June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1174.1 - 22.1174.10
Preparing Engineering Students to Take a Calculus Course: An Engineering-Oriented ApproachSeveral national reports have discussed the importance of increasing the quality and number ofengineering graduates in the United States. One segment of the population in which substantialimprovements are possible is students who enter college with a declared major or interest inengineering but who need to improve their mathematical preparation before it is likely they willsucceed in the first calculus course. This segment includes a disproportionately high number ofBlacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, populations that are the focus of many efforts todiversify undergraduate engineering enrollment and the engineering workforce.Results from other initiatives suggest that an engineering emphasis in mathematical preparationcan improve performance and retention of engineering students. Most engineering curriculumslist Engineering Calculus I as the first mathematics course. Students not prepared academicallyto enter this course can often feel neglected because they may not learn any engineering conceptsfor another semester or two. Also, they are out of step with many of their peers, possiblyincluding friends with whom they came to college. Their course load their first semester includescourses, such as English and Chemistry, in addition to their pre-calculus course, and the word‘engineering’ is non-existent.Faculty members at a large public university and a local community college worked together tocreate an engineering approach to preparing students to take a calculus course. Their intent is tobetter prepare engineering students for their first engineering calculus and increase thepercentage of students being retained in engineering.The paper will describe: • Topics determined to be needed for engineering calculus instead of the course simply providing a complete review of trigonometry and algebra, • The instrument used to assess readiness of students for Calculus I, • Examples of model-eliciting activities incorporated into the classroom where students must propose a mathematical model describe a certain phenomenon, and • Results for students who have completed the course.
Shryock, K. J., & Srinivasa, A. R., & Froyd, J. E. (2011, June), Preparing Engineering Students to Take a Calculus Course: An Engineering-Oriented Approach Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18704
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