June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.630.1 - 13.630.17
Freshmen Engineering: The Influence of Student Feedback and Involvement on a Course Teaching MATLAB and LabVIEW
This paper describes the impact that undergraduate student feedback and involvement has had on Clarkson University’s freshmen engineering course ES100: Introduction to Engineering Use of the Computer. ES100 provides students with an introduction to the MATLAB and LabVIEW programming languages, as well as introducing methods to solve engineering and science problems using MATLAB and LabVIEW. All undergraduate engineering majors are required to pass this class, which is taught by a team of faculty members from each of Clarkson’s undergraduate engineering departments. In August 2006, Professor John Dempsey invited a group of sophomore engineering students who had just taken the class to attend a workshop on the course to share their experiences. This workshop resulted in the introduction of undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) in each ES100 classroom.
These UTAs provided, and continue to provide, input on revisions for many aspects of ES100, including course format, topics covered, and laboratory experiments. In particular, the UTAs were able to use their experiences in ES100 to assist in the redesign of course materials to be more consistent, uniform, and mainstream, assisting in Professor Dempsey’s goal of making all engineering freshmen at Clarkson feel comfortable using MATLAB and LabVIEW. In this paper, the course revisions and their effects on the Spring 2007 offering of the course will be discussed. In Spring 2007, ES100 students were able to provide input on the course at the conclusion of each lecture and in a series of surveys. At the conclusion of each lecture, students were required to provide feedback on the course’s Blackboard webpage regarding any difficulties encountered during that lecture or possible improvements to the lecture materials and exercises. Several short surveys were given during the semester, primarily to gauge feedback on the laboratory experiments. A more thorough survey was given at the end of the semester to evaluate how effective the course was in teaching students to use MATLAB and LabVIEW and to obtain suggestions on improvements to the course. The data from these three sources will be used to indicate the relative success of the revisions to lecture materials and laboratory experiments. These data have also shown further areas in which ES100 could be improved, and some of the adjustments implemented for the Spring 2008 offering of the course will be discussed.
1. Introduction and Course Format
The revisions to Clarkson’s ES100 course were made possible by a CCLI A&I grant from NSF.1 This proposal’s intent was to promote a hands-on learning environment across the engineering curriculum, build self-confidence, promote teamwork and communication skills, and broaden the range of teaching styles to meet the needs of a diverse student population.1 The Principal Investigators of this “Hands-On Learning in Engineering” project were Professors J. Dempsey, J. Carroll, J. Taylor, W. Wilcox, and A. Zander. The teaching methodology for the revised ES100 course adapted the ‘integrated teaching and learning’ paradigm pioneered and developed by Drs L.E. Carlson and J.F. Sullivan at the University of Colorado at Boulder.2 The adaptation at
Illig, D., & Hrynuk, J., & Pennington, M., & Dempsey, J. P. (2008, June), Freshmen Engineering: The Influence Of Student Feedback And Involvement On A Course Teaching Matlab And Labview Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3803
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