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Engineering Supplemental Instruction: Impact on Sophomore Level Engineering Courses

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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

Technical Session: Pedagogical Strategies and Classroom Techniques for Teaching Assistants

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.645.1 - 26.645.13



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Paper Authors


Charles Algeo Wilson IV Louisiana State University

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Charles is a PhD student in Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University. In 2012, he earned his master’s degree in Medical and Health Physics and has since been working towards a PhD. During his studies, he has worked actively with the LSU STEM Talent and Expansion Program and LSU Center for Academic Success helping with different methods that aim to improve how STEM college students learn including tutorial centers, PLTL, SI, and recitation programs.

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Adrienne Steele Louisiana State University

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Warren N. Waggenspack Jr. Louisiana State University


Wei-Hsung Wang Ph.D. Louisiana State University

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Dr. Wei-Hsung Wang is an associate professor of the Center for Energy Studies at Louisiana State University (LSU), an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Environmental Sciences and Physics & Astronomy at LSU as well as the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and a clinical associate professor of radiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. He teaches graduate-level Radiation Protection and Exposure Evaluation, Environmental Radiological Evaluation and Remediation, and Nuclear Facility Safety courses. He is also Director of Radiation Safety Office at LSU and administers a comprehensive radiological control program under a broad scope radioactive material license.

Dr. Wang received his B.S. in geology from National Taiwan University, M.S. in environmental health engineering from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. in health physics from Purdue University. He is certified by the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP), the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and the Board of Laser Safety. He is a member of the ANSI Z136 Technical Subcommittee on Laser Safety Control Measures and Training, the Editorial Board of Environmental Health Insights, Sigma Xi, and Phi Kappa Phi.

Dr. Wang has been a full member of the Health Physics Society (HPS) since 1993, and a plenary member of the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) since 1999. He has also served on the HPS Academic Education Committee (July 2007 to June 2010 and July 2011 to June 2017), the AAHP Professional Development Committee (July 2009 to June 2012), and the ABHP Part II Panel of Examiners (November 2008 to October 2015, currently vice chair). He was President of the Deep South Chapter HPS for four years and Co-Academic Dean of the 2014 HPS Professional Development School on Radiation Safety in Medicine. Dr. Wang has served as a radiological expert on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Radiological Ideas Workshop after the Fukushima nuclear incident. He was an invited panelist on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Radiation Protection Standards Workshop to discuss the potential changes to the NRC’s radiation protection regulations and guidance in light of recommendations in ICRP Publication 103.

Dr. Wang’s research interests focus on the development of feasible solutions to practical radiation protection and radiation detection issues. The majority of his work has emphasized operational radiation safety, radiation detection instrumentation, air monitoring methodology, and radioactive waste management. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, conference proceedings and abstracts, and book chapters. He has also chaired five graduate committees and served on another 16 graduate committees. In addition, he has served as a manuscript reviewer for four referred journals (i.e., Environmental Health Insight, Health Physics, Medical Physics, and Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A).

Dr. Wang received Commendation for Excellence in Teaching five times at LSU. He was the Herman Cember Memorial Lecturer at the 2013 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition in Montreal, Canada. He also holds a U.S. patent on a real-time video radiation exposure monitoring system.

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Linda Lee Ramsey Independent evaluator

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Engineering Supplemental Instruction: Impact on Sophomore Level Engineering Courses Active learning strategies, through newly focused engineering Supplemental Instruction(SI) sessions, were provided in sophomore level, gateway engineering courses at (XXX)beginning in the spring semester of 2013. This program operates as an independent subgroup ofthe university’s current SI program to allow particular focus on training engineering studentleaders with effective teaching skills specific to their discipline. The goal of this effort is toimprove student comprehension and passing rates in historically difficult gateway classes toengineering where most students fail or drop the course (earning D, F, or W). These coursesinclude statics, dynamics, fluids, strengths, thermodynamics, and circuits. SI leaders providingthe supplemental instruction sessions are required to attend the course lectures, to meet on aregular basis with the SI Coordinator and the course professor, to provide office hours forstudents, and to hold weekly sessions to review course material using active learning strategies.Implementing unbiased evaluation of the direct success of the program is difficult due todifferent instructors, different students, and other human factors; however, a few trends can beobserved. Reported herein are preliminary results of the program across four semesters (twospring, one summer, and one fall). On average for all courses included in this program, studentswho did not attend any SI sessions were 62.71 ± 0.06 % likely to pass with an A, B, or C. Thosewho attended only a few sessions (one to three) had a 66.8 ± 0.1 % likelihood of passing theclass. Students with regular session attendance (four or more sessions) had a fairly substantialincreased likelihood of passing the course, 78.0 ± 0.12 %. This difference is statisticallysignificant with a p value of less than 0.0001. Feedback from SI leaders show that the benefitsof this program extend beyond the impact on those enrolled in the courses—SI’s report anincrease in their own understanding of the material covered in these courses, greater confidencein their ability to lead discussions, as well as other positive professional and personal growth.

Wilson, C. A., & Steele, A., & Waggenspack, W. N., & Wang, W., & Ramsey, L. L. (2015, June), Engineering Supplemental Instruction: Impact on Sophomore Level Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23983

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