June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Educational Research and Methods
15.466.1 - 15.466.14
Engagement in an Undergraduate Heat Transfer Course Outside of the Classroom
This paper describes a curriculum and a course format for teaching assistant-led sessions aiming to foster student interest and increase engagement in an introductory undergraduate heat transfer course. Evidence of engagement from records of participation in optional extra credit assignments and optional teaching assistant-led sessions are presented. These data indicate that increases in participation in optional activities are correlated with increases in course performance.
Heat transfer instruction is common to many undergraduate mechanical and chemical engineering departments throughout the country and the world, and the available coursework material and teaching practices in this particular discipline are among the most mature in these departments. Heat transfer plays a central role in modern societal needs, in particular energy conversion processes such as the combustion of fossil fuels, which is responsible for a large fraction of green house gas emissions.
Astin and Pace have suggested that increases in student involvement and quality of effort are associated with increases in learning., Based on this theory and the importance of the subject matter we formulated the research question, “Does out-of-class engagement in heat transfer lead to increases in learning as measured by course performance?” Answering this question would allow educators to make more informed decisions about how to encourage learning.
There is an extensive history of pedagogical research on student engagement, much of which has made progress on defining the concept of engagement. There are many different aspects of student engagement in university courses as engagement stands at the crossroads of interest, involvement, excitement, choice, attitude, behavior, and opportunity. Pace used the term quality of effort and, in his view, “quality of effort describes voluntary behavior. It reflects initiative. It describes the strength and the scope of personal investment that students are making for their own higher education.” Astin used the term involvement and considered the involved student to be someone who “devotes considerable energy to studying, spends a lot of time on campus, participates actively in student organizations, and interacts frequently with faculty members and other students.” He also states that “the extent to which students are able to develop their talents in college is a direct function of the amount of time and effort they devote to activities designed to produce these gains.” Astin suggests that “greater use of active rather than passive modes of instruction” would increase students’ level of involvement. More recently Chen et al. determined that student engagement is affected by faculty in the classroom and suggested that future studies of engagement should investigate faculty-student interactions. Here, we look into engagement through the effort that students put forth outside the classroom which may be a proxy for their initiative or involvement in the course.
Parikh, S., & Chen, H., & Goodson, K., & Sheppard, S. (2010, June), Engagement In An Undergraduate Heat Transfer Course Outside Of The Classroom Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16191
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