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Faculty Perspectives on Service-Learning in Engineering Education: Challenges and Opportunities

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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

Community Engagement Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

23.596.1 - 23.596.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19610

Download Count

57

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Paper Authors

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Bowa George Tucker UMass Lowell

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Dr. Bowa George Tucker is a research fellow for the National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning through Service and Engineering for the Common Good in the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in Higher Education Administration in 2010. Dr. Tucker has extensive experience in program management and evaluation of multi-year, multimillion dollar partnership programs. His expertise includes assessment in teaching and learning outcomes in k-12 and in higher education, diversity, leadership, community outreach, and curriculum development.

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David O Kazmer University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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Olga Pierrakos James Madison University

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Dr. Olga Pierrakos is an associate professor and founding faculty member of the James Madison University Department of Engineering, which graduated its inaugural class in May 2012. At JMU, Dr. Pierrakos is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (CIEE) and director of the Advanced Thermal Fluids Laboratory. Her interests in engineering education research center around recruitment and retention, engineer identity, engineering design instruction and methodology, learning through service, problem based learning methodologies, assessment of student learning, as well as complex problem solving. Her other research interests lie in cardiovascular fluid mechanics, sustainability, and K-12 engineering outreach. Dr. Pierrakos is a 2009 NSF CAREER Awardee. Dr. Pierrakos holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Chris Swan Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5670-8938

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Angela R Bielefeldt University of Colorado, Boulder

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Dr. Angela Bielefeldt is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering (CEAE). She is currently the associate chair for Undergraduate Education in CEAE and has served as the ABET assessment coordinator since 2008. She began incorporating service-learning (SL) projects into the capstone design course for environmental engineering in 2001. This began her journey to determine how to rigorously assess the learning outcomes for students who worked on SL projects as compared to other types of projects in the course. Her engineering education research interests include students' attitudes and knowledge about sustainable engineering, engineering ethics, and attracting and retaining women in engineering.

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Kurt Paterson P.E. Michigan Technological University

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Kurt Paterson is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and director of Michigan Tech's D80 Center which offers contribution-based learning, research and service opportunities for students with the poorest 80% of humanity. Dr. Paterson is a noted educator, workshop facilitator, and public speaker on community engagement, and leads several initiatives for learning engineering through service, recently leading ASEE’s newest division, Community Engagement in Engineering Education. He is PI on several research projects assessing the impacts of community engagement on students, faculty, and communities around the world.

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Annie Soisson Tufts University

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Dr. Annie Soisson is the associate director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Tufts University. She works with faculty to foster teaching innovation and to facilitate improved learning outcomes for students. Her areas of interest are service learning, diversity, team teaching and interdisciplinary learning. She earned graduate degrees in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Boston University.

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Abstract

Faculty Perspectives on Service-Learning in Engineering Education: Challenges and Opportunities Service-learning is a teaching method in which students participate in organized serviceactivity for academic credit to meet identified community issues, with reflection by the studentson their service experience to further their understanding of course content. Over the past twodecades, service-learning has proliferated in higher education as a viable teaching and learningmethod. The pedagogy continues to gain momentum, and many colleges and universities in theUnited States have designed their engineering curriculum with hands on activities, includingservice-learning. Nevertheless, despite the curriculum overhaul, and increase in service-learningcourses in engineering, there has been limited study to evaluate the experiences of facultymembers that integrate service-learning in their courses. This study investigates how engineering faculty across different schools and departmentsdesign their service-learning courses. A qualitative research method based on direct facultyinterviews is used to make sense of their first-hand experiences and the ways that they intersect.Specifically, thirty interviews were conducted with engineering service-learning practitioners toexplore their interests, challenges, and impact of service-learning. Analysis of the interviewreveals 1) faculty members who are passionate about service-learning tend to play a leading rolein promoting service-learning within their institution; 2) faculty’s primary interest in integratingservice-learning is predominantly motivated by their teaching and student learning; 3) thechallenges that faculty encounter is related to course design, resource limitations, increase inworkload, and lack of adequate support from their institutions. The discussion focuses on theareas that appear to limit the effectiveness of service-learning; limitations and directions forfuture research are identified.

Tucker, B. G., & Kazmer, D. O., & Pierrakos, O., & Swan, C., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Paterson, K., & Soisson, A. (2013, June), Faculty Perspectives on Service-Learning in Engineering Education: Challenges and Opportunities Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19610

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