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Longitudinal Study to Develop and Evaluate the Impacts of a “Transformational” Undergraduate ECE Design Program: Study Results and Best Practices Report

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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

Cooperative and Experiential Education Division Technical Session 2 - Development, Assessment, and Impact of Experiential Education

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34933

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34933

Download Count

155

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Paper Authors

biography

Rachael E. Cate Oregon State University

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Rachael Cate:
Dr. Rachael Cate received her MA in rhetoric and composition from Oregon State University in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Research from Oregon State University in 2016. She joined the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University as a member of the professional faculty in 2016. In this role, she provides engineering communications instruction to students as they progress through the senior capstone project and develop relationships with project stakeholders in industry. She also supports engineering communications program development, research, and implementation. In addition to her Ph. D. research interests in service learning, program design, and qualitative research, she is also collaborating on research in the areas of communications-related success factors of recent engineering graduates in industry and effective tools for instructors of integrated engineering and communications courses.

Donald Heer:
Donald Heer received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from Oregon State University in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In 2003, Mr. Heer joined the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University as a member of the professional faculty. In this role, he coordinates the TekBots® program development and implementation. In addition to his research interests in creating innovative engineering education experiences, he is also performing his Ph.D. research in the area of integrated sensor systems using nanotechnology.

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biography

Donald Heer Oregon State University

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Heer works on the development of the TekBots™ and Platforms for Learning™ program in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. As the Educational Research and Development Coordinator, he has coordinated the curriculum deployment of 15+ courses used at over 10 universities. In addition he leads the technical content for the Electrical and Computer Engineer capstone projects course at OSU.

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Abstract

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) design capstone instructors and course developers at XXX University conducted a longitudinal study to investigate the efficacy of Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIPs) for supporting students' learning and success. Results of the literature review portion of the study identified the following key programmatic influencers for transformative learning: critical awareness of culture, professional identity development, participation in communities of mentoring and learning, holistic skill integration through reflection, and development of professional integrity through affective awareness. Emancipatory Action Research (EAR) methodology and a mixed-methods approach were used in the intervention phase of the study to measure the effects of these influencers when integrated into an ECE Capstone Design engineering program. Auto-ethnographic qualitative teaching narratives, a two-term ECE Junior Design course sequence, and a disciplinary Communities of Practice program were all implemented as interventions. The two programmatic interventions were offered beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year (Junior Design) and in the 2018-2019 academic year (Communities of Practice). Surveys were administered to senior students in the spring of 2018 and the spring of 2019. The 2018 group served as a control group, as they had no access to the interventions. Students in the 2019 group who had chosen not participated in the interventions were added to the control group as well. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the survey data are presented in this report. Researchers found that both interventions did have significant impacts on students’ progression through a process of transformative learning. Participants were more likely than the control group to reach a “crossroads of questioning” where their identities and skill sets as engineers underwent critical examination. Additional study of transformative learning interventions that apply the key influencers is recommended broadly to deepen understanding of program efficacy in the future, and more analysis of the present data set is also planned to investigate programmatic effects for distinct segments of the student population, including women and URM students.

Cate, R. E., & Heer, D. (2020, June), Longitudinal Study to Develop and Evaluate the Impacts of a “Transformational” Undergraduate ECE Design Program: Study Results and Best Practices Report Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34933

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