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Research for the Improvement of the Foundations of Engineering Lab Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Student Division Technical Session 5

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Kelsy Ecclesiastre University of South Florida

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Kelsy is a Pre-Cybersecurity major at the University of South Florida- Tampa. She grew up in Jacksonville, Florida with her two older sisters. Kelsy's hobbies include competitive figure skating, and language learning. She hopes to become fluent in 10 languages and eventually start an international business.

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Robert Hogan Jr University of South Florida

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Robert Hogan is a second year student pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of
South Florida. He attended DeLand High School for the Engineering Academy where he was introduced to different fields of engineering, which built his interest in the power field. Currently he is assisting the faculty of the Foundations of Engineering Lab course at the University of South Florida.

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Background Most Engineering students are not able to acquire significant experience relevant to their major until their third or fourth semester in college due to College of Engineering prerequisites. The Foundations of Engineering Lab course is designed to introduce new students to the technical and design process aspects of their major through the use of group design projects. These group projects simulate the relationships between business partners, consumers, and design engineers. This course was implemented at the start of the 2017 Fall Semester and data collection for this research document was initiated during the 2018 Fall Semester.

Purpose The lab component of the First-year Foundations of Engineering program has recently changed from a pilot status class (worth one credit hour) to a full-fledged course worth three credit-hours. The program’s project goals have not changed significantly over the past year. Our research obtains student feedback of their experiences in the First-year program and leads to the implementation projects specific to certain majors.

Method Current and former students are being surveyed regarding how this course has impacted their undergraduate careers, as well as students who were not able to take the course before its implementation. The results are being compiled from a survey that asks these questions: “What did you know about their particular discipline before taking Foundations of Engineering Lab? What are you currently learning in the course? How have Foundations of Engineering Lab equipped you for current classes (In the case former students)?” Students who did not take the Lab course were asked about their major status and relevant experience before and after being accepted into their department. Feedback from non students will help guide the usefulness of the course by implementing factors that lead to success in particular disciplines.

Anticipated Results/Conclusion Using the survey results, the Foundations of Engineering course will be revised to allow students to recognize the technical aspects of their anticipated studies before they request to be declared into the major.This will provide students more accurate expectations of the field within their discipline, while allowing the College of Engineering to attain the end goal increased retention rates.

Ecclesiastre, K., & Hogan, R. (2019, June), Research for the Improvement of the Foundations of Engineering Lab Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33239

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