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Proactive Inclusion of Neurodiverse Learning Styles in Project-based Learning: A Call for Action

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Engineering Cultures from a Theoretical Perspective

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30891

Download Count

114

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Paper Authors

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Jeff Dusek Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Dr. Dusek joined Olin in 2017 from Harvard where he served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences under faculty supervisor Professor Radhika Nagpal developing miniature underwater vehicles for marine swarm applications. Prior to joining Harvard, he held several teaching and research roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology’s Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM). Dr. Dusek received his Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering, an M.S. in Ocean Engineering from MIT and a B.S. from Florida Atlantic University in Ocean Engineering as well.

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Daniela Faas Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Dr. Daniela Faas is a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and the director of design and fabriation operations at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Prior to joining Olin College, Dr. Faas was the senior preceptor in design instruction at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Dr. Faas was a Shapiro postdoctoral fellow in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT after receiving her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University. Dr. Faas graduated from Bucknell University with her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and joint B.S./B.A. in Mechanical Engineering and International Relations. Dr. Faas is currently a research affiliate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research focuses on developing low cost immersive Virtual Reality applications for products and systems, early stage design process and methodology and engineering education.

Research interests: virtual reality (VR) applications in mechanical design, design methodology and engineering education.

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Emily Ferrier Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1993-9184

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Robyn Goodner Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Ms. Robyn Goodner is the Instructor of Design and Fabrication at Olin College of Engineering. Her specialties include fabrication techniques, mechanical design, and improving accessibility of shop spaces. She holds a Masters in Music, Vocal Performance, from Longy School of Music of Bard College and a Bachelors of Arts from Tufts University.

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Alisha L. Sarang-Sieminski Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Alisha Sarang-Sieminski is an Assistant Professor of bioengineering at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Her interests include how using low-tech, human centered design to cocreate adaptive design solutions and and how people respond to and influence the schemas and power dynamics in their surroundings.

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Adva Waranyuwat Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Alison Wood Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Dr. Wood is a distinguished researcher in the fields of both water and sanitation, as well as sustainability solutions, through interdisciplinary approaches. Her love of learning was first fostered by an unusual elementary school education that was deeply interdisciplinary with a substantial arts curriculum. After graduating from Harvard University with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature, she worked professionally in theater and wrote and recorded two musical albums. She then returned to school to study engineering, earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University in 2011. While completing her degree at Rutgers, she wrote and arranged the music and lyrics for a stage musical in collaboration with a Los Angeles based playwright. Dr. Wood went on to earn a Master of Science in Engineering in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Her love of teaching has grown through fifteen years of private tutoring, three years of teaching summer drama classes to teenagers, and her years as a teaching assistant at UT Austin. She has published research papers in incentivizing decentralized sanitation and wastewater treatment, sustainability analysis of coastal community water and sanitation service options, and automated data acquisition for integrating multiple datasets using GIS applications proceedings.

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Abstract

This paper discusses policies and accommodations that enable an inclusive and welcoming design course environment for students with a variety of identities, including students with non-visible disabilities. Design is an integral part of engineering education at ABC College. In ABC’s largely project-based curriculum, students spend much of their time in design teams. These courses can present barriers for students with disabilities who are entitled to the same access to learning resources, including classroom culture, as their peers. Project-based courses present a wide range of challenges for students with disabilities, including, but not limited to, the ability to fully participate in hands-on learning and as a contributing team member. As larger numbers of students with identified non-visible disabilities enter engineering schools, and engineering schools increasingly adopt project-based design courses, the question of accessibility in these design courses becomes increasingly relevant.

There are many publicly available best-practice resources for making learning environments accessible for students with physical disabilities in educational spaces, such as fabrication and lab environments. Despite an increase in students reporting non-visible disabilities in higher education, there has not been a commensurate number of resources dedicated to understanding how to make learning environments more accessible to them. As educators embrace open-ended design and studio practices, it becomes more and more difficult to anticipate needs of individual students with a large variety of disabilities. We present a case study and some proposed solutions, which are a departure from traditional accommodations focused primarily on lectures and exams, and to motivate a call for action to develop more resources for all students.

Dusek, J., & Faas, D., & Ferrier, E., & Goodner, R., & Sarang-Sieminski, A. L., & Waranyuwat, A., & Wood, A. (2018, June), Proactive Inclusion of Neurodiverse Learning Styles in Project-based Learning: A Call for Action Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30891

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015