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Increasing Motivation and Enhancing the Chemistry Enrichment Experience of Incoming Students Through the Use of Lectures Related to Chemistry in Engineering and ALEKS® System

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-year Programs: Core Skills

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34819

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34819

Download Count

89

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Paper Authors

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Wujie Zhang Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Wujie Zhang, a Biomedical and Food Engineer, is an associate professor in the Physics and Chemistry Department at MSOE. He has been recently named "20 under 40" by the ASEE Prism magazine. With a committed interest in lifelong learning and engineering education, he has been an eager participant in various workshops and programs, such as the ASEE Virtual Communities of Practice (VCP) program, and served as a community catalyst of the EngineeringUnleashed.com online community.

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Gina Elizabeth Mazzone Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Gina Mazzone is the Administrative Assistant for the Physics and Chemistry Department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). In 2018, she earned her CAP certification through IAAP. In 2006, she earned her B.S. in Psychology from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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Anne Alexander Milwaukee School of Engineering Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7146-8784

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Dr. Anne Alexander is an assistant professor in the Physics and Chemistry department at MSOE. She earned her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 2010.

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Jill Meyer Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Meyer currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Her PhD in Mechanical Engineering led her to a career path in higher education with a research focus within orthopedic biomechanics. She has since gained over 7 years of experience in higher education administration with focus on data analysis, assessment, strategic planning and leadership.

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Abstract

This paper is being submitted as Complete Research. X is a summer program designed to provide Y incoming undergraduate engineering students with extra support through providing a bridge experience to refresh their math, science, and writing skills as well as assimilate them to campus facilities. Students are expected to attend all the disciplines regardless of their background and intended area of study. Beginning in the summer of 2013, the chemistry portion has focused on student preparation for Chemistry I, which is required for almost all the undergraduate engineering programs at Y. However, due to the diverse student backgrounds and lack of motivation, as noticed through the years by faculty teaching X, the chemistry enrichment experience was not always optimal. To enhance the student learning experience and motivate students to be successful, faculty began incorporating Chemistry in Engineering lectures along with the Chemistry Preparation lectures and ALEKS® system in the summer of 2017. Chemistry in Engineering lectures contained two parts: Understanding Chemistry Through Cars and Molecules That Amaze Us. The intention was to show students the importance of chemistry in relation to their fields of study and daily life. Students who completed the corresponding ALEKS® assignment prior to the lecture were permitted to opt-out of attending the Chemistry Preparation lectures. Assessments were conducted before and after the program – namely, pre-course and exit exams, motivation surveys, and a program exit survey. Students showed a significant improvement after completing the summer program (pre-course exam score: 15.9 ± 5.3 (2019), 13.4 ± 6.0 (2018), and 17.6 ± 4.7 (2017) and exit exam score: 20.2 ± 4.0 (2019), 20.3 ± 3.6 (2018) and 22.0 ± 2.2 (2017); p < 0.01 for all three years). When it comes to the program exit survey, 69 % (2019), 64 % (2018) and 62 % (2017) of the students indicated that they gained a good sense of what to expect during their Chemistry I class during the academic year compared with 40 % of those in summer 2016. Regarding the pre-course and exit motivation surveys, there is a significant difference (p < 0.1) in response to the question: Whether the chemistry content is difficult or easy, I am sure that I can understand. Moreover, the motivation survey also shows the differences among majors (e.g., chemistry intensive v.s. non-chemistry intensive). To summarize, the program itself helps ready the students academically, while Chemistry in Engineering lectures and ALEKS® help enhance their learning experience and understanding of how chemistry fits into their lives and academic pursuits. Additional assessments will be conducted in the future to validate and expand upon the findings.

Zhang, W., & Mazzone, G. E., & Alexander, A., & Meyer, J. (2020, June), Increasing Motivation and Enhancing the Chemistry Enrichment Experience of Incoming Students Through the Use of Lectures Related to Chemistry in Engineering and ALEKS® System Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34819

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