New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Electrical and Computer
13 HBCU electrical and computer engineering programs are cooperating on a project to implement and expand experimental centric based instructional pedagogy (ECP) in engineering curricula. The key goal of the project is the production of a larger number of better prepared African American engineers, as well as other students who have a better public understanding of technology and its role in STEM education and policy. What is ECP and why should it lead to more and better educated African American engineers? The guiding hypothesis is that engineering education works best in a learning environment in which experimentation plays a central role rather than existing on the periphery as is too often the case at too many engineering schools. The cost of building, maintaining, supporting and using expensive, limited-access experimental facilities has historically made it difficult to fully integrate hands-on, hardware-based learning experiences into our classrooms. The recent availability of personal instrumentation (e.g. Mobile Studio, Analog Discovery, myDAQ and others) has so lowered the traditional barriers to implementation that ECP is now feasible just about anywhere and anytime. In this paper, we explore the barriers to making ECP a reality in first year ECE courses and circuits and electronics courses for non-majors. All of the partner schools have successfully changed their required circuits and electronics courses to incorporate experiments and other activities built around Analog Discovery. These courses were generally the first to be impacted by personal instrumentation at other institutions, so there was a lot of existing content available to be adapted/adopted by project partners in either lab courses or lecture course that previously had no hands-on component. First year and non-major courses share a common issue in that content cannot be very deep because the students involved have very little preparation except possibly in Physics classes (non-majors) and have limited or less relevant math preparation. Fortunately, researchers involved in other projects such as Mobile Hands-On STEM have developed non-major courses around myDAQ (Georgia Tech) and Mobile Studio/Analog Discovery (RPI, Rose-Hulman) and the EE Practicum (RIT) does something similar for first year students. The present status of ECP in such courses will be discussed along with results from student and instructor assessment, an effort that has benefitted greatly from the use of shared resources and tools. Key open issues will also be addressed including student background and motivation, both of which make first year and non-major students different from the usual second, third and fourth year ECE.
Connor, K. A., & Newman, D., & Gullie, K. A., & Astatke, Y., & Chouikha, M. F., & Kim, C. J., & Nare, O. E., & Attia, J. O., & Andrei, P., & Hobson, L. D. (2016, June), Experimental Centric Pedagogy in First-Year Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26833
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