Asee peer logo

Strengthening Community College Engineering Programs through Alternative Learning Strategies: Developing Resources for Flexible Delivery of a Materials Science Course

Download Paper |

Conference

2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting

Location

Tempe, Arizona

Publication Date

April 20, 2017

Start Date

April 20, 2017

End Date

April 22, 2017

Conference Session

Technical Session 5b

Tagged Topic

Pacific Southwest Section

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29234

Download Count

38

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Erik N Dunmire College of Marin

visit author page

Erik Dunmire is a professor of engineering and chemistry at College of Marin. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Davis. His research interests include broadening access to and improving success in lower-division STEM education.

visit author page

biography

Thomas Rebold Monterey Peninsula College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4346-6938

visit author page

Tom Rebold has chaired the Engineering department at Monterey Peninsula College since 2004. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT, and has been teaching online engineering classes since attending the Summer Engineering Teaching Institute at Cañada College in 2012.

visit author page

biography

Eva Schiorring Canada College

visit author page

Eva Schiorring has almost two decades of experience in research and evaluation and special knowledge about STEM education in community colleges and four-year institutions. Ms. Schiorring presently serves as the external evaluator for three NSF-funded projects that range in scope and focus from leadership development to service learning and experimentation with alternative delivery, including online lab courses. Ms. Schiorring is also evaluating a project that is part of the California State University system’s new initiative to increase first year persistence in STEM. In 2014, Ms. Schiorring was one of the first participants in the NSF’s Innovation-CORPS (I-CORPS), a two-month intensive training that uses an entrepreneurship model to teach participants to achieve scalable sustainability in NSF-funded projects. Past projects include evaluation of an NSF-funded project to improve advising for engineering students at a major state university in California. Ms. Schiorring is the author and co-author of numerous papers and served as project lead on a major study of transfer in engineering. Ms. Schiorring holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

visit author page

biography

Amelito G Enriquez Canada College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1259-0680

visit author page

Amelito Enriquez is a professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Cañada College in Redwood City, CA. He received a BS in Geodetic Engineering from the University of the Philippines, his MS in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include technology-enhanced instruction and increasing the representation of female, minority and other underrepresented groups in mathematics, science and engineering.

visit author page

biography

Nicholas Langhoff Skyline College

visit author page

Nicholas Langhoff is an associate professor of engineering and computer science at Skyline College in San Bruno, California. He received his M.S. degree from San Francisco State University in embedded electrical engineering and computer systems. His educational research interests include technology-enhanced instruction, online education, metacognitive teaching and learning strategies, reading apprenticeship in STEM, and the development of novel instructional equipment and curricula for enhancing academic success in science and engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Community colleges provide an important pathway for many prospective engineering graduates, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups. However, due to a lack of facilities, resources, student demand and/or local faculty expertise, the breadth and frequency of engineering course offerings is severely restricted at many community colleges. This in turn presents challenges for students trying to maximize their transfer eligibility and preparedness. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program (NSF IUSE), three community colleges from Northern California collaborated to increase the availability and accessibility of a comprehensive lower-division engineering curriculum, even at small-to-medium sized community colleges. This was accomplished by developing resources and teaching strategies that could be employed in a variety of delivery formats (e.g., fully online, online/hybrid, flipped face-to-face, etc.), providing flexibility for local community colleges to leverage according to their individual needs. This paper focuses on the iterative development, testing, and refining of the resources for an introductory Materials Science course with 3-unit lecture and 1-unit laboratory components. This course is required as part of recently adopted statewide model associate degree curricula for transfer into Civil, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Manufacturing engineering bachelor’s degree programs at California State Universities. However, offering such a course is particularly challenging for many community colleges, because of a lack of adequate expertise and/or laboratory facilities and equipment. Consequently, course resources were developed to help mitigate these challenges by streamlining preparation for instructors new to teaching the course, as well as minimizing the face-to-face use of traditional materials testing equipment in the laboratory portion of the course. These same resources can be used to support online hybrid and other alternative (e.g., emporium) delivery approaches. After initial pilot implementation of the course during the Spring 2015 semester by the curriculum designer in a flipped student-centered format, these same resources were then implemented by an instructor who had never previously taught the course, at a different community college that did not have its own materials laboratory facilities. A single site visit was arranged with a nearby community college to afford students an opportunity to complete certain lab activities using traditional materials testing equipment. Lessons learned during this attempt were used to inform curriculum revisions, which were evaluated in a repeat offering the following year. In all implementations of the course, student surveys and interviews were used to determine students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the course resources, student use of these resources, and overall satisfaction with the course. Additionally, student performance on objective assessments was compared with that of traditional lecture delivery of the course by the curriculum designer in prior years. During initial implementations of the course, results from these surveys and assessments revealed low levels of student satisfaction with certain aspects of the flipped approach and course resources, as well as reduced learning among students at the alternate institution. Subsequent modifications to the curriculum and delivery approach were successful in addressing most of these deficiencies.

Dunmire, E. N., & Rebold, T., & Schiorring, E., & Enriquez, A. G., & Langhoff, N. (2017, April), Strengthening Community College Engineering Programs through Alternative Learning Strategies: Developing Resources for Flexible Delivery of a Materials Science Course Paper presented at 2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, Tempe, Arizona. https://peer.asee.org/29234

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015