June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.318.1 - 10.318.8
Collaborative Learning as a Tool for Retention of Engineering Students: An Update on the Success of Engineering ‘Redshirt’ Camps and Collaborative Learning Workshops at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering
David P. Shattuck, Betty J. Barr, Jennifer L. Ruchhoeft, Julie Martin Trenor, Stuart A. Long, and Frank J. Claydon
University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering
Our experience at the University of Houston is similar to that of many engineering schools around the country: far too often, engineering students who thrive during their freshman experience do not pass essential sophomore engineering courses. In our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the pass rates of courses such as Circuits and Electromagnetics have traditionally hovered between approximately 50 and 60%. These rigorous courses, which are the foundation for further work in the ECE curriculum, can be difficult even for the well-prepared student.
To better prepare eligible students for the challenging sophomore engineering curriculum, ECE faculty created Redshirt Camp, a weeklong interactive camp that uses collaborative learning pedagogy to teach critical engineering concepts. During the following semester, students continue to practice techniques learned at Redshirt Camp through weekly, course- specific Collaborative Learning Workshops.
Now in its fifth semester, this program has proven to be a valuable retention tool in our ECE curriculum. Since its inception in the summer of 2002, pass rates for the Circuits course have varied between 40 and 61% for students who did not complete the program. In contrast, students who completed both Redshirt Camp and the subsequent Collaborative Learning Workshops had pass rates between 62 and 75%. Success has been even greater in the Electromagnetics course: non-participant participation pass rates varied between 46 and 59%, while 78 to 91% of program participants successfully completed the course. As the popularity of the program with both ECE students and faculty has grown, college-wide support has increased. The programs have been expanded to include critical courses in Civil and Chemical Engineering.
Introduction This paper serves as an update on a successful two-part program implemented in 2002 in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Houston: “Redshirt” Camps and subsequent Collaborative Learning Workshops (CLW). This retention program was implemented with the goal of increasing the alarming pass rates (hovering in the 50-60% range for years) in two sophomore level Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) required courses, Electromagnetics (ECE 2317, officially titled “Applied Electricity an Magnetism”) and ECE
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Claydon, F., & Barr, B., & Shattuck, D., & Long, S., & Ruchhoeft, J., & Trenor, J. (2005, June), Collaborative Learning As A Tool For Retention Of Engineering Students:An Update On The Success Of Engineering ‘Redshirt’ Campsand Collaborative Learning Workshops At The University Of Houston Cullen College Of Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15254
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