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FAST learning: Follow Accomplishments of Senior Teams

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 1: It's All About Teams and Teamwork

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.769.1 - 26.769.14



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Paper Authors


Fernando Garcia Gonzalez Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Fernando Gonzalez joined FGCU as an Assistant Professor in the Software Engineering Program in the fall of 2013. Previously he has worked at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, the U.S. Department of Energy at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico and at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Gonzalez graduated from the University of Illinois in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He received his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida International University in 1992 and 1989. Dr. Gonzalez research interest includes the intelligent control of large scale autonomous systems, autonomous vehicles, discrete-event modeling and simulation and human signature verification.

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Janusz Zalewski Florida Gulf Coast University

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Janusz Zalewski, Ph.D., is a professor of computer science and software engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. Prior to an academic appointment, he worked for various nuclear research institutions, including the Data Acquisition Group of Superconducting Super Collider and Computer Safety and Reliability Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He also worked on projects and consulted for a number of private companies, including Lockheed Martin, Harris, and Boeing. Zalewski served as a chairman of the International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 5.4 on Industrial Software Quality, and of an International Federation of Automatic Control Technical Committee on Safety of Computer Control Systems. His major research interests include safety related, real-time embedded and cyberphysical computer systems, and computing education.

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FAST learning: Follow Accomplishments of Senior Teams  The freshmen year is a difficult time for most students. At this point in their education they aredeciding what major to pursue, discovering their personal strengths and weaknesses andwondering what their future will be like in their chosen major or the major they are considering.At ___ we offer an introductory course, Introduction to Computer Science that is a briefintroduction to many of the topics they will study as part of their Software Engineering coursework. This presents a challenge to faculty as well. Our program, like many programs at smalleruniversities, desires to recruit and retain as many of these students as possible whilesimultaneously filter out the students with a low probability of success. This is generallyaccomplished by carefully selecting a level of difficulty of assignments and exercises.Unfortunately we lose many students that have the capability to succeed but who are notmotivated or perhaps intimidated by the program. In this view we are experimenting with a newapproach aimed at removing some of the anxiety associated with the unknowns of their futureeducational experience.The FAST (Follow Accomplishments of Senior Teams) Learning Program aims to reach twogoals. The first is to recruit and retain capable freshmen students from our Introduction toComputer Science course and the second is to remove the anxiety they have stemming from theunknowns of their future educational experiences. The program works by showcasing theaccomplishments of our senior students to our freshmen in the Introduction to Computer Sciencecourse. We invite the senior students from senior level courses; Senior Software EngineeringProjects, Software Projects in Computer Networks, and Data Acquisition and Control. Each ofthese courses are project based which allows the senior students to present theiraccomplishments to the freshmen. The sessions are divided into two sections. The first is apresentation of all the student’s projects and the second is a panel discussion where the freshmenask questions to the senior students. Preliminary observations shows the freshmen having interestin the senior projects and an even greater interest in the level of engineering knowledge theseniors have obtained. They were impressed with the relevance of the projects to the program,the level of professionalism of the projects and the subsequent job offers some of the seniorshave received.We are implementing surveys to acquire data that can give some insight into the program’simpact. Since the results will be available before the publication of the paper, we will presentthese results in the draft and final versions of the paper.

Gonzalez, F. G., & Zalewski, J. (2015, June), FAST learning: Follow Accomplishments of Senior Teams Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24106

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