June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.782.1 - 24.782.13
Integration of a First-Year Learning Community with a Vertically-Integrated Design ProgramHow do we allow first-year students to experience the excitement of engineering? Often first-yearclasses incorporate design project and other activities to give students a feel for engineering and design.These experiences, however, are often limited by what we can expect of first-year students within theconstraint of a single course. A novel approach has been taken by a large university that integrates first-year students into a vertically integrated design program with sophomores, juniors and seniors. Thisprogram uses a service-learning context for design so the students are placed on teams addressingcompelling human and environmental needs for real community partners.The approach leverages the university’s learning community initiative to place students and to groupthem into cohorts where they take three classes in common. The classes include a single introduction toengineering course where all 120 students are together. In smaller groups, they take one of therequired English or Communication classes. The third class is Program X, where they are placed ontodesign teams and mixed with other students. The majority of the students live on a common residencehall floor.The experience has been positive but the program has gone through iterations during its evolution. Thispaper will provide a description of the program and associated courses, describe lessons learned, andthe iterations of the program. Assessment data will be presented that include course evaluations,surveys and results from a design task that was administered to captured their understanding of human-centered design. Mentoring from older students is an important dimension of the experience andreflections will be analyzed from one division as a case study. Conclusions from the experiences withthe program and implications for other institutions for the vertically integrated and service-learningapproaches within the context of first-year programs will be discussed.
Oakes, W. C., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Cardella, M. E., & Horton, W. T. (2014, June), Integration of a First-Year Learning Community with a Vertically Integrated Design Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20674
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