June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1038.1 - 23.1038.14
Assessment of the Learning Outcomes of Undergraduate Students in a Novel Undergraduate Aerospace Engineering Course Integrating Teaching and ResearchThis study concerns the learning experiences of undergraduate students in a novel undergraduateAerospace Engineering course that integrates teaching and research. The first one-third of thecourse is devoted to conventional lectures and laboratory exercises with computer interfaced dataacquisition systems. The latter two-thirds focus on design and research projects in AerospaceEngineering with a few lectures interspersed. The teaching method of the new course has someunique characteristics: i) Undergraduates gain a research experience by working in small groupsof two or three students supervised by a volunteer graduate student research mentor, ii) Theparticular research project is developed by the course instructors and the volunteer graduatestudent research mentor as one related to the graduate student’s thesis research, and iii) Theresearch projects integrate departmental facilities and capabilities for continued research indesign, fabrication, experimentation, and computation for future course offerings. The presentstudy analyzes the experiences of the undergraduate students by answering the followingresearch questions: 1) In what ways do undergraduate students benefit from the course’s teachingmethods?, 2) How did this experience affect undergraduate students’ interest or motivation forcontinued research in a particular area?, and 3) What are the particularly important aspects of theinstructors’ responsibilities that require attention in this teaching arrangement? Pre- and post-surveys along with interviews in focus groups were used for data collection. The benefits for theundergraduate students related to their future careers but also the difficulties encountered in thegroup dynamics, communication skills, and uneven time commitments are addressed in the fullpaper.
McLaughlin, D. K., & Schmitz, S., & Mena, I. B. (2013, June), Report on the Learning Experiences of Undergraduate Students in a Novel Aerospace Engineering Course Integrating Teaching and Research Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22423
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