June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Electrical and Computer
26.884.1 - 26.884.13
Impact of a First and Second Year Culminating Experience on Student Learning in an Electrical Engineering CurriculumThis paper presents findings from an impact study of a lower division student experiencewithin an undergraduate electrical engineering curriculum. This experience, culminatingin the second year of the curriculum, is integrated across multiple first and second yearcourses and includes elements commonly found in senior-level capstone projectcourses. An introductory programming course utilizing an embedded platform is the firstcourse in the sequence. The final course in the sequence requires students to design,build, and test an autonomous mobile robot. Through a series of milestones, studentssystematically complete both the hardware and embedded software tasks required for theproject. The final milestone involves an industry-sponsored event where the entirestudent cohort participates in a robot competition.For a number of years, anecdotal evidence has suggested that the course sequence hassignificant positive impacts on student experience throughout the curriculum. It has beenpostulated that this experience results in significant knowledge gain, reinforces theirdecision to pursue a career in electrical engineering, and builds camaraderie amongst thestudent cohort. A study was conducted to better understand these potential impacts. Part 1of the study used correlation analysis to determine the relationship between studentgrades in the project course sequence and other courses in the curriculum, as well as keymetrics such as GPA. Part 2 was an ethnological study in which students and recentgraduates were asked a variety of questions regarding the impact of the experience onother courses, on their competency in curricular outcomes, and on their overallexperience within the academic program. This paper describes the course structure, thecurrent implementation which has evolved over many years of offerings, and presentsassessment results indicating its impact on student performance and learning in theremainder of the curriculum.
Prust, C. J., & Kelnhofer, R. W., & Mossbrucker, J., & Widder, K. R., & Tran, H. V., & Williams, S. M. (2015, June), Impact of a First- and Second-year Culminating Experience on Student Learning in an Electrical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24221
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