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Exploring Students’ Class Perceptions in the Development of a First-Year Engineering Design Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Design in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Lilianny Virguez University of Florida

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Lilianny Virguez is a Lecturer at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education at University of Florida. She holds a Masters' degree in Management Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. She has work experience in engineering and has taught engineering courses at the first-year level.Her research interests include motivation to succeed in engineering with a focus on first-year students.

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Pamela L. Dickrell University of Florida

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Dr. Pamela Dickrell is the Associate Director of the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education, in the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Her role as Associate Director of the Institute focuses on effective teaching methods and hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate student engagement and retention. Dr. Dickrell received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, specializing in Tribology. Her current research areas include first-year programs, hands-on and makerspace leanring, and retention of a diverse student population.

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Developing effective courses requires inputs from various stakeholders including students. In addition, students’ perceptions of courses and their associated activities have been related to students’ motivation to pursue and persist in an engineering major. Recognizing the importance of these views, this research paper investigates first year-students’ perceptions of an Engineering Design class that is being developed emphasizing the Human-Centered design process. The course, Engineering Design & Society, is structed as a hands-on approach to human-centered first-year design, where students learn about the human-centered design process, learn maker skills including: solid modeling, 3D printing, microcontroller based sensors, actuators, & programming. Multidisciplinary groups of students then use those maker skills and the human-centered design process to create a functional prototype to serve a societal based need. We used the MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation to explore the ways students perceived the pilot version of the class offered during a Summer term. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected by means of an online survey. We take a mixed-method approach hoping to adequately represent students’ reasons behind their quantitative scores. We expect to identify aspects of the class that are both meeting the overall course goals and supporting students’ academic motivation as well as aspects of the class that might need improvement according to students’ observations. The results of this analysis will help in the ongoing development of the class and ultimately increase the quality of the new course to better support students’ academic motivation and success.

Virguez, L., & Dickrell, P. L. (2019, June), Exploring Students’ Class Perceptions in the Development of a First-Year Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32810

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