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Remote Teaching Robotics Design Project

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2021 First-Year Engineering Experience



Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

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Olukemi Akintewe University of South Florida

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Dr. Olukemi Akintewe is the director of the first-year engineering experiential learning at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, Florida. She is also an instructional faculty in the Department of Medical Engineering at USF. She received a B.E. degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York, CUNY, an M.Sc in materials science and engineering from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida. Dr. Akintewe's research focuses on experiential learning in engineering education, evidence-based teaching practice, and engineering assessment models supporting students’ learning, classroom management techniques, and retention.

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A first-year mandatory engineering project-based course aims to develop the engineering mindset by engaging in active learning strategies built on the design-thinking framework created by Ulrich and Eppinger. Course outcomes are achieved via student's participation in the fabrication of an autonomous robotic vehicle facilitated through practical hands-on activities, group discussions, and laboratory modules. Due to COVID-19, this formerly in-person course adopted a synchronous teaching model and used online instructional tools for lectures, group activities, and project support. The robotic project helped introduce students to different engineering disciplines by employing the multi-developmental phases of creating a robot. The teaching approach also provided students an engineering design experience while working in interdisciplinary teams. Students are required to design and fabricate a relevant prototype for stakeholders and, while doing so, learn and acquire essential competencies and skillsets relevant to engineering professions. Course methodology involves weekly assignments and the acquisition of project kits by individual students. The engineering mindset is assessed through content knowledge of inclusive modules in electronics, programming, 3D printing, innovation, data analysis, professional development, and engineering ethics assignments. Students project teams composed of different engineering majors, with members serving unique engineering roles such as design lead, hardware, software, project, or testing lead.

Learning outcomes include using software, hardware-based technologies, and research-based inquiries to design, fabricate, test, and improve an autonomous robot. Measurement of these outcomes will be accomplished through course assessments, student evaluations, and the final project showcase results. This remote course structure should foster an engineering mindset, technical know-how, innovation and promote essential competencies like teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking skills. Students should have learned strategies for effective problem solving and engineering design process experience by the end of the course. Despite the pandemic challenges, it is anticipated that students will acquire relevant toolsets for manufacturing, synthesis, analysis, and technology that support engineering solutions.

Akintewe, O. (2021, August), Remote Teaching Robotics Design Project Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual .

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