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Six Years of Living with the Lab

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 3; The Best of All the FPD Papers

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

23

DOI

10.18260/p.25811

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25811

Download Count

221

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Paper Authors

biography

Gerald W. Recktenwald Portland State University

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Gerald Recktenwald is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department at Portland State University. His current research interests are in improving engineering education, and in the numerical simulation and measurement of fluid flow heat transfer in electronic equipment, energy efficient buildings, and other industrial applications.

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Abstract

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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