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Integrating Evidence-based Teaching and Learning Practices into the Core Engineering Curriculum: Student Perceptions of the Instructional Practices

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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

NSF Grantees: Faculty Development 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34843

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34843

Download Count

99

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Paper Authors

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Gail P. Baxter Stevens Institute of Technology

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Gail P. Baxter is the Co-Director, Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology. Baxter leads CIESE research and evaluation efforts and manages a program to support faculty adoption of evidence-based teaching practices in the core courses in the School of Engineering at Stevens. Before joining CIESE, Baxter was a Senior Survey Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Senior Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service, and an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Michigan. In addition, she served on National Academy of Sciences Committees on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and Evaluation of National and State Assessments of Educational Progress. She earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from UC Santa Barbara.

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Keith G. Sheppard Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Keith G. Sheppard is
Senior Adviser to the Dean in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. His research interests have included electrochemical aspects of materials synthesis and environmental degradation of materials. His education in the U.K. included B.Sc. (University of Leeds) and Ph.D. (University of Birmingham) degrees in Metallurgy and a diploma in Industrial Administration (Aston University). He was the recipient of the Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in 2009. As Associate Dean, Prof. Sheppard had a leading role in the development of the undergraduate engineering curriculum at Stevens, including innovations in design education and initiatives to include entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global competency for undergraduate students.

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Frank T Fisher Stevens Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4476-5040

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Frank T. Fisher is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he served as the Interim Department Director / Department Chair from April 2013 to August 2018. He earned BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Learning Sciences (School of Education and Social Policy) and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern. His research interests include characterization of multifunctional nano-reinforced polymer systems, multiscale modeling of nanocomposites and materials, vibration energy harvesting/scavenging, and engineering pedagogy and instructional technologies. Awards that he has received include the NSF CAREER award, the 2016 Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor award (Stevens), the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award from the Stevens Student Government Association, the 2009 ASEE Mechanics Division Outstanding New Educator Award, and the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Stevens Alumni Association.

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Patricia J. Holahan Stevens Institute of Technology

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Patricia J. Holahan is an Associate Professor of Management in the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, USA. She has served as PI/PD on several NSF funded projects that target large-scale institutional change and transformation where she oversaw the organizational research related to modelling organizational change and transformation processes. Dr. Holahan holds a PhD in organizational behavior and theory from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management. She teaches courses on organizational behavior and design and organizational change. Her work has been work published in several leading academic journals including, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of Product Innovation Management.

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Susan Lowes Teachers College, Columbia University

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Dr. Susan Lowes is Director of Research and Evaluation at the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has conducted research at both university and K-12 levels, with a focus on STEM learning and on the impact of different technologies on teaching and learning. She has directed evaluations of multi-year projects funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the National Science Foundation, and served on Dept. of Education and NSF Advisory and Review panels. Dr. Lowes has worked extensively with Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Stevens Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering and Science. She has co-authored papers and presentations on STEM learning in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics. Dr. Lowes is also Adjunct Professor in the Program in Computers, Communication, Technology, and Education at Teachers College, teaching courses on methodologies for researching technology in education and on online schools and schooling.

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Susan S. Metz Stevens Institute of Technology

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Susan Metz is Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Senior Research Associate at Stevens Institute of Technology. Metz is a founder of WEPAN, Women in Engineering ProActive Network. She is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award and a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science.

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Abstract

The Foundations project is to enact a transformation to the adoption of evidence-based teaching and learning practices in all core mathematics, science, and engineering science courses taken by engineering students in their first two years, with approximately 600 students now entering engineering each year. The project provides support to enable the faculty who teach these critical core courses to understand and adopt evidence-based practices, iteratively redesign their courses, assess the impact of pedagogical changes, and target deep and transferable learning within and across disciplinary domains. Strategies to support faculty change include ongoing discussions of the principles of teaching and learning and discipline-based education research; trained peer assistants to facilitate active-learning pedagogies in lectures and recitations; and advocacy with colleagues to catalyze diffusion beyond these early courses. The project has engaged three cohorts of faculty, with each cohort receiving summer support for three years beginning summer 2016 (N=9), 2017 (N=5), and 2018 (N=5). These are faculty members who teach the core Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and Biology courses, together with the foundational computer programming, and engineering science courses in Engineering Thermodynamics, Engineering Mechanics, and Electrical Circuits. All thirteen of the core courses have so far been impacted to some degree. The faculty engaged to date are heavily weighted towards teaching stream, but our theory of action anticipates these being the champions to effect diffusion through sharing their experiences and successes with the tenure-stream faculty who tend to teach upper-level courses. A central goal of the project is to understand student perceptions of the teaching environments that lead to improved learning. Student feedback is sought at the midpoint and at the end of the course. Beginning in the Spring of 2017 and continuing through Spring 2019, six items were added to the university-administered end-of-course evaluation for each of the core courses. The items are intended to provide feedback to faculty on student perceptions of the course. The first four items asked students about their motivation to learn the course material (i.e. Interest, professor made it interesting, prerequisite, good grade), and the remaining two items asked about opportunities for active participation and awareness of cross-course connections (a primary focus of the Foundations project). At approximately the midpoint of the semester (Fall 2018 to present), students were asked, via a five-minute on-line survey, the extent to which they agree on a scale from 1(strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) with statements about Professor and course relevance (e.g., It is clear to me how this course is related to my other courses), Active learning opportunities (e.g., Students have opportunities to work in pairs or groups to solve problems during class), and Strategies for help seeking (e.g., talk to instructor, look online, talk to my friends). In this paper, we report results of student feedback (midterm and end-of-course) for all core courses by faculty group: Group 1--Those who completed their 3-year commitment; Group 2--Those who have participated for less than three years; and Group 3--Non participants (but eligible to participate). For the midterm survey, preliminary analysis shows differences by faculty group on professor and course relevance (professor brings material to life; cross-course connections clear) and active learning opportunities (e.g., work in pairs to solve problems, peer assistants provide in-class help) they experienced. Responses were more positive for Faculty Group 1 than Group 2 which were more positive than Group 3. However, all students, regardless of their professor, sought help online or from their friends rather than T.A.'s, faculty, tutors or peer assistants; No faculty group differences. For the six items appended to the end-of-course evaluation, preliminary analysis indicates responses varied by faculty group on items about active learning, awareness of cross course connections, and professor makes the course interesting. Responses were more positive for Faculty Group 1 than Group 2 which were more positive than Group 3. Gender comparisons will also be reported.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation EHR/DUE IUSE:EHR Program under Grant No. XXXXXXX

Baxter, G. P., & Sheppard, K. G., & Fisher, F. T., & Holahan, P. J., & Lowes, S., & Metz, S. S. (2020, June), Integrating Evidence-based Teaching and Learning Practices into the Core Engineering Curriculum: Student Perceptions of the Instructional Practices Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34843

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