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First-year Project-Based Engineering: Secret Weapon for Student Success

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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

Two-Year College Division Transfer Topics Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

23.606.1 - 23.606.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19620

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

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Michael E. Pelletier Northern Essex Community College

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Pelletier is an adjunct instructor and professor emeritus of Computer Technology & Engineering at Northern Essex Community College. He holds a B.E.E. from Villanova University, a M.S.E.E. from Northeastern University and completed additional graduate work in Computer Engineering at Northeastern University.

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Linda A. Desjardins Northern Essex Community College

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Paul Chanley Northern Essex Community College

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Chanley is program coordinator of Engineering Science & Electronic Technology, Mathematics Faculty Member and Full Professor at Northern Essex Community College.

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Lori Heymans Northern Essex Community College

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Abstract

First-year Project-Based Engineering: Secret Weapon for Student SuccessAbstractCourse beginningsTwo sections of a transferable, project-based, engineering course emphasizing computerprogramming in MATLAB were taught in the fall 2011 semester and two sections were taught inthe spring of 2012 at a community college by an engineering instructor. Each section had anenrollment limited to 20 students. • Course grade was determined by assignments submitted; no tests are administered. • All assignments were submitted on-line through Blackboard. • Assignments were due one week after each meeting but no penalty was assessed for late submissions. • Instructor often waited one or two weeks after assignments were submitted to grade them. • Assignments could be resubmitted at any time for re-grading.ModificationsIn the fall of 2012, a modified approach is being tried by the same instructor for the threesections of the first-year project-based engineering course. • Course grade will be determined by project work assignments submitted; no tests will be administered. • All assignments will be submitted on-line through Blackboard. • Assignments will be shown to the instructor during the class meeting for a preliminary non-graded assessment. • Assignments will be due from each individual two-four days after the class meeting but no penalty will be assessed for late submissions. • Instructor will grade assignments within two days after submission. • Assignments may be resubmitted for re-grading until 24 hours before the next meeting.Why modify approachGoals of the fall 2012 modification of instructor actions: • Make assessments of student submissions more formative instead of merely summative. • Provide timely formative assessments to students • Improve the quality of student work submitted • Have students more positively self-assess their attitudes toward technical skillsHow to assess the effect of modificationTo measure the change over the three semesters for the same course, and same instructor: • Pre- and post-surveys of student attitudes will be administered in the fall of 2012 using an instrument designed by an outside evaluator from a major university and previously administered in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012. Survey results from fall 2012 will be compared with prior results from fall 2011 and spring 2012. • Evaluations of the course instructor by students for fall 2012 will be compared with student evaluations of the instructor from fall 2011 and spring 2012. • Final grade distributions across the three semesters will also be compared.

Pelletier, M. E., & Desjardins, L. A., & Chanley, P., & Heymans, L. (2013, June), First-year Project-Based Engineering: Secret Weapon for Student Success Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19620

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