June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.414.1 - 23.414.9
Development of a First-Year Course Classification SchemeA proliferation of first-year engineering programs exists nationwide. These are often designedfrom scratch and tend to be “personal courses” – designed by instructors to cover what they feelis important. Therefore, while they may be prerequisites to second-year courses, first-yearengineering programs are not necessarily integrated into the curriculum. Further, since they areoften designed with little consideration for existing models, overall outcomes and content varywidely. This leads to, first, the issue of course developers “reinventing the wheel” as successfulmodels are not adequately disseminated. The problem is exacerbated by a lack of definition offirst year models: a developer may know what they want in a course, but how do they find acourse with similar outcomes with nothing more than “first-year engineering” as a description?Second, with little focus on specification of models for these courses, many courses become agrab bag of unrelated topics. The course meant to introduce engineering to a student may insteaddissuade them from continuing as they try to understand what engineering is.This paper will present results of an NSF project to define models of first-year engineeringcourses with associated outcomes. For example, courses may be best classified as engineeringdesign, engineering analysis, professional skills or some other classification system based oncourse outcomes.Results will be presented from a multifaceted approach. An analysis of approximately 30 syllabifor First-Year or Introduction to Engineering courses have been examined to identify course /learning objectives and any data on assessment methods, and these objectives grouped toestablish an initial classification scheme. A concurrent effort uses an Imen-Delphi procedure todefine and categorize expected outcomes and assessment methods in first-year courses. Multiplerounds of survey data will be collected and analyzed to build a similar classification scheme.Finally, an informal workshop will take place at a national conference to build consensus amonginterested parties; results from this workshop will be used to inform the Delphi study as itprogresses from the initial round to one where the classification scheme is identified andfinalized.After establishing the classification schemes, a workshop will be held in which participantsidentify assessment methods and gaps in those methods in assessing each component of theseintroduction courses.Specific goals include (1) categorize and define a classification scheme for first-year courses,including expected outcomes and assessment methods and (2) identify the assessment gaps.This paper will present results of the study, including results of the analysis of syllabi, the initialresults from the first workshop and results from the initial pass of the Delphi study, indicating aninitial classification scheme and identification of assessment methods and potential assessmentgaps.
Reid, K., & Hertenstein, T. J., & Fennell, G. T., & Spingola, E. M., & Reeping, D. (2013, June), Development of a First-Year Engineering Course Classification Scheme Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19428
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