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Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Entrepreneurship Education in New Contexts

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.499.1 - 26.499.22



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Paper Authors


Ronald S Harichandran P.E. University of New Haven

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Ron Harichandran is Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering and is the PI of the grant entitled Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and a Leadership Cohort. Through this grant entrepreneurial thinking will be integrated into courses spanning all four years in seven ABET accredited engineering and computer science BS programs.

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of New Haven Orcid 16x16

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Tagliatela College of Engineering, University of New Haven, CT. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2008. She received her Bachelors of Engineering from MIT in 2000. Her research focuses on the nontraditional engineering student – understanding their motivations, identity development, and impact of prior engineering-related experiences. Her work dwells into learning in informal settings such as summer camps, military experiences, and extra-curricular activities. Other research interests involve validation of CFD models for aerospace applications as well as optimizing efficiency of thermal-fluid systems.

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Nadiye O. Erdil University of New Haven

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Nadiye O. Erdil is an assistant professor of industrial engineering and engineering and operations management at the University of New Haven. Her research interests include use of statistical methods and lean tools for quality and process improvement, and use of information technology in operations management. Her work is primarily in manufacturing and healthcare delivery operations.

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Cheryl Q Li University of New Haven


Jean Nocito-Gobel University of New Haven

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Jean Nocito-Gobel, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Haven, received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has been actively involved in a number of educational initiatives in the Tagliatela College of Engineering including KEEN and PITCH, and is the coordinator for the first-year Intro to Engineering course. Her professional interests include modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater and surface water systems, as well as engineering education reform.

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Samuel D. Daniels University of New Haven

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Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online ModulesAbstract Engineering graduates who will be leaders in today’s rapidly changing environment mustpossess an entrepreneurial mindset and a variety of professional skills in addition to technicalknowledge and skills. Efforts at developing technical communication, project management, andteamwork skills have been underway at many institutions over the last decade. A newer initiativeis the development of entrepreneurial thinking skills. Entrepreneurial thinking requires anenterprising attitude, multidimensional problem solving, productive collaboration, illuminatingcommunication, and resolute integrity. Entrepreneurial thinking results in the development of asound technical solution that addresses customer needs, is feasible from a business perspective,and has societal benefit. It is difficult to develop the many professional skills needed by today’s graduates withinthe framework of engineering programs that are crowded by technical requirements. A creativeapproach that utilizes online learning modules—which are integrated into existing engineeringcourses—to develop entrepreneurial thinking skills amongst all engineering and computerscience students in the ___ is described. We expect to develop 17 modules covering a variety oftopics over a two-year period, and 7 of these modules are being developed now. Each modulewill contain readings, short videos and interactive self-assessment exercises and will beintegrated into an engineering or computer science course. The modules will be distributed intocourses spanning all four years of undergraduate programs. Content experts both within and outside the university will develop the modules. Alldevelopers undergo comprehensive training at the University of ___ and work closely with anonline course designer so that each module has high quality and a consistent structure.Instructors of courses in which the modules are deployed also undergo training so that they caneffectively facilitate the asynchronous online learning of their students. Students learn throughthe online modules outside of class hours. Instructors use a flipped classroom approach tocontextualize content learned through the online modules with a project or problem relevant tothe course. They work closely with an expert familiar with the concepts of entrepreneurialthinking so that the project or problem is aligned with entrepreneurial thinking learningoutcomes. Deployment of the online modules will begin in spring 2015 in several courses. Forexample, the module on Developing Customer Awareness and Quickly Testing Concepts throughCustomer Engagement will be integrated into an existing project in the first year Introduction toEngineering course in which students design, build and test a puzzle cube. The paper will detailimplementation of this module and others deployed in the spring. The effectiveness of the online learning modules is assessed through surveys administeredto students before and after they complete each course. Preliminary results from the assessmentwill be presented at the conference. The work described in this paper is funded by the ___.

Harichandran, R. S., & Carnasciali, M., & Erdil, N. O., & Li, C. Q., & Nocito-Gobel, J., & Daniels, S. D. (2015, June), Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23838

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