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The University of Alabama (UA) is exploring Learning in Advance (LIA) courses to introduce engineering students to core course concepts prior to encountering them in subsequent "gateway" courses. The term gateway is applied to those courses identified as critical to success in that specific engineering discipline. At UA the gateway courses in electrical/computer engineering is electric circuits (ECE 225). On a review of institutional data from 2010 to 2015, the rate of students earning grades of D, F, or withdrawing from the course (referred to as the DFW rate) for this gateway course was 15-20% for electrical circuits. To support student success in this gateway course, an LIA prep course was designed to cover approximately 35% of the concept’s students will encounter in the associated gateway course focusing on mastery of these concepts at a high level. In this work, an overview of the electric circuits LIA prep course is provided with an analysis of student performance in both prep and gateway courses to identify if this effort is successful in its aim (to reduce the DFW rate of students in ECE 225). Student feedback from institutional surveys of the students registered in the course is also provided to provide further insight into their experience. Finally, lessons learned from the development and delivery of the prep course are provided to help inform faculty interested in offering similar style courses at their own institution.
Freeborn, T. (2022, August), Student Progress after a Learning in Advance Course to Prepare Engineering Students for Circuit Analysis in Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://sftp.asee.org/41932
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