engineering peer mentors who guided studentsthrough the solution and encouraged discussion of key calculus concepts.Students were recruited into the program during the fall 2011 and the spring 2012 semesters.The recruiting process involved a ten minute presentation in Calculus I and Calculus II courses atthe beginning each semester. The presentation provided a brief description of the program andemphasized that it was voluntary. Participation was encouraged through the offer of up to fivepercent extra credit. To receive full credit students needed to attempt the modules and attendseven of the eight discussion sessions. The amount of extra credit was scaled downproportionally based on their participation.Both online and paper surveys were used to gather data on students’ experiences in the program.Completing the surveys was optional and had no effect on the amount of extra credit a studentwas awarded. The first instrument, the Calculus Knowledge and Perspectives (CKP) Survey wasadministered to students participating in the engineering peer mentor-led study sessions (n=89).Participating students completed the survey after attending approximately four mentor-led studysessions. The second instrument, the Modules and Mentors (MM) Survey, was administered tothe same population after all of the mentor-led study sessions were completed (n=51).Preliminary results indicate that the modules were an effective method for augmenting calculuswith engineering content and that students benefited from participating in the program. The useof modules and mentors increased student interest in calculus without having to modify theexisting calculus course. Moreover, students enjoyed the modules and were better prepared forsuccess in calculus after participating in the discussion sessions. Students also felt that thediscussions with their peers was beneficial and helped them feel connected to engineering.References M. Johnson, S. Sheppard, “Students Entering and Exiting the Engineering Pipeline— Identifying Key Decision Points and Trends,” Proc. of Frontiers in Education Conf., November 2002, pp. S3C-13 – S3C-19. R. Hensel, J. Sigler, A. Lowery, “Breaking The Cycle Of Calculus Failure: Models of Early Math Intervention to Enhance Engineering Retention,” Proc. of ASEE Annual Conf. & Expo., 2008. J. Neubert, D. Worley, N. Kaabouch, "Using Undergraduate Mentors to Deliver Engineering Content to Calculus for Increased Persistence in Engineering," Proc. of ASEE Annual Conf. & Expo., June 2011.
Neubert, J. J., & Worley, D., & Kaabouch, N., & Khavanin, M. (2013, June), CCLI: Evaluation of a Cost Effective Program for Augmenting Calculus with Engineering Content Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19289
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