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Engineering Learning Communities: Relationships, Results, and Retention

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Student Learning and Assessment II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.597.1 - 22.597.8



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Paper Authors

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Pamela Renee Lockwood-Cooke West Texas A&M University

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Freddie J Davis P.E. West Texas A&M University


Emily M. Hunt P.E. West Texas A&M University

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Dr. Emily M. Hunt is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at West Texas A&M University.

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Linked-Class Problem-Based Learning in Engineering Engineering Statics and Calculus II Learning CommunitiesPamela Lockwood-Cooke, Ph.D.Associate Professor of MathematicsMathematics, Physics, and ChemistryWest Texas A&M UniversityFreddie J. Davis, Ph.D.Department Head, Engineering and Computer ScienceWest Texas A&M UniversityEmily M. Hunt, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Mechanical EngineeringEngineering and Computer ScienceWest Texas A&M*ABSTRACTOver the last few years, West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) Mathematics, Engineering andScience faculty has used interdisciplinary projects as the basis for implementation of a linked-class approach to Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Using this method, faculty have overcome thelarge time commitment associated with implementation of PBL in a single course by integratingsmall components of the larger project into each of their classes and then linking thesecomponents with a culminating experience for all the classes. In order to enhance the PBLexperience for the students, first-year engineering learning communities were developed thatrequired dual enrollment in Calculus I and Fundamentals of Engineering classes. However, postassessment of the engineering retention data and student surveys indicated a need for retentionefforts once the students entered Engineering Statics and Calculus II. Current engineeringstudents enrolled in the learning community and progressing onto Engineering Statics andCalculus II also expressed their desire to move forward together in a continuing cohort.WTAMU faculty created a learning community based on common course objectives and PBL forEngineering Statics and Calculus II. The students were concurrently enrolled in these classes.This combined learning community and PBL experience addressed course concepts, reinforcedconnections between Engineering Statics and Calculus II, and provided real-world applicationsfor the students. Students viewed the experience as beneficial, increasing their understanding ofcontent and applications in each discipline.*corresponding authorBox 60767, Canyon, TX 79016806-651-5330 phone806-651-5259 fax

Lockwood-Cooke, P. R., & Davis, F. J., & Hunt, E. M. (2011, June), Engineering Learning Communities: Relationships, Results, and Retention Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17878

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