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Evaluation of Interactive Multidisciplinary Curricula in a Residential Summer Program (Evaluation)

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division Evaluation: Exploring the Impact of Summer Programs on K-12 Youth (Part 2)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Guo Zheng Yew Texas Tech University

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Guo Zheng Yew is currently pursuing his doctorate in civil engineering at Texas Tech University with a focus on finite element analysis and glass mechanics. He also teaches an introductory course to freshman engineering students. Prior to his graduate work in the United States, he obtained his Bachelor's degree from Malaysia and has participated in research projects involving offshore structures in Malaysia.

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Paula Ann Monaco Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Paula Monaco, E.I.T., successfully defended her dissertation research Spring 2016 and will begin a career in the water/wastewater reuse treatment. Paula has led multiple outreach summer programs at TTU and provides support to student organizations within the college of engineering. Her technical research focuses include; anti-fouling and scaling RO technology and pharmaceutical and personal care product screening to predict environmental exposure from passive treatment discharges.

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Aimee Cloutier Texas Tech University

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Aimee Cloutier is a Ph.D. student studying Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech in 2012. Her research interests include biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, prosthetic limb design, and STEM education.

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Audra N. Morse P.E. Texas Tech University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University. She leads the Engineering Opportunities Center which provides retention, placement and academic support services to WCOE students. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems.

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Previous studies have indicated that women account for about 18% of the engineering degrees awarded in the United States and Canada. Consistently low population of women in engineering is often attributed to discrimination, the perception that engineering is a masculine domain, and lack of understanding about the roles and responsibilities of an engineer. In order to increase participation of women in engineering, universities develop outreach programs designed to better educate students (and the public) about engineering. Programs in the form of information sessions, seminars or research activities are informative, but may lack the multidisciplinary element on how the various engineering disciplines complement one another in a multitude of industries and are often less interactive or student-centered. In order to emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of engineering and increase women's interest in pursuing engineering, a week-long residential summer program was implemented for female high school juniors and seniors implementing interactive and problem-based learning. Instructors from six engineering disciplines designed interactive and outcome-based topic lessons to introduce their disciplines. Lessons were structured to be student-centered using a flipped classroom model; students prepared for classes with short reading assignments, and class time was used for activities highlighting the engineering design process and physical concepts relevant to each discipline. To evaluate the efficacy of the lessons and the flipped classroom structure, a series of mixed assessment methods was implemented, which include: (i) instructor performance indicators – evaluated by students – measuring the quality of content, activities, delivery and relevance of the entire curriculum; and, (ii) students’ self-assessment of key personal, interpersonal and intellectual traits before and after the program. Qualitative analysis of student responses to targeted prompts was also performed to observe shifts in students’ perception of engineering during the program. Key results include high scores in instructor performance indicators suggesting that adequate emphasis of relevant concepts by instructors during lessons, requisite student preparatory work before lessons and interactive Q&A-style discussions contributed to a higher degree of perceived comprehension by students. Such high scores also support previous literature showing that students prefer an interactive, student-centered classroom structure. Qualitative results yield an evolved and matured perception of engineering among student participants and a more complete understanding of the individual engineering disciplines. Overall, evaluations instruments concluded the program structure was well received by students, and it sets the precedent for similar outreach programs in the future, enabling a continuous and long-term evaluation of the efficacy of an interactive curriculum.

Yew, G. Z., & Monaco, P. A., & Cloutier, A., & Morse, A. N. (2016, June), Evaluation of Interactive Multidisciplinary Curricula in a Residential Summer Program (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26782

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