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Change in Student Understanding of Modeling During First-year Engineering Courses

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: First Year Programming (1)

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Farshid Marbouti San Jose State University

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Farshid Marbouti is an Assistant Professor of General (interdisciplinary) Engineering at San Jose State University (SJSU) and former co-chair of SJSU Senate Student Success Committee. Farshid completed his Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests center on First-Year Engineering student success and engineering design.

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Kelsey Joy Rodgers Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach Orcid 16x16

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Kelsey Rodgers is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She teaches a MATLAB programming course to mostly first-year engineering students. She primarily investigates how students develop mathematical models and simulations and effective feedback. She graduated from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University with a doctorate in engineering education. She previous conducted research in Purdue University's First-Year Engineering Program with the Network for Nanotechnology (NCN) Educational Research team, the Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) Educational Research team, and a few fellow STEM education graduates for an obtained Discovery, Engagement, and Learning (DEAL) grant. Prior to attending Purdue University, she graduated from Arizona State University with her B.S.E. in Engineering from the College of Technology and Innovation, where she worked on a team conducting research on how students learn LabVIEW through Disassemble, Analyze, Assemble (DAA) activities.

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Matthew A. Verleger Ph.D. (He/His/Him) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

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Matthew Verleger is an Associate Professor of Engineering Fundamentals at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. His research interests are focused on using action research methodologies to develop immediate, measurable improvements in classroom instruction and on the development of software tools to enhance engineering education. Dr. Verleger is an active member of ASEE, having served as the founding chair of the Student Division, a Program Chair and a Director for the Educational Research and Methods Division, and the General Chair of the First-Year Division's First-Year Engineering Experience Conference.

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All engineers must be able to apply and create models to be effective problem solvers, critical thinkers, and innovative designers. To be more successful in their studies and careers, students need a foundational knowledge about models. An adaptable approach can help students develop their modeling skills across a variety of modeling types, including physical models, mathematical models, logical models, and computational models. Physical models (e.g., prototypes) are the most common type of models that engineering students identify and discuss during the design process. There is a need to explicitly focus on varying types of models, model application, and model development in the engineering curriculum, especially on mathematical and computational models.

This NSF project proposes two approaches to creating a holistic modeling environment for learning at two universities. These universities require different levels of revision to the existing first-year engineering courses or programs. The proposed approaches change to a unified language and discussion around modeling with the intent of contextualizing modeling as a fundamental tool within engineering. To evaluate student learning on modeling in engineering, we conducted pre and post surveys across three different first-year engineering courses at these two universities with different student demographics. The comparison between the pre and post surveys highlighted student learning on engineering modeling based on different teaching and curriculum change approaches.

Marbouti, F., & Rodgers, K. J., & Verleger, M. A. (2020, June), Change in Student Understanding of Modeling During First-year Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34269

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