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Expanded Advice from Coordinators of Large-enrollment First-year Engineering Courses

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Size, Civility, and the Classroom Culture: Setting Class Tone with a Student-centered Perspective

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

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Paper Authors


Jenny L Lo Virginia Tech

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Jenny Lo is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She has been the co-coordinator of a first-semester introductory engineering course and has taught multiple first-year engineering courses.

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Kacie J. Hodges PE Virginia Tech Dept of Engineering Education

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Kacie Hodges, PE is an Advanced Instructor in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech. She holds BS and Master's degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech with a focus in Hydrology. Kacie is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Virginia and has worked in both the private and public sectors as an engineer prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech. She focuses on the teaching and implementation of Freshman Engineering courses.

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Wm. Michael Butler Virginia Tech

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Wm. Michael Butler is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is a 23 year aerospace industry design professional with B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD. in Engineering Education also from Virginia Tech. His engineering education research is focused on the use of design tools and live simulation in engineering design education as a means to better prepare students for industry. He is a Senior Member of AIAA and a member of ASEE. Michael is also a co-inventor on two patents relating to air vehicle design.

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Tamara Knott Virginia Tech

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Tamara Knott is Associate Professor of engineering education at Virginia Tech. She is the Course Coordinator for one of the three first-year engineering courses offered by the department and also teaches in the graduate program. Her interests include assessment and pedagogy. Within ASEE, she is a member of the First-year Programs Division, the Women in Engineering Division, the Educational Research and Methods Division, and the Design in Engineering Education Division. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is the Faculty Adviser for SWE at VT.

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Coordinators of common courses often are looking for strategies to enhance the quality and efficiency of the management of curricular content, training of personnel, and overall logistics. This paper aims to expand upon the coordination experiences and best practices of faculty coordinators at <state institution>, some of whom have been managing a large enrollment introductory engineering course for several years [1]. Since 2012, enrollment has increased from 1200+ to 1700+ first-year students. In fall 2013, the course underwent a significant change in curriculum and the format of the delivery to students. This current model means greater teaching responsibilities for both faculty and graduate teaching assistants. New challenges for coordination based on increasing enrollment, format of delivery, technology-related modifications, significant alterations to the curriculum, assessment for university and departmental initiatives, availability of lab resources for prototyping and testing, and personnel changes are revealed. These include, but are not limited to, replacement of the online learning management system, hiring of a large number of instructors, and administration of pre and post surveys for internal feedback and external research studies. In addition, the department is considering how coordination fits in with increased instructor autonomy. While this paper will address some of the basic issues that those teaching common courses have, such as fairness across sections [2] and orientation of new instructional staff, the focus is on experiences and practices that address the more recent changes to the course. The authors aim to provide new and useful ideas for course coordinators.

References [1] <conference proceeding by some of the authors> [2]

Lo, J. L., & Hodges, K. J., & Butler, W. M., & Knott, T. (2016, June), Expanded Advice from Coordinators of Large-enrollment First-year Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26801

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