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Nsf Grantee Presentation: Results Of An Innovative Approach To Learning Via Peer To Peer Undergraduate Mentoring In Engineering Technology Laboratories

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.915.1 - 14.915.9

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Paper Authors

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Farrokh Attarzadeh University of Houston

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Deniz Gurkan University of Houston

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Mequanint Moges University of Houston

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Miguel Ramos University of Houston

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Victor Gallardo University of Houston

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Mehrube Mehrubeoglu Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

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Reddy Talusani Houston Community College System

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

NSF Grantee Presentation: Innovative Approach to Learning via Peer-to-Peer Undergraduate Mentoring in Engineering Technology Laboratories Abstract The College of Technology – Computer Engineering Technology (CoT – CET) program at the University of Houston has implemented an undergraduate peer mentoring model as part of an NSF-sponsored program (grant no. DUE 0737526) examining the impact of incorporating concept mapping and undergraduate mentors on student learning at the freshman and sophomore levels. The training for this mentoring model has been adapted from a peer-led team learning program [1] and incorporates concept mapping as a primary pedagogical tool for increasing mentee understanding of key concepts. This paper discusses the details of the procedures followed to develop and implement the program which includes the special training to mentors on CMAPS, assessment activities survey instruments and the contributions made within the Computer Engineering Technology discipline.

Research Activities

The need for increased students’ capacity to engage in real world problem solving in engineering technology continues. Various pedagogical tools and models including peer-to-peer undergraduate mentoring have been used to enhance student learning as well as retention. This paper presents the preliminary results of the development and implementation of peer-to-peer mentoring with concept mapping as a primary pedagogical learning tool.

The project has three components: CLABS for hands-on project based learning experience, concept maps as a tool to facilitate discussions between peers, and mentoring sessions that use the concept maps to create a peer-to-peer learning environment. Project activities started with available CLABS lab manuals in freshman ELET 1100 AC/DC Circuit laboratories. Mentors have been trained to use concept maps and also informed during a workshop on how to conduct peer-led team learning session. The training on concept maps has been conducted by the graduate research assistant (GRA). Workshop has been given by project faculty. The project has also provided the mentors with Peer-Led Team Learning workbooks as a reference. The mentors have been scheduled to meet with assigned students to meet every week for an hour. In addition, they met with the GRA weekly to discuss challenges and report their activities.

Training and development section of this report summarizes the training for concept maps conducted in the summer of 2008, the workshop on peer-led team learning, and other training activities in the project. Appendix 5 includes all presentation and training schedules as well as contributions to the training sessions by the project team.

We have an average enrollment of about 20 students per section of the CLABS. For each section of the lab, we have two mentors (UG students), and one graduate teaching assistant (TA). Each mentor and each TA typically work in two sections of a lab. In order to provide diversity of instruction for our students, the mentors and TAs may work in any combination of related labs. Concept maps are utilized as a tool of interaction between the mentees and the mentors. They provide an aid to learning and understanding and are developed throughout the respective semester as new insights are gained from the interaction.

Attarzadeh, F., & Gurkan, D., & Moges, M., & Ramos, M., & Gallardo, V., & Mehrubeoglu, M., & Talusani, R. (2009, June), Nsf Grantee Presentation: Results Of An Innovative Approach To Learning Via Peer To Peer Undergraduate Mentoring In Engineering Technology Laboratories Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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