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Integrating Design And Decision Making Into Freshman Engineering At West Virginia University

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.325.1 - 4.325.12



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Paper Authors

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Scott Wayne

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Alfred Stiller

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Kristine Craven

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

Session 2253

Integrating Design and Decision Making into Freshman Engineering at West Virginia University

Scott Wayne, Alfred Stiller, and Kristine Craven West Virginia University

Introduction West Virginia University has a long history of developing problem solving and decision- making skills in the freshman year. For more than a decade, Freshman Engineering courses at West Virginia University have followed the Guided Design Model developed by Professor Wales [1, 2]. In this model the instructor serves as a ‘guide on the side’ rather than a ‘sage on the stage’ as he directs student inquiry, guides design activities, and provides reflective feedback based on his own knowledge and experiences. Although the Guided Design Model was well developed and widely recognized, there existed a growing perception among faculty within the college that students entering the sophomore year were weak in math and computer skills and had difficulty integrating knowledge. Recently, pilot Freshman Engineering courses were implemented to address these concerns [3, 4, 5, and 6]. In these courses, specific emphasis was focused on:

• Incorporation of more rigorous design, based on math and science principles into design project activities;

• Reinforcement of math and basic science concepts through parallel treatment of topics;

• Incorporation of engineering design projects taken from real world problems;

• Improvement of mathematics and basic sciences skills through tutoring, help sessions and in-class activities; and

• Improvement of study skills and academic success strategies. This paper is the second of a two part series. A companion paper entitled “The Freshman Engineering Experience at West Virginia University” presents an overview of the Freshman Engineering Program and describes various programs aimed at improving comprehension of mathematics and basic science courses and developing study skills and academic success strategies [7]. The present paper presents the approach used to integrate rigorous design and incorporate mathematics and basic science principles into the Freshman Engineering Curriculum and presents an example project.

Background The first year engineering curriculum is usually intended to be a bridge between high school and sophomore level engineering courses by building the requisite mathematics and basic

Wayne, S., & Stiller, A., & Craven, K. (1999, June), Integrating Design And Decision Making Into Freshman Engineering At West Virginia University Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. 10.18260/1-2--7758

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