June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.671.1 - 14.671.16
How and to What Extent Does a Service-Learning Pedagogy Enhance Communication and Collaborative Skill Learning Among First Year Students?
All engineering students at our institution are required to take a course in speech. Some of the student learning outcomes for the course relate to the learning outcomes identified in category 3 of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation requirements (2001) . Specifically, ABET expects that “Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain the following outcomes: Category 3(d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams and… (g) an ability to communicate effectively”. In this study, we examine the gains in communication and team skills in different sections of a required speech course. The students enrolled in these sections are primarily freshmen. Most of them are engineering and aviation majors. The course is taught by different instructors using the same textbook and syllabus. Three of these sections included a service-learning component. This paper examines whether the course achieves the ABET 3(d) and 3 (g) objectives from the students’ perspective. We also look at the similarities and differences between the sections utilizing service-learning and those that use other pedagogies.
Review of Literature
This paper grew out of an assessment project focusing on the basic speech course. To frame the assessment process, two the paradigms of assessment were identified by Ewell . While we set to provide information to instructors and administrators for the purpose of continuous improvement, it was possible the results could also be used to address accountability. The overall assessment plan included direct and indirect measures gathered as formative and summative assessments using quantitative and qualitative assessments . The portion of the plan presented in this paper is a quantitative, indirect assessment used as a pretest and posttest. We recognized the importance of alignment  and examined the university’s mission, the general education goals, and the student learning outcomes for the course. The instrument used in this study was developed to align with the course outcomes and the course content. Evaluation forms used by the instructor, the student for her/his own reflection, peers, and audience members were developed to reflect the same criteria. The instrument reported on in this paper reflects student perceptions on criteria that were reinforced throughout the course. While the literature in communication indicates that assessment is an important component of the basic course, no specific measures were identified for assessment . Because we were interested in service-learning as a variable we investigated how assessment had been conducted for service-learning in communication. Many respondents in a survey reported that student activity reports and/or site supervisor evaluations were used to assess learning . While the qualitative data provided from measures such as those can be very useful to the instructor, the findings make comparisons difficult. Neither the literature from communication or service- learning indicated a standardized instrument was used for assessment. To address this gap we developed a theoretical framework and methods using discipline-defined criteria to assess learning in communication -. We employed a survey used as a pre-test and post-test self-
Blomstrom, S., & Tam, H. (2009, June), How And To What Extent Does A Service Learning Pedagogy Enhance Communication And Collaborative Skill Learning Among First Year Students? Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4734
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