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Project Catalyst: Successes And Frustrations Of Introducing Systemic Change To Engineering Education

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.814.1 - 6.814.14



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Paper Authors

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Leslie Pease

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Edward Mastascusa

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Dan Hyde

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Brian Hoyt

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Bill Snyder

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Maurice F. Aburdene

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Michael Prince

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Margot Vigeant

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

Session 1266

Project Catalyst: Successes and Frustrations of Introducing Systemic Change to Engineering Education

Michael Prince, Daniel C. Hyde, E.J. Mastascusa, Margot Vigeant, Michael Hanyak, Maurice F. Aburdene, Brian Hoyt, William Snyder

Bucknell University College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering/Electrical Engineering/ Instructional Technology/ Computer Science/ Electrical Engineering/ Instructional Assessment/ Chemical Engineering


Project Catalyst is a NSF funded initiative to promote systemic change in engineering education by having faculty collaborate in teams to re-envision their roles in the students’ learning process. The ultimate goals of the project are:

• to educate engineering faculty in instructional design techniques that are then implemented throughout the curriculum • to transform the classroom into an active learning environment using cooperative learning and other learning approaches, and • to efficiently and effectively incorporate the use of information technology in the learning process.

Initial efforts at Bucknell University have focussed on getting both faculty and students to work together as teams. For the first time, faculty members from across the engineering disciplines are making coordinated and sustained efforts to change the way they teach. This paper discusses the results of those initial efforts, including successes and failures of the initial implementation. The changes discussed were implemented in courses across the engineering curriculum, both in terms of class year and major. Conclusions and lessons are drawn from all of these courses, and three courses in particular are highlighted, to demonstrate “real” application of cooperative and collaborative learning ideas. While students and to some extent faculty are resistant to change, the observations of the Catalyst group show that altering the focus of engineering education is a worthwhile endeavor.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Pease, L., & Mastascusa, E., & Hyde, D., & Hoyt, B., & Snyder, B., & Aburdene, M. F., & Prince, M., & Vigeant, M. (2001, June), Project Catalyst: Successes And Frustrations Of Introducing Systemic Change To Engineering Education Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9686

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