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Evaluating The Outcomes Of A Service Learning Based Course In An Engineering Education Program: Preliminary Results Of The Assessment Of The Engineering Projects In Community Service Epics.

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Experiential Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.593.1 - 10.593.16



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Paper Authors

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Sara Tracy

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Jason Immekus

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Susan Maller

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

Evaluating the Outcomes of a Service-Learning Based Course in an Engineering Education Program: Preliminary Results of the Assessment of the Engineering Projects in Community Service - EPICS.

Jason C. Immekus, Susan J. Maller, Sara Tracy, & William C. Oakes Purdue University

Abstract Design courses embedded in service-learning are rapidly emerging within the curricula of many engineering programs. The learning outcomes service-learning courses seek to promote are well aligned with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology criteria 2000 (EC 2000)1. The Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program integrates engineering design with meeting the needs of the local community through a multi-disciplinary service-learning curricular structure. The EPICS courses can be counted for a wide range of courses in several disciplines, including capstone design in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. The approaches of EPICS to conceptualize and measure specific professional skills for program evaluation purposes are discussed. These include: social- responsibility, awareness of ethical issues, teamwork, and communication competence. Specifically, the theoretical framework used for scale construction, preliminary results, and evidence of the scales’ psychometric properties are provided. The aim of this paper is to provide information regarding the use of self-report measures to assess program outcomes.

1. Introduction Service-learning is the focus of considerable research and is a feature within many engineering programs. Within engineering education, design courses embedded in service- learning provide a way to promote students’ development of technical and professional skills for solving applied problems. The ability to create learning environments for engineering students to apply mathematical and scientific principles when solving applied problems is critical for preparing students for careers in engineering2. The need for engineering programs to produce students proficient in these skills upon graduation is reflected in ABET EC 2000. Service- learning courses may provide engineering programs one way to promote program, institution, and accreditation outcomes.

Service-learning seeks to promote student learning in the form of experiential education. Jaccoby and Associates3 define service-learning as, “a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development…” (p. 5). Collectively, definitions of service-learning agree that it “joins two complex concepts: community action, the ‘service,’ and efforts to learn from that action and connect what is learned to existing knowledge, the ‘learning’” (p. 2)4. Key factors of service-learning include reflection

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Tracy, S., & Immekus, J., & Maller, S., & Oakes, W. (2005, June), Evaluating The Outcomes Of A Service Learning Based Course In An Engineering Education Program: Preliminary Results Of The Assessment Of The Engineering Projects In Community Service Epics. Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15080

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015