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Student Perceptions of Course Projects as a Learning Tool

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Design Projects

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Wendy S. Reffeor Grand Valley State University

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Wendy Reffeor is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University. She earned her Bachelors from GMI Engineering & Management Institute, Masters from Purdue University and Doctorate from Michigan State University. Her industrial experience includes designing quality systems for Allison Engine Company in Indianapolis. Since joining GVSU, she has focused on introducing design and build projects in traditionally analytical courses in the Engineering Mechanics sequence.

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John Farris Grand Valley State University

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John Farris joined the faculty at Grand Valley State University after a successful tenure as the chief product designer for a medical device manufacturer. His other significant industrial experience includes designing engine components for Caterpillar Inc. and consulting on the design of stationary fuel cell power generation units. His current research interests are design methods and medical technology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island and his Bachelors and masters degrees from Lehigh University.

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As project-based learning is becoming more prevalent due to learning effectiveness studies, student perception of the effectiveness of various types of active learning needs to be assessed. A pilot study was conducted on twenty-three students in a junior level Machine Design course. These students came from two sections of the course, each of which had a course project. One course project was a sponsored design and build project and the other project was a close-ended analysis project. Students were aware of the type of project in each section when choosing a section.

Reffeor, W. S., & Farris, J. (2016, June), Student Perceptions of Course Projects as a Learning Tool Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25909

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