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From Catch-all to Clarity: Revising a First-year, Multidisciplinary Introductory Course

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary First-year Experiences

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

26.799.1 - 26.799.17

DOI

10.18260/p.24136

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24136

Download Count

135

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Paper Authors

biography

Tanya Kunberger P.E. Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Kunberger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Kunberger received her B.C.E. and certificate in Geochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. Her areas of specialization are geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering. Educational areas of interest are self-efficacy and persistence in engineering and development of an interest in STEM topics in K-12 students.

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biography

Chris Geiger Florida Gulf Coast University

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Chris Geiger is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering in the U.A.Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his M.S and Ph.D.degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1999 and 2003, respectively,and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1996.

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Abstract

From Catch­all to Clarity:  Revising a First­Year, Multidisciplinary  Introductory Course   The importance of effective first­year experiences has been identified as a high impact educational practice by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  Universities have developed a variety of first­year experiences ranging anywhere from a single course specifically taken in the major itself, to first­year programs offered across disciplines or even in separate first­year colleges / programs, to even more involved practices such as live­learn communities.  Kuh (2008) emphasizes the most influential points of a first­year experience include a “strong emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, [and] collaborative learning.”  When the “Introduction to the Engineering Profession” course was originally developed in 2006 at XXXX, it was designed to provide an overview of the different programs in the college to allow students to have a better understanding of the various majors as well as opportunities within the college and after graduation.  Over the last decade the course continued to have information added to the curriculum based on topics identified by faculty as necessary skills for engineering majors.  These include topics such as unit conversions, communication skills, resume building, team­work, and presentations by current students and individuals currently working in industry.  Since topics were added over a broad span of time, each new concept was treated more as a module, rather than being fully integrated into the course, resulting in a catch­all type course with little topic overlap from week to week.  In addition, it was rare for material to be removed as new topics were added, resulting in a course with a workload level above what should reasonably be expected of the one­credit hour designation.  The authors recognized this concern and chose to undertake a revision of the course with the primary goal to create a one­credit hour learner­centered course with well­developed course objectives.  Additionally, emphasis was placed on clearly tying all activities to an overarching design project, balancing course expectations with the limited credit hours, providing opportunities to discuss topics within and across the disciplines and optimizing the single 75 minute a week lesson time.  What developed was a course with an emphasis on the development of information literacy, teamwork, and communication skills, focusing on engineering innovations related to the Grand Challenges.  This paper will present the development of course expectations and ties to existing best practices, the revised course layout, student assessment and feedback of the initial offering, and instructor perspectives of the revised course. 

Kunberger, T., & Geiger, C. (2015, June), From Catch-all to Clarity: Revising a First-year, Multidisciplinary Introductory Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24136

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