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Impact of a First- and Second-year Culminating Experience on Student Learning in an Electrical Engineering Curriculum

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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

Electrical and Computer Engineering Curriculum Design and Evaluation

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

26.884.1 - 26.884.13

DOI

10.18260/p.24221

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/24221

Download Count

154

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Paper Authors

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Cory J. Prust Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Cory J. Prust is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He earned his BSEE degree from MSOE in 2001 and his
Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2006. Prior to joining MSOE in 2009, he was a Technical Staff member
at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He teaches courses in the signal processing, communication systems, and embedded systems areas.

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Richard W. Kelnhofer Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Kelnhofer is the Program Director of Electrical Engineering and an Associate Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Formerly, he held engineering and managerial positions in the telecommunications industry. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in 1997 and is a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin. Dr. Kelnhofer teaches courses in circuits, communication systems, signal processing, and information and coding theory.

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Joerg Mossbrucker Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Mossbrucker is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany in 1997. He has extensive industrial experience and teaches courses in analog and digital electronics, embedded systems, and computer programming.

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Kerry R Widder Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Kerry R. Widder received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Marquette University in 1983, and 1984, respectively. He also received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering. He has over twenty years of industrial experience designing embedded systems.

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Hue V. Tran P.E. Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Hue Tran (tran@msoe.edu) is an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). He received MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His interests include machine vision, embedded systems, and robotics. Tran is a member of ASEE and a Life Senior Member of IEEE.

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Stephen M. Williams P.E. Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Stephen Williams, P.E. is a Professor and Chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Milwaukee School of Engineering. He has over 25 years of engineering experience across the corporate, government, and university sectors specializing in: engineering design, electromechanical systems, sensor technologies, power electronics and digital signal processing. His professional activities include: program chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education; chair of a new IEEE program on Early Career Faculty Development; editorial board of IEEE/HKN The Bridge magazine; and ABET EAC program evaluator.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015