Glassboro, New Jersey
July 24, 2018
July 24, 2018
July 26, 2018
Diversity and FYEE Conference Sessions
In an effort to improve existing skills (and/or to develop new ones) of First Year Engineering students, student teams consisting of either three or four members were tasked with creating and designing a teaching experiment that demonstrated engineering principles for a target population of either high school or middle school students. The teams were presented with considerations of constraints such as: budgets for materials; classroom restrictions of space and time; quantity of class population served; ease of construction; and durability/ robustness of design. The First Year students navigated through the project using Guided Inquiry provided by an Instructional Team. The Instructional Team consisted of: a Teaching Professor; a STEM Education Specialist and two PhD Candidate Students.
Most students began the project with: ill-defined objectives; a lack of understanding of their target audience (and no consideration of the intellectual level of that audience); a lack of understanding of how to engage their target audience (relevancy, enthusiasm; fun); inhibited "free-thinking" conceptual/ ideation skills; no understanding of the creative process (including the use of the Engineering Design Process and decision matrices); limited understanding of the research component of a new idea (Does it exist already? If so, how do you make your idea novel, or improve on an existing idea that is not fully developed?); limited group interaction skills (and how to act as an equal member of the group including conflict resolution); and limited oral and written presentation skills. Students subsequently developed these skills (to various degrees) through the duration of the course. The Conceptualization-through-Implementation Phase of the Project followed an existing, recognized Product Development format developed by Karl Ullrich and Steven D. Eppinger of the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, a Communications Professor was brought into the classroom to present a session on "Effective Oral Presentations" to help the students develop their presentation skills.
The results of the exercise were positive – with measured outcomes being encouraging. Additionally, the students commented in their end-of-term evaluations that they believed the greatest benefit to them was the “team teaching” by the members of the Instructional Team, who provided weekly monitoring and mentoring. This paper will also present the components of the course – which can be adapted by the reader for implementation in their own course.
Marino, R. J., & Burks, G. R., & VanKouwenberg, M. N., & Terranova, B. B. (2018, July), Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS): Developing Students Through a “Design a Lab” Exercise Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. https://strategy.asee.org/31418
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