Daytona Beach, Florida
August 6, 2017
August 6, 2017
August 8, 2017
Diversity and FYEE Division - Paper Submission
In this paper, we describe the modification and evaluation of a first-year engineering program at a western public university. Primarily motivated by the desire to improve students’ readiness for and performance in subsequent calculus classes, we adopted a modified version of the Wright State integrated mathematics curriculum at our institution. The curriculum we describe and evaluate in this paper integrates the engineering mathematics focus of the Wright State curriculum with engineering design activities intended to create a course that is both engaging for students and effective at preparing the students for future mathematics and engineering coursework. Based on a positive experience with a pilot of the course modeled on the Wright State curriculum model, we transitioned to using this curriculum for all sections of our first-year engineering course to include a stronger emphasis on mathematics content and preparation and exposure to Matlab programming. Given the motivation for our modification and the focus of the new course is on improving students’ performance and retention in calculus, we evaluated the effectiveness of the new course by longitudinally tracking students’ success and persistence in subsequent engineering mathematics courses. The results of these analyses show that students’ participating in the new course are not performing significantly better than their peers from earlier years, and international students seem to be fairing worse under the new curriculum. Potential reasons include misalignment of the lecture and laboratory activities associated with the course and changes in the student population, especially international students, that are not captured in the model.
Salzman, N., & Hunt, G. L. (2017, August), Modification and Assessment of a First-Year Engineering Course to Improve Students’ Calculus Readiness Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/29426
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