August 23, 2022
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June 29, 2022
Academic bridge courses are implemented to impact students’ academic success by revising fundamental concepts and skills necessary to successfully complete discipline-specific courses. The bridge courses are often short (one to three weeks) and highly dense in content (commonly mathematics or math-related applications). With the support of the NSF-funded (DUE - Division of Undergraduate Education) STEM Center at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), we designed a course for upcoming engineering majors (i.e., first-year students and transfer students) that consists of a two-week-long pre-semester course organized into two main sessions. The first sessions (delivered in the mornings) were synchronous activities focused on strengthening student academic preparedness and socio-academic integration and fostering networking leading to a strong STEM learning community. The second sessions (delivered in the afternoons) were asynchronous activities focused on discipline-specific content knowledge in engineering. The engineering concepts were organized via eight learning modules covering basic math operations, applied trigonometry, functions in engineering, applied physics, introduction to statics and Microsoft Excel, and engineering economics and its applied decision. All materials in the course were designed by engineering faculty (from the chair of the department to assistant professors and lecturers in engineering) and one educational research faculty (from the department of chemistry). The course design process started with a literature review on engineering bridge courses to understand prior work, followed by surveying current engineering faculty to propose goals for the course. The designed team met weekly after setting the course goals over two semesters. The design process was initiated with backward design principles (i.e., start with the course goals, then the assessments, end with the learning activities) and continued with ongoing revision. The work herein presents this new engineering bridge course’s goals, strategy, and design process. Preliminary student outcomes will be discussed based on the course’s first implementation during summer 2021.
Villalta-Cerdas, A., & Yildiz, F. (2022, August), Creating Significant Learning Experiences in an Engineering Technology Bridge Course: a backward design approach Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41970
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