June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
This paper evaluates a new pedagogical approach: “Developing Engineering Education Products via Project Ownership Oriented Learning” (DEEP POOL). We hypothesize that student engagement, enthusiasm, and interest in laboratory work increases when labs are structured so student activities support the entrepreneurial development, construction, testing, and commercialization of real products for an engineering company. Increased student excitement and participation should produce student achievement of Learning Outcomes on par with or better than conventional lab courses.
Jacksonville University’s 2017 Fall Mechanics of Materials course was DEEP POOL structured to focus student laboratory time toward creating, fabricating, testing, and analyzing new and novel test sample coupons for the PASCO EX-5515A Materials Stress-Strain Experiment in collaboration with Engineer Inc., an engineering education technology social enterprise state-up. The lab exposed students to topics typically taught in conventional Mechanics of Materials laboratories. However, weekly exercises were also intentionally structured to map students’ efforts directly to development of new commercial products for Engineer Inc.
Student attainment of Learning Outcomes was evaluated to measure DEEP POOL effectiveness. Enrolled students who agreed to participate after informed consent notification (n = 7) were the study population. No additional participant recruiting was done. Participants self-assessed their own Learning Outcome achievement via pre/post surveys. Complementary direct assessment occurred using different exam problems covering similar concepts embedded within assessments given at the beginning and end of class. Course impact was interpreted based on pre/post differences between assessments both indirect and direct. To mitigate small sample size, one-tailed Wilcoxon Signed Rank Testing was applied to both data sets. To provide data visualization, descriptive statistics were also evaluated by comparing pre/post averages of students’ self-reported results.
Indirect assessment showed that exposure to DEEP POOL moved students’ averaged self-reported Learning Outcome achievement up across all outcomes assessed. The largest improvements (with averages increasing 1.71 points on a 4-point scale) were in skills related to ABET (k) and ABET (h). The next largest gain (the average increased 1.29 points on a 4-point scale) was in ABET (b). One-tailed Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test of indirect assessment data corroborate these results. Questions related to ABET (k) (Z = −2.366, p < 0.05), (h) (Z = −2.023, p < 0.05), and (b) (Z = −2.366, p < 0.05) revealed statistical improvement (≥ 95% confidence) in the median values. Questions related to ABET (c) (Z = −2.155, p < 0.05) and (g) (Z = −1.955, p < 0.05) showed no statistical improvement (≥ 95% confidence) in the median values; and questions related to ABET (a), (d), and (e) did not meet the hypothesis testing threshold because the sample size, n, was too small.
One-Tailed Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests of direct assessment data revealed that one question related to ABET (e) (Z = −1.787, p < 0.05) showed no statistical improvement (≥ 95% confidence) in the medians. Other questions linked to ABET (a), (b), (c), (e), (h), and (k) did not meet the hypothesis testing threshold because n was too small. Critically however, direct assessment of ABET (c) (Z = −2.023, p < 0.05) “an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints” did reveal statistical improvement (≥ 95% confidence) in the medians for student Learning Outcome achievement. This skill set is strongly associated with entrepreneurial new product development central to DEEP POOL.
In summary, this study revealed indirect/direct assessment evidence of improvement in three/one ABET-linked Learning Outcomes respectively. This result, along with the preponderance of metrics that did not meet the threshold for evaluation, motivate need for a follow-on study comparing the learning effectiveness of DEEP POOL versus a control, a conventionally-taught laboratory course. Should DEEP POOL’s effectiveness prove equal to or better than its conventional analog, this novel laboratory pedagogy can emerge as a powerful way to conduct entrepreneurial new product development activities in engineering laboratories in partnership with industry.
Traum, M. J., & Selvi, E., & Hanlon, A. (2019, June), Evaluation of DEEP POOL on Student Learning Outcomes Attainment Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32763
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