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On Implementation of Classroom-Based Pedagogies of Engagement: Relevant Measures and General Outcomes

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Pedagogy and Learning 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.949.1 - 24.949.12



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Paper Authors


Waddah Akili Iowa State University

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Waddah Akili, an academician and a civil engineering consultant in Ames, Iowa, has published in various fields, including geotechnical engineering, foundations, and pavement materials and design. He has been involved with contemporary engineering education issues, addressing a wide range of topics of interest and relevance to engineering institutions and practicing engineers in the United States and abroad.

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On Implementation of Classroom-Based Pedagogies of Engagement: Relevant Measures and General OutcomesAbstract:Educators, at all levels, as well as policy planners have advocated student involvement asan essential aspect of meaningful learning. Learning “about” things through conventionalmethods (low interaction lecture –based) does not necessarily enable students to acquirethe abilities and understanding they will need for their future studies and or careers.Research has shown that interaction among students and interaction between faculty andstudents- carried by far the largest weights and affected more general education outcomesthan any other factor examined, including the curriculum content factors.This paper focuses on classroom-based pedagogies of engagement, particularlycooperative and problem-based learning (PBL) in an engineering program, and arguesthat implementation of problem-based learning needs to be placed in a context and mustbe developed with careful consideration of the social, economic, and ethnic diversity ofthe student population and the university academic culture and prevailing norms. Thepaper includes a brief history, selected PBL models, strategies to infuse PBL in anengineering program, and suggestions for redesigning classes and courses to catalyzechange in the classroom environment through student engagement. The paper, also,addresses the potential difficulties that could arise during implementation of PBL, andargues for the need, at the start, to resort to “informal” cooperative learning approaches,intertwined with the traditional lecture, to help equip students, step at a time, with thetools necessary for the formation of long-term cooperative learning groups, and toprovide support and encouragement for all group members; that is, to ensure that eachmember gets the help he/she needs to be successful in becoming a member of the group;thus, enabling students to acquire the knowledge and understanding they will need fortheir future careers. The relevant measures here include: knowledge aquisition, retention,accuracy, creativity in problem solving, and good reasoning.The proposed paper reports on author’s own vision and experience with setting up,structuring, and implementing formal and informal cooperative strategies including: waysto break lecture-dominant pattern, how to keep students active while learning, ways to getstudents to know their classmates and build a sense of community with them, how tocooperate instead of competing, and ways to build trust with each other. Finally, thepaper closes with the emphasis on the need to provide students with training and thepractice in the social skills required to work cooperatively with others, skillfullybalance.personal relationships, and become contributing members of their communities.

Akili, W. (2014, June), On Implementation of Classroom-Based Pedagogies of Engagement: Relevant Measures and General Outcomes Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22882

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