June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.711.1 - 10.711.10
Identifying Student Differences in a First-Year Engineering Course: A Comparison of Mid-Year Survey Reponses Leo H. McWilliams, Catherine Pieronek, Stephen E. Silliman, Carrie Graf, Mark Gunty
University of Notre Dame
As of May, 2004, the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame completed the fourth year of a two-semester, first-year engineering course sequence. During the 2003/4 academic year, a mid-year survey was administered during the final week of the first semester. This survey targeted differences among student experiences for three groups of students: (i) those who left engineering after the first semester (group 1), (ii) those who completed both semesters of the first-year course but pursued a major other than engineering (group 2) and (iii) those who remained in engineering into the sophomore year (group 3).
A number of observations were derived from the survey results. First, the greatest difference in student response was observed in comparing students in group 1 with students in either group 2 or group 3. Second, students in group 1 reported a higher rate of negative experience in the first- semester course as expressed by higher rates of occurrence of feeling “overwhelmed by the intelligence of fellow students” and “intimidated by the environment” in the course. These same students reported a lower rate of developing “relationships with new people” during the course experience. Third, in comparison to group 1 students, students in group 3 were more likely, within group activities associated with the first-year course sequence, to lead discussions, enter computer programs or calculations into a computer, operate equipment, and feel confident in expressing ideas. In comparison to group 1 students, students in group 2 were more likely to enter programs or calculations into a computer, but did not show significant differences with respect to leading discussions, operating equipment or expressing ideas. In comparing group 2 with group 3, the only statistically significant difference in response to the survey was the observation that the students in group 2 reported a higher rate of feeling “overwhelmed by the intelligence of fellow students.”
The end of the spring 2004 semester marked the completion of the fourth year of the Introduction to Engineering Systems course sequence in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame (the sequence is designated EG 111/112). This sequence is a two-semester, six credit hour course sequence required of all first-year students planning to enter the College of Engineering at the end of their first year. The details of the motivation and development of the EG 111/112 have been discussed by Brockman et al .
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Silliman, S., & McWilliams, L., & Gunty, M., & Graf, C., & Pieronek, C. (2005, June), Identifying Student Differences In A First Year Engineering Course: A Comparison Of Mid Year Survey Responses Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14767
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