Asee peer logo

Faculty and Student Perceptions of Project-Enhanced Learning in Early Engineering Education: Barriers, Benefits, and Breakthroughs

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Novel Pedagogies 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

23.591.1 - 23.591.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19605

Download Count

53

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

M. Razi Nalim P.E. Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

visit author page

Prof. Razi Nalim has over 25 years of practical and analytical experience in combustion, explosions, engines, and non-steady flow related areas in industry, academia, and government. His career began in internal-combustion engine emissions control, cogeneration systems, and engine testing. After his doctorate, Dr. Nalim went to NASA Glenn Research Center to study unsteady flow devices for propulsion and power. He has received several patents and published over a hundred technical papers related to pulsed flow, combustion systems, and biological fluid flow. He established the Combustion & Propulsion Research Laboratory in Indianapolis and a pioneering Purdue University research program in wave rotor constant-volume combustion in collaboration with engine industry. He was twice awarded the Abraham Max Distinguished Professorship, as well as the Frank Burley Distinguished Professorship – the highest honors of the Purdue University School of Engineering and Technology for research and service accomplishments, respectively. He has consulting experience related to injury and patent litigation, emissions testing, combustion, and design of jets, and has given invited lectures at major institutions worldwide. He served overseas as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

visit author page

biography

Manikanda K Rajagopal Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

visit author page

Manikanda Rajagopal earned his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India in 2002. He obtained his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras, India in 2009. Subsequently, he worked at General Motors Technical Center for 2 years with specialization in external aerodynamics . Later, he joined as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Combustion and Propulsion Research Laboratory, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, USA. His research interests includes Combustion, Propulsion, Gas dynamics, CFD and Engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Robert J Helfenbein Indiana University-IUPUI, School of Education

visit author page

Rob Helfenbein is Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at Indiana University-IUPUI and Director of the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education (CUME). He earned his Ph.D. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Helfenbein offers courses in Teaching Secondary Social Studies and graduate level courses in curriculum theory, qualitative research methods, social foundations, and urban education. Dr. Helfenbein has published and edited numerous research articles and book chapters about contemporary education analysis in urban contexts in journal such as Curriculum Inquiry, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Educational Studies, The Urban Review, the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, and co-edited the volumes Unsettling Beliefs: Teaching Theory to Teachers (2008) and Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context (2012). In 2008, Dr. Helfenbein served as the Section Chair for Critical Perspectives and Practices of AERA Division B-Curriculum Studies followed by serving as overall Program Chair for Division B in 2009 and was nominated into the Professors of Curriculum at AERA 2011. He is currently Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and President of the Foundation for Curriculum Theory.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Faculty and Student Perceptions of Project-Enhanced Learning in Early Engineering Education: Barriers, Benefits, and BreakthroughsAbstractThe application of problem-based learning (PBL) to undergraduate engineering education hasemerged as an area of research interest over the past few decades, although it does not appear tobe the dominant pedagogy for most engineering programs. A related form of active learning isproject-enhanced learning (PEL), specifically designed as a supplement to but not a replacementfor traditional teaching methods in early engineering science courses. Project-enhanced learning(PEL) is an approach to active learning in highly analytical engineering and science courses. It issimilar to problem-based learning (PBL) in providing and inductive learning, but is intended tocomplement rather than replace the necessary deductive learning, and to support integrativethinking and student motivation.Data collected from instructors and engineering students engaged in PEL were examined usingextended-term mixed-method research design (ETMM), examined perceived benefits andbarriers to PEL as an intervention for improved student learning. This design includes five inter-related principles: (a) developing a long-term time-line, (b) using theory and data to informdecisions, (c) paying attention to formative and summative components of the study, (d) creatingsharply focused causal questions regarding impact of the program, and (e) using a variety ofquantitative and qualitative evidence to support claims. ETMM enables researchers to remainattentive to contextual factors shaping program implementation and to changes inimplementation over time. Instructors expressed satisfaction with improved student motivation,interaction, and socialization, which may help with student success and retention in engineering.The case study included interviews with faculty and students, focus groups, and surveyinstruments as part of the multiple data-point strategy. In terms of findings, instructors addingPEL to their instructional strategies expressed satisfaction with improved student motivation,interaction, and socialization, which may help with student success and retention in engineering.Most students reported satisfaction with their project experience, but some were not pleased withthe additional workload. Some instructors expressed concern about losing focus on thechallenging analytical course topics, but those who attempted PEL were able to achieveappropriate balance by designing project tasks to align well with the topics and limiting non-aligned project activity. Instructors expressed satisfaction with improved student motivation,interaction, and socialization, which may help with student success and retention in engineering.Instructors also expressed concern about losing focus on the challenging analytical course topics,but were able to achieve appropriate balance by designing project tasks to align well with thetopics and limiting non-aligned project activity. In some cases, instructors who initially resistedadopting PEL changed to a favorable disposition after interacting with students and faculty whowere favorable.Keywords - problem based learning; project enhanced learning; engineering education

Nalim, M. R., & Rajagopal, M. K., & Helfenbein, R. J. (2013, June), Faculty and Student Perceptions of Project-Enhanced Learning in Early Engineering Education: Barriers, Benefits, and Breakthroughs Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19605

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: © 2013 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