East Lansing, Michigan
July 26, 2020
July 26, 2020
July 28, 2020
This informational paper describes an approach to utilizing undergraduate teaching assistants (UGTAs) in addressing challenges posed by using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and three-dimensional (3D) printing in a hands-on, first year engineering design class. At Wayne State University, we began using CAD and 3D printing tools to introduce design principles to first-year engineering students in the fall 2017 semester. This was prompted by the desire to involve students with CAD at an earlier stage of their academic careers. Assisting in instructing these principles, UGTAs provide hands-on support for students both during and outside of class and contribute significantly to the operation and maintenance of the 3D printing lab. Near the beginning of the semester, in-class support is focused on helping students during lectures. Near the middle of the semester, their in-class focus becomes more of a project management role as class activities transition to final project design and development. As project managers, each UGTA is responsible for two or three teams and provides guidance with navigating through engineering challenges that may arise. Outside of class, office hours are provided at least once per day by the UGTAs where students can receive help on assignments or other questions related to this course. In addition to providing direct support to students, UGTAs carry the bulk of the load in ensuring designed parts are 3D printed and provided to students with minimum latency. In addition to reviewing component suitability for printing and starting new print jobs, the performance of routine maintenance is primarily performed by the UGTAs. Lab support during the project assembly phase and training in-coming UGTAs are also tasks performed by the UGTAs. This paper will provide an overview of our approach to incorporating the efforts of undergraduate teaching assistants into a first-year engineering design class to assist other institutions with integrating that same practice.
Kleinschrodt, M., & Lenn, J., & Jansons, M., & Potoff, J. (2020, July), First Year Engineering Student Success Enhancement Through the Support of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35761
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