New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
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
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: © 2016 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