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Measuring the success of an educational program through box-and-arrow diagram: A case study of the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Interdisciplinary Instructional Institute

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Program-Level Assessments for Multidisciplinary Areas

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28659

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28659

Download Count

210

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Paper Authors

biography

Umesh Adhikari Michigan State University

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Dr. Adhikari is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University.

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Jade Mitchell Michigan Sate University, Dept. of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

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Dr. Jade Mitchell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh in Civil and Environmental Engineering, M.S. in Civil Engineering and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University. Dr. Mitchell is keenly interested in supporting environmental and human health decision making through the use of integrated risk and decision frameworks. Her work includes development of new frameworks, models and data sets toward this end. Dr. Mitchell has specific experience in quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) and she conducted her graduate research under the multi-University, multi-disciplinary, Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA), a jointly funded US EPA and DHS Center of Excellence. After joining MSU, she became affiliated with CAMRA as a principal investigator. Her lab conducts both computational risk modeling research and fundamental research. Her current work and future interests lie at the intersection of chemical and microbial stressors where understanding trade-offs, benefits and risks deviate from existing risk paradigms and require new data, tools and frameworks. Her future research goals include applications of risk-based decision making to water infrastructure management, and emerging hazards such as antibiotic resistance. She is managing editor and a developer of the QMRAwiki, an interactive, online tool for the QMRA community. Dr. Mitchell has also been involved in developing and teaching training workshops in QMRA for several years. She was recently awarded a nearly $1M grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new course, models and tools to support interdisciplinary engagement in QMRA.

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Julie Libarkin Michigan State University

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Dr. Libarkin is a Professor of Geoscience Education at Michigan State University in the Department of Earth and Environment Sciences and CREATE for STEM Institute for Research on Science and Mathematics Education. Currently, her research focuses on cognition, assessment of student learning, validity and reliability in research, curriculum and visual design, and discipline-based education research.

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Mark H Weir The Ohio State University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Mark H. Weir earned his BS in Environmental Engineering from Wilkes University and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University. He worked as the Associate Director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment. He worked in risk research and engineering with the US EPA until leaving for a faculty position at Temple University. While at Temple he served as the Acting Division Director of the Environmental Health Division in the College of Public Health. Dr. Weir is now at The Ohio State University working with both the College of Public Health and College of Engineering. He specializes in predictive water quality and risk models constructed to be easy to use for operations workers and managers.

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Abstract

Box-and-arrow diagrams are simple models that help students synthesize information pertaining to complex environmental systems and allow instructors to identify and address misconceptions. These diagrams can also evaluate the effectiveness of training, through collection of diagrams before and after instruction. Box-and-arrow diagrams were used to measure the success of the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Interdisciplinary Instructional Institute (QMRA III). QMRA III is a one-and-a-half week training program designed for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and early career professionals. QMRA III helps participants to assimilate scientific data and implement computer programs towards building a risk assessment for assuring safety and health goals. Each cohort of QMRA III consists of engineering, biological and social scientists with the goal of training across disciplines. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, students were asked to construct a box-and-arrow diagram conveying a risk management plan involving the full range of biologic, economic, social, political, and cultural factors that impact risk during a pathogen exposure. Additionally, experts, professors and career professionals who were also the instructors in QMRA III, were asked to construct similar diagrams. Effectiveness of the program was assessed by comparing the participants’ understanding before and after the workshop, and also by comparing participants’ diagrams to those conveyed by experts. This paper presents the result of the study, and demonstrates how a simple tool, such as box-and-arrow diagram, can be used to evaluate an educational program with emphasis on the expansion of the participants’ knowledge beyond their own discipline.

Adhikari, U., & Mitchell, J., & Libarkin, J., & Weir, M. H. (2017, June), Measuring the success of an educational program through box-and-arrow diagram: A case study of the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Interdisciplinary Instructional Institute Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28659

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