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Enhancing the Educational Experience in Introductory Engineering Courses

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.527.1 - 24.527.14



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Paper Authors


Ramakrishnan Sundaram Gannon University

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Dr. Ramakrishnan Sundaram is on the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Gannon University, Erie, PA where he is a Professor. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. His areas of research include digital signal and image processing, artificial neural networks, and outreach in STEM education.

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ENHANCING THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN INTRODUCTORY ENGINEERING COURSESAbstractThis paper outlines the restructure of the content and delivery of an introductoryengineering seminar course for first-year undergraduate students using core servicelearning project experiences to shape early student learning of engineering design andpractice. The First-Year Seminar in Engineering (FYSE) is a critical entry-level coursefor undergraduate engineering majors in accredited degree programs (accreditation by theAccreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)) at institutions of highereducation. The course, which is offered in the Fall term (August to December), isdesigned to orient new students to the University and introduce engineering as aprofessional field. In addition, the course is intended to link knowledge and application ofengineering principles to professional ethics and values, and to foster the academic andpersonal growth of the students. In order to teach engineering design and practice in thecontext of society, ethics, and economics, the course has been restructured byincorporating one or more community-based engineering projects as the core theme ofthe course. These projects have clearly identified stakeholders and an operating budgetfor engineering designs to be implemented. The students work in teams to acquire skillsrelated to teamwork, leadership, and project management Service learning is important inthe engineering profession and must be integrated into the engineering curriculum at anearly stage of career development. The students are assigned to teams and are expected tofollow clearly defined phases of project development. During the first half of the term,the students (a) identify the issues in the project (b) develop the specifications (c) preparethe conceptual design (d) provide the detailed design (e) develop and submit a proposalfor evaluation and assessment by the stakeholders. The proposal chosen to fit well-defined criteria on cost effectiveness, ease of installation, modular assembly/disassembly,simplicity and effectiveness of design is then built by all the students in the class duringthe second half of the term. The students are re-assigned to teams which work ondifferent aspects of the implementation of the chosen design. This paper will also discussthe rubrics developed for the assessment of the outcomes.

Sundaram, R. (2014, June), Enhancing the Educational Experience in Introductory Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20419

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