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Effective Teaching Methods In Lower Division Engineering Programs

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching/Learning Strategies

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.470.1 - 8.470.5



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Paper Authors

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Mohammoad Saifi

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Julie Wang

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Section 2071

Effective Teaching Methods in Lower Division Engineering Programs

Julie Y.-Z. Wang and Mohammad Saifi

Potomac State College of West Virginia University


Our teaching/learning strategy is to develop effective teaching and active learning methods for lower division engineering programs and prepare students for transferring to a four-year school successfully. One of the student learning attitudes is described as “Tell me, I will forget; Show me, I may remember; Involve me, I will understand.” It reflects the way whether students can learn effectively or not. In order to get students involved, we have developed several teaching methods for student active learning from the lectures of engineering fundamentals courses to hands-on design laboratory courses. The methods include teamwork, class/group discussion, peer tutoring/teaching, and problem solving skills. In each activity, students can be a learner or can be a teacher, to lead or to be led. It creates interaction between teacher and students. The hands-on laboratory courses reinforce the basic concepts that the students have learned from the lectures. To enhance the students’ laboratory experiences, computer-based design software has been used in the measurement and the design process. The student design projects are interdisciplinary. The projects integrate the knowledge from electrical/electronic, mechanical and computer programming. The design processes challenge students’ creativity and the ability to apply engineering principles to the design. Also the activities improve the teamwork and communication skills.

In addition to the classroom teaching/learning, the field trips to the industrial sites and the meetings with engineering professionals help students to link the real world designs and problems. The outcomes are evaluated and the assessment shows that getting students involved to the actives improves the students learning. The rate of retention and successful transfer to 4- year school is increased. In this paper, we would like to present some experience in teaching and learning in engineering education.


Potomac State College is a regional campus of West Virginia University. The two-year engineering program has an articulation agreement with the University. Most freshman engineering students are from the tri-state region, and they have various backgrounds. Some

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Saifi, M., & Wang, J. (2003, June), Effective Teaching Methods In Lower Division Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11996

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