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Freshman Residential Schools for Undergraduate On-Campus and Online Engineering Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 1: Using Technology and/or Technology Tools to Enhance Learning

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


John Matthew Long Deakin University

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Dr. John M. Long completed his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Michigan (Flint) in 1987, while working as an analytical chemist at AC Spark Plug, General Motors Corporation. In 1995 he completed a PhD in physics at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Since then he has worked in the School of Engineering at Deakin University, where he teaches physics, materials, and electronics. His research interests include materials-analysis techniques and engineering education.

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Sivachandran Chandrasekaran P.E. Deakin University

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Dr. Sivachandran Chandrasekaran is a Research Fellow in Engineering Education at Deakin University. He has graduated his BE (CSE) in India and ME, MES (Electronics) from Victoria University and PhD (Engineering Education) from Deakin University respectively. He is active member of Deakin engineering education research Centre (DEERC), School of engineering in the Faculty of science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University. Siva is an active researcher and his research interests include creativity and innovation in learning and teaching, Design based learning, Cloud learning & located learning and engineering education innovation. His education philosophy is founded on the Project Oriented Design Based Learning (PODBL) approach at Deakin University.

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Simon William Cavenett

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Simon Cavenett is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Professional Practice (Engineering) at the School of Engineering at Deakin University. Prior to joining Deakin University in 2007 his 20 year career was based in industry. His career includes a number of significant achievements both in Australia and internationally, particularly involving the design and implementation of leading edge telecommunications and IT technologies. Simon has extensive experience internationally; having worked professionally based the United States for over 11 years prior to returning to Australia to join Deakin University.

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By means of evidence-based practice, this paper describes the residential-school component of an accredited online (distance education) undergraduate engineering program in Australia, with a particular focus on how the residential school program is implemented at freshman year. During these residential schools, activities were organised around the respective engineering courses undertaken by students during the semester.

Elements considered suitable and worthwhile for inclusion in residential-school programs included: • In-person engagement with academic lecturers, • Presentations and interaction with guest speakers from industry, • Industry-based site visits, • Engagement in sole and group-based learning and assessment activities on campus, and • Social interaction with other students. After running pilot residential schools for two years, it was found that a workable format consisted in a two-week residential experience in the first semester, linked to two key freshman courses, Fundamentals of Technology Management and Engineering Physics. On-campus and online students’ academic grades were compared for both courses over the years 2005 to 2012. We found that for physics lab, on-campus students’ grades tended to be higher than those for online students, and vice versa for technology management. We also conclude that when carefully designed, residential schools for online students do enhance learning for both online students and their on-campus counterparts.

Long, J. M., & Chandrasekaran, S., & Cavenett, S. W. (2016, June), Freshman Residential Schools for Undergraduate On-Campus and Online Engineering Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26964

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