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Improving Disciplinary Literacy in an Electronics course

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Enrollment, Instruction and Pedagogy - Focus on Classroom Practices

Tagged Topic

FYEE Division - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Ohbong Kwon New York City College of Technology

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Ohbong Kwon is an Assistant Professor in the department of Computer Engineering Technology Department at New York City College of Technology of City University of New York. He received his B.S. and M.S. in the department of Electrical Engineering from Hanyang University in Korea and his M.S. and Ph.D. in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. His area of research includes digital signal processing, digital design and control systems.

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Juanita C But New York City College of Technology

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Juanita But is Associate Professor of English and Reading Coordinator at New York City College of Technology/City University of New York, where she teaches literature, writing, and developmental reading. She has been the principal investigator of Reading Effectively Across the Disciplines (READ), since the program’s inception in 2013 to improve student learning and disciplinary literacy.. Her research and publications focus on reading pedagogy and diasporic literature.

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Sunghoon Jang NY City College of Technology of CUNY

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Sunghoon Jang is an Associate Professor and the chair of the CET department at NY City College of Technology of CUNY. Dr. Jang received a master degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Connecticut. His research areas of interest are in biomedical sensors & instrumentations, signal processing & control systems, and opto-electronics & laser optics. Professor Jang joined the ETET department at City Tech in 2003 as an Assistant Professor, and became a faculty member of the CET department in 2014. His current interests lie in non-invasive and minimally invasive optical and electro-chemical glucose sensors for diabetics and published numerous research papers and received research & academic grants within his areas of interest.

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Electronics (EMT1255) is a required course for students studying for the Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) in Electromechanical Engineering Technology (EMT) at New York City College of Technology. EMT1255 introduces semiconductor devices and their applications in electronic-circuits. Students are expected to understand the structures and principles of semi-conductor devices and the configuration and principles of basic electronic circuits. They are also expected to master circuit analysis, to design electronic circuits. In the lab setting, they acquire troubleshooting knowledge and hands-on technical skills. EMT1255 is one of the second-level engineering courses in a sequence of circuitry courses that combines both lecture and laboratory components in the curriculum. In this reading intensive course, apart from the lab manual, students need to read a textbook of over 700 pages. Therefore, reading and understanding the textbook is the main concern, especially for students who cannot grasp the complex concepts and problem solving techniques. Given the breath and depth of material covered in the course, instructors also struggle with teaching specialized concepts, formula, and technical terminologies because of various levels of their readability and the lack of strategies to engage students in active reading and learning. In this paper, we will examine the challenges students face in reading to learn in EMT 1255 and discuss strategies we apply to overcome these challenges. First, we will review the correlation between students’ reading proficiency and their performance in the course. We will analyze and compare the results of reading assessments administered in three sections (N=66) of EMT1255 every semester from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, which reveal students’ level of ability to comprehend, analyze, apply, and evaluate information in their textbooks. This will allow us to identify the impact of students’ reading skills on their ability to learn in EMT1255. Secondly, we will look at how students’ reading habits affect their performance in the course. In this study, we will also present the findings in our student survey based on the ABET assessment outcomes of the course We will also describe the Reading Effectively Across the Disciplines (READ) program, a college-wide initiative established in 2013 to train faculty to implement instructional strategies and develop assignments to facilitate reading to learn across the disciplines. In this program, participating EMT faculty work with reading faculty to enable students to become independent readers and improve their disciplinary literacy.

Kwon, O., & But, J. C., & Jang, S. (2017, August), Improving Disciplinary Literacy in an Electronics course Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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