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"Real Outreach Experiences In Engineering": Merging Service Learning And Design In A First Year Engineering Course

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Design for Society and the Environment

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

14.2.1 - 14.2.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5333

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

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Christopher Williams Virginia Tech

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Christopher Bryant Williams is an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University with a joint appointment in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Education departments. Professor Williams is the Director of the Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems (DREAMS) Laboratory. His joint appointment reflects his diverse research interests which include design, methodology, layered manufacturing, and design education.

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Richard Goff Virginia Tech

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Richard Goff is an Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head of the Department of
Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is also the Director of the Frith Freshman Engineering Design Laboratory and the Faculty Advisor of the VT Mini-Baja Team. He is actively involved in bringing joy and adventure to the educational process and is the recipient of numerous University teaching awards.

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Janis Terpenny Virginia Tech

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Janis Terpenny is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Education,
and an affiliate faculty of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is Director of
the Center for e-Design, a multi-university NSF I/UCRC center. Her research focuses on methods
and representation schemes for early design process and on engineering design education. She
was previously faculty at the University of Massachusetts and worked at General Electric (GE),
including the completion of a two-year management program. She is a member of ASEE, ASME, IIE, and Alpha Pi Mu and is the Design Economics area editor for The Engineering Economist and the Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.

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Jenny Lo Virginia Tech

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JENNY LO is an advanced instructor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She has primarily been involved in teaching first-year engineering classes, and her research interests include first-year engineering
curriculum, engineering ethics instruction, and student diversity.

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biography

Tamara Knott Virginia Tech

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Tamara Knott is an Associate Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She focuses on pedagogical issues associated with teaching freshman engineering. She is the course coordinator for the second semester Exploration of Engineering Design course taken by approximately 900 freshman engineering students each spring.

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Karen Gilbert Virginia Tech

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Karen Gilbert is the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships and the Coordinator of VT-ENGAGE
at Virginia Tech. The Center is devoted to being a hub for student engagement with non-profit organizations, civic groups, schools, and community agencies across the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. VT-ENGAGE provides the resources and links for the Virginia Tech
community to find a place to volunteer their time, talents and energy and make a difference in the community.

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

“Real Outreach eXperiences In Engineering”: Merging Service- Learning and Design in a First-Year Engineering Course

Abstract The instructors of the first-year engineering course at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are faced each year with the challenge of providing a meaningful, appropriate, and valuable project experience that supports learning and fosters interest about engineering design. While past projects have been suitable for achieving basic learning outcomes, the speculative nature of these projects has not provided opportunities for student learning on broader topics such as working with a customer, identifying customer requirements, framing an open-ended design problem, and most importantly, identifying their role as an engineer in the world at large. In the spring semester of 2008, the instructors of “Exploration of Engineering Design” explored the use of a project set in the context of service learning as a means of achieving these broader learning objectives while still meeting the course learning outcomes for engineering design. The ROXIE Program (an acronym for “Real Outreach eXperiences In Engineering”) was born from this effort.

With the aid of the campus’s Service Learning Center, 179 teams (composed of 4-6 students each) were paired with non-profit community organizations. The student teams acted as “Systems Design Consultants” and were instructed to “serve and improve” the community through engineering design. Specifically, the teams were tasked with (i) performing an act of service for the community organization, (ii) meeting with the community organization’s leader to identify a design problem that needed to be solved, and finally, (iii) proposing a solution to the identified problem by following the design method taught in class.

In this paper, the authors will describe the rationale, pedagogical choices, and administrative tasks involved in providing a design-related service learning experience for first-year students on such a large scale. Excerpts from students’ reflection essays are presented as anecdotal evidence that the proposed program assisted students in achieving the course objectives and learning outcomes.

1. Offering a First Year Engineering Design Experience on a Large Scale

1.1 Context: “Exploration of Engineering Design” The context for this paper is a required introductory course for first-year engineering students of Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is a large mid-Atlantic land-grant university; the engineering college is its largest, and features an undergraduate enrollment of ~6,000 students. The two- credit course, entitled “Exploration of Engineering Design” (ENGE 1114), features an enrollment of over 900 students, is segmented into multiple sections, and is structured around two weekly meetings: one large (~300 seat) one-hour lecture that is orchestrated by the faculty instructors, and one two-hour workshop session (~35 seat) that is monitored by a graduate teaching assistant and typically features hands-on activities.

Williams, C., & Goff, R., & Terpenny, J., & Lo, J., & Knott, T., & Gilbert, K. (2009, June), "Real Outreach Experiences In Engineering": Merging Service Learning And Design In A First Year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5333

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: © 2009 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