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Preliminary Analysis of Implementation of the “Design Your Process of Becoming a World-Class Engineering Student” Project in Introduction to Engineering Course

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division (FYP) - Technical Session 10: Identity & Belonging 2

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs Division (FYP)

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Paper Authors


Uri Feldman Wentworth Institute

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Uri Feldman is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Feldman developed informatics metrics to quantify performance of clinicians when using digital diagnostic tools. He has published in Radiology, Academic Radiology, IS&T, SPIE, and RESNA. As a Latino and native Spanish speaker, born in Peru, Dr. Feldman has created markets and commercialized innovative telemedicine products in Latin America for medical device companies, including Orex Computed Radiography, Kodak Health Group, and ICRco. Dr. Feldman also served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program where he led the strategic planning and migration to EPIC Electronic Health Records system and novel meaningful use implementations through the Massachusetts Health Information Exchange. At Wentworth, Dr. Feldman is focused on project-based instruction, hands-on simulations, experiential learning approaches, and first year curriculum. Dr. Feldman is one of the lead instructors for Introduction to Engineering courses, with enrollments in the hundreds each fall. His research and teaching interests, in addition to first year engineering, include telemedicine, health informatics, rehabilitation engineering, and medical robotics. Dr. Feldman has collaborated with researchers and engineers from organizations including Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Vecnacares, and Restoreskills.

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George D. Ricco University of Indianapolis

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George D. Ricco is an engineering education educator who focuses on advanced analytical models applied to student progression, and teaching first-year engineering, engineering design principles, and project management.

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This paper presents a preliminary analysis of the efficacy and impact of a reimagined Introduction to Engineering course based on the Design Your Process (DYP) project for becoming a World-Class Engineering Student (WCES) introduced by Landis. The course focuses on development of soft skills including collaboration, reflection, peer review, and time management; skills which are increasingly recognized as an important part of student development and engineering education. Over twelve weekly lectures and workshops, close to 500 students learn about the various engineering disciplines, the engineering profession, the engineering design process, the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges, academic honesty, ethics, learning skills, and student support resources on campus.

Prior to the implementation of the DYP project, Introduction to Engineering taught skills related to engineering practice, such as unit systems, dimensional analysis, and technical communications. While these skills are important, being taught outside of any specific application was not as engaging or applicable for the students. The course met twelve times for fifty-minute lectures during the semester, which did not allow for much “face-time” to cover the topics in enough detail or with exploration and application. In addition, students conducted assignments individually, with minimal collaboration, and assessments were memorization based using multiple choice questions. The final paper that students had to write, based on their choice of one NAE Grand Challenge, was burdensome for students to write and for the instructors to grade. The feeling was that there was not much application or reflection and not enough learning. The Introduction to Engineering course was due for an overhaul. Based on previous published research on the impact of the DYP, and supported by student feedback and instructor observations, the course was refocused to help students build skills to become effective and successful engineering students following the Landis approach. Redesign of the course was an ambitious but achievable goal: to develop it in four months and for delivery of the material over a series of twelve lectures. The lead instructor, one of the authors of this paper, in collaboration with an instructional designer, developed a reimagined course, and delivered to 319 students during the Fall of 2021 semester. The course ran fully on the D2L-Brightspace learning management system (LMS), utilizing its engagement, collaboration, and attendance tools and its rich-media features. The LMS tools made the course manageable in tracking the course content, communications, assignments, reflections, peer reviews, attendance, and grades for the large number of students.

Three main interventions were implemented to support the DYP goals for the course: (1) e-portfolios and rich-media assignments with peer feedback; (2) photovoice reflections by each student on their journey towards becoming WCES; (3) preparation for and conducting at least one informational interview with an engineer.

In this paper, results of preliminary analysis of the effectiveness and impact of these interventions in enabling the Design your Process journey towards developing World Class Engineering Students are presented. Thematic analysis of the data is currently being performed following established methods, with themes identified solely based on collected data without pre-existing code sets. Initial observations indicate that, overall, the redesigned course seems to have been effective in accomplishing its goals during its pilot offering in the Fall of 2021. Most students seemed to be engaged and actively participated in lectures, collaborated on activities, and shared their thoughts and insights through reflections and peer review in their ePortfolios and other activities. In general, students were surprised by how much they learned from conducting informational interviews and were motivated to continue doing them as they progress with their education and career exploration. As the evaluation progresses, other tools, such as photovoice analysis of student reflections about their DYP process experience is also planned.

Feldman, U., & Ricco, G. D. (2023, June), Preliminary Analysis of Implementation of the “Design Your Process of Becoming a World-Class Engineering Student” Project in Introduction to Engineering Course Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43940

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