Washington, District of Columbia
April 6, 2018
April 6, 2018
April 7, 2018
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2022, occupations in science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively called STEM, are expected to make up over five percent of all jobs. Indeed, the new global economy is being built on the foundation of the STEM fields. In particular, engineers will be in increasingly high demand and will have some of the fastest job growth in the next decade. However, preparing students to enter into and contribute to this new economy will require not only teaching them the technical expertise to innovate, but also communication skills to interact with and collaborate with others in interdisciplinary fields and with the general public. More and more, engineers need to able to convey highly technical information to a non-technical audience. However, opportunities to develop these skills are often limited in the undergraduate classroom setting.
To help develop students’ ability to communicate to a non-technical audience, we implemented a service-learning project whereby students in a biomedical engineering class produced tutorial videos that demonstrated how to construct the Foldscope Microscope, an inexpensive paper microscope developed at Stanford University. The videos were then used in a STEM outreach program for middle school students, in which the middle school students constructed and used a Foldscope. To generate the video, students had to interpret the technical instructions found online, produce a video that could be easily accessible, and demonstrate how to construct the Foldscope in a manner that was engaging and understandable to a middle school student.
Student attitudes and learning outcomes were surveyed at the end of project. The majority of students felt the project enhanced a number of communication skills and broadened their perspective of how they could use their engineering skills to serve others. One video was selected to be used in the STEM outreach program. Several students in the outreach program commented on the excellent quality of the video and we observed a number of students referring to the video during the construction of the Foldscope. These results demonstrate that the production of tutorial videos can provide a meaningful, service-oriented learning experience for students to develop communication, collaborative, and critical thinking skills.
Schmitz, A., & Conklin, N. B., & Aoh, Q. (2018, April), Service-Learning through Student Generated Tutorial Videos Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Mid-Atlantic Section Spring Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/29486
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