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Improving Collaborative Project Based Learning In Digital Engineering Based On Program Assessment

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

15.690.1 - 15.690.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16227

Download Count

55

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Paper Authors

author page

Jianyu Dong California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Nancy Warter-Perez California State University, Los Angeles

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Improving Collaborative Project-based Learning in Digital Engineering Based on Program Assessment

Abstract

This paper presents the assessment results and findings of the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored CCLI project, entitled “Collaborative Project-based Learning to Enhance Freshman Design Experience in Digital Engineering.” During the first year of the project, a series of interactive in-class projects using a Tablet PC based platform have been developed and implemented in our Introduction to Digital Engineering classes taught in Fall 2008, Winter 2009, and Spring 2009. So far over 100 students were impacted by our proposed Collaborative Project- Based Learning (CPBL) model. To quantify the effect of the course redesign on student learning, comprehensive evaluation using both direct and indirect assessment instruments was conducted. The assessment efforts were led by an expert from the College of Education, and the evaluation was based on class observation, comparison study of student performance, pre and post student surveys, as well as focus groups. While both quantitative and qualitative assessment results will be presented and analyzed, the focus of the paper will be the lessons learned through the first year experience from both the student and faculty perspectives. Overall, the students’ feedback on CPBL has been very positive. Most students considered the in-class projects the most valuable and helpful parts in their learning. Through the in-class projects, they not only gained better understanding of the course material and the design process, but also developed stronger interest in engineering careers. Nevertheless, the assessment findings also indicated a few challenges to be addressed. In this paper, we will describe how to continuously improve the implementation of CPBL, how to adjust the teaching strategy and plans to revise in-class projects to be implemented in academic year 2009-2010.

Introduction

In 2008, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) received an NSF CCLI grant to redesign “Introduction to Digital Engineering” course (EE244). The core of the course redesign is to incorporate Collaborative Project-Based Learning (CPBL) to enhance student learning outcomes and reinforce their understanding of design principles learned in their freshman design course [1-3]. During the first year of the project, a series of interactive in-class projects using a Tablet PC based platform have been developed and implemented in EE244 classes taught in Fall 2008, Winter 2009, and Spring 2009. More than 100 students have been impacted by this innovative teaching pedagogy. Through the project, we are seeking a sustainable solution to stimulate students’ interest in engineering, to increase the retention rate, and to foster students’ engineering design knowledge and skills starting from the freshman year.

Project-based Learning (PBL) pedagogy has attracted the attention of many educators in engineering fields [4]. In recent years, PBL has been incorporated into a variety of courses and curriculums (from freshman-level to upper division specialization courses) in different engineering disciplines [4-11]. Compared to the traditional lecture-based instruction, PBL provides a more student-centered learning environment. Pilot studies have shown that although PBL may not necessarily lead to higher grades, it helps to motivate students in the learning process and improve students’ hands-on design skills which are critical in engineering training

Dong, J., & Warter-Perez, N. (2010, June), Improving Collaborative Project Based Learning In Digital Engineering Based On Program Assessment Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16227

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