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Learning Outcomes Achievement In Cooperative Education: A Survey Of Engineering Students

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Nuts and Bolts of Cooperative Education

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

15.836.1 - 15.836.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16581

Download Count

188

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Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer Johrendt University of Windsor

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Dr. Johrendt obtained her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from the University of Windsor after working for almost ten years as a Product Development Engineer in the automotive industry. Currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at the University of Windsor, she previously worked for two years as an Experiential Learning Specialist in the department. She serves as both the Faculty and Departmental Cooperative Education representative. She has co-authored several journal paper publications and conference presentations that have featured experiential learning and engineering education topics as well as her engineering research in vehicle structural durability and the use of neural networks to model non-linear material behaviour.

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Schantal Hector University of Windsor

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Ms. Hector is currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Economics
at the University of Windsor. She is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Career Education and
has applied her knowledge and skills as part of the project to develop learning outcomes for the
cooperative education program over the past two years. She has been instrumental in the
collection and statistical analysis of the learning outcomes data using Excel and SPSS methods and its presentation into a comprehensible graphic format. Other endeavours have included aiding in the development of an online course for co-op students at the University of Windsor and engaging in research that seeks to enhance the employment options for graduates. Her research interest continues to be to help enrich and enhance the co-op experience for other students.

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Karen Benzinger University of Windsor

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Ms. Benzinger holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Education Degrees. She has implemented student and learning support services for twenty years and has served as the University’s Director of the Centre for Career Education for the past eight years. She co-chairs a University-level Cooperative Education Committee aimed at improving and expanding cooperative education at the University. She has initiated a project to identify, support and assess learning outcomes for cooperative education and is part of a group geared at developing a model of assessment for University Career Centres that incorporates learning outcomes.

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Geri Salinitri University of Windsor

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Dr. Salinitri has taught several Guidance and Career Education courses involving cooperative education, learning strategies and outcomes and assessment, and has developed the mentor/mentee satisfaction and assessment instruments. For over thirty years, she has been mentoring students and is currently involved in a mentor training program for teachers and student leaders. She is also a member of the Learning-Centred Task Force for the University. She has organized several professional presentations, published work in the area of mentoring, teaching and learning, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and mentoring excellence.

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Arunita Jaekel University of Windsor

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Dr. Jaekel received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Windsor. She is
currently a professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor. Her
research interests are in the areas of optical network design and wireless sensor networks. She is a
member of the computer science curriculum committee for the cooperative education committees
and a faculty advisor for co-op students. She is also a faculty mentor for female students in
under-represented fields. She has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and
conferences, has served on organizing committees for several well-known international
conferences.

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Derek Northwood University of Windsor

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Professor Northwood has over thirty years experience in the field of Engineering Education at the University level. He occupies the posts of Research Leadership Chair and Professor of Engineering Materials. He is President of the World Institute for Engineering and Technology Education - International Academic Advisory Committee (WIETE-IAAC): see www.wiete.com.au for details. He has been instrumental in research aimed at transitioning the University into a learning centered institution as well as research focusing on Materials Sciences/Engineering and Engineering education. He is also an author and co-author of over 270 papers in international refereed journals and over 230 papers in international refereed conference proceedings.

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Michelle Watters University of Windsor

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Ms. Watters holds Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Education Degrees and is a Master of Science Candidate for 2010 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has worked for 12 years in the area of employment counselling and has been a co-op coordinator for the past nine years, where she helped champion the cooperative education learning outcomes initiative. She has co-created a vocational rehabilitation-training program for employment counsellors and VR specialists in the United Kingdom. She also authored international conference presentations including Best Practices in Cooperative Education presented at the WACE Symposium in Ansbach, Germany.

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

Learning Outcomes Achievement in Cooperative Education: A Survey of Engineering Students

Abstract

In 2007, the University of Windsor established formal learning outcomes for their cooperative education program and implemented new educational strategies to support the achievement of those outcomes. To gauge the effect of the newly implemented activities on the achievement of the learning outcomes, a survey was developed and administered to students and alumni of the unrevised program (control group) and, more recently in 2009, to students participating in the revised program (experimental group). The survey questions were designed to assess respondents’ perceptions of the effect that co-op had on: their academic and career-related goals and motivation; identification of personal strengths, weaknesses and preferences; understanding of academic theory and technical knowledge; development of attributes; and the ability to effectively contribute in the workplace through identified soft and transferable industry-related skills.

Students participating in co-op at the University of Windsor may complete regular or extended length work terms. Regular work terms are generally four-months in length, while extended work terms are at least eight months long, although many companies request co-op students for twelve to sixteen month periods. The survey demographics included a question about work term duration, so that the effects of work term length on learning outcomes achievement might also be examined. Although the survey revealed some positive trends related to learning outcomes achievement for control versus experimental groups, they were not at statistically significant levels. However, if the analysis was limited to students who had completed extended work terms, three areas showed changes at statistically significant levels. Decreases in positive response levels were seen for the experimental group with respect to students’ abilities to identify personal weaknesses related to their academic options and personal preferences related to workplace options. An increase in positive response level was found with regard to their understanding of theories taught in the classroom.

Introduction

As noted by Haddara and Skanes1, the first American cooperative education program was in engineering and started in 1906 at the University of Cincinnati with an enrolment of 27 students. It is believed that this program was in part inspired by the sandwich programs which may have existed in the UK since 18402. The first cooperative education program in Canada started in 1957 at what was to be known as the University of Waterloo. It had an enrolment of 75 students and was also in engineering.1 The programs at Cincinnati and Waterloo expanded very quickly and proved to be very successful. Cooperative engineering programs were implemented at other institutions and cooperative education programs in disciplines other than engineering started to appear. At the beginning of 2010, cooperative education programs exist in 80 post-secondary institutions in Canada with an enrolment of over 80,000 students.3 It is interesting to compare the experience in North America with that in Japan where cooperative education was not introduced until the 1990’s and then initially at the graduate, rather than undergraduate, level.4

Johrendt, J., & Hector, S., & Benzinger, K., & Salinitri, G., & Jaekel, A., & Northwood, D., & Watters, M. (2010, June), Learning Outcomes Achievement In Cooperative Education: A Survey Of Engineering Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16581

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