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Measuring Student Learning And Engagement In An Introductory Electrical Science Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1043.1 - 12.1043.15



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Paper Authors

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Haley Haywood Oklahoma State University

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Forrest Austin Oklahoma State University

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Seth Williams Oklahoma State University

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Cameron Musgrove Oklahoma State University

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Charles Bunting Oklahoma State University

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

Measuring Student Learning and Engagement in an Introductory Electrical Science Course Abstract Does encouraging student development through projects increase engagement in a course? Can we use student performance on case studies to measure learning? These questions arose in discussions among faculty and teaching assistants in the Introduction to Electrical Science course at Oklahoma State University who perceived student engagement is less when students do not apply the skills learned in the course.

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma State University (OSU) is redesigning courses to improve student learning under a National Science Foundation (NSF) Department Level Reform project- Engineering Students for the 21st Century (ES21C). This project seeks to develop higher levels of learning by matching course work to objectives using Bloom’s Taxonomy. The introductory electrical science course is being reformed to increase students’ ability to analyze and apply knowledge by incorporating new problem-based and active learning techniques into the course. These techniques include individual web-based pre-lecture assignments, team projects, individual and group quizzes, in-class laboratory exercises presented as case studies, and combined traditional and case analysis exams. Ideally, students will be more engaged in the course and increase their depth of knowledge.

In this paper we examine changes made to the course and what we hope to measure through these changes. A preliminary Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) survey along with an attitude questionnaire (created by undergraduates working on the NSF project ES21C) was given to students enrolled in the introductory electrical science course before changes were made.

I. Introduction

Students graduating from OSU’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECEN) may have a wealth of knowledge after completing their required courses, but will graduates have developed the skills needed to be an engineer? To create a more effective, engaged, and efficient curriculum, the ECEN department is implementing program change from a primarily knowledge- based paradigm (acquiring a set of concepts) to being development-based (emphasizing students’ development). In a development-based program faculty redefine their roles from lecturers to mentors and scholars, guiding academic development towards complex problem solving tied to real world problems. Six of OSU’s ECEN faculty have come together to adapt active learning methods to ten strategic courses within the curriculum. Classes will teach students the process of solving the problems in addition to the concepts needed to understand them. Under a National Science Foundation Department Level Reform grant- Engineering Students for the 21st Century1 (ES21C), ECEN faculty hired seventeen undergraduates to aid in course development by developing course materials, measurement instruments, and equipment for projects. By using undergraduate researchers to assist in course reform interested faculty hope to provide meaningful course experiences to the students. ES21C hopes to demonstrate increased student engagement and real world preparation through classes centered on student development.


Haywood, H., & Austin, F., & Williams, S., & Musgrove, C., & Bunting, C. (2007, June), Measuring Student Learning And Engagement In An Introductory Electrical Science Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2307

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