New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
This paper is a report on evidence-based practice in a first year engineering program for Mechanical Engineering Students. We adapted a year-long curriculum called Living with the Lab (LWTL) that uses a project-based, hands-on instruction to introduce students to engineering fundamentals, programming, sensors, controls and engineering design. While adhering to the spirit and much of the content of the original curriculum, we added material, created new hands-on projects, introduced a flipped instructional model for the first course in the sequence, and experimented with an alternative final project model. We briefly describe our key innovations to the LWTL curriculum.
Introduction of this curriculum has coincided with a sharp rise in enrollment in our Mechanical Engineering program. Retention at the end of the three-term sequence is approximately 60%. After six years of implementation the curriculum continues to evolve. We report on a survey of student opinion that spans all cohorts of students passing through the program. Overall there is strong student satisfaction with the curriculum, especially the hands-on approach. Students describe the courses as both "fun" and "challenging". Survey responses show female students are more positive than males about the hands-on pedagogy despite having less prior hands-on experience. Both male and female respondents think the pedagogical approach is appropriate for the course material and beneficial to their learning.
Recktenwald, G. W. (2016, June), Six Years of Living with the Lab Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25811
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