June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1345.1 - 22.1345.11
Service learning: Motivating students to engineer sustainablyAbstract The evolving engineering education paradigm is centered on the belief that solutions tocurrent and future problems must consider a human dimension. Inherent to this challenge is thenecessary expansion of technological solutions to encompass social, political, environmental,and economic dynamics of systems on a global scale. Correspondingly, the theme underlying allaspects of educational reform is adequate preparation for engineers to address global problems insustainable ways. Educators must work towards shifting engineering pedagogies to help studentslearn a more all-encompassing, human-centered, problem-solving approach. Across the country, institutions of higher education have undertaken the challenge ofincorporating sustainability into curricula through various forms of pedagogy. However, there islittle supporting evidence regarding the quality of these learning experiences, leaving theengineering education community with no robust or established way of measuring and/orcomparing the efficacy of different pedagogies. With recognition of the need to assesssustainable engineering programs, a deeper question is exhumed: What is the appropriateassessment measure(s) for a human centered learning experience? We contend that as teachingmethods shift towards a more holistic approach, assessment must evolve in parallel. Our research involves developing assessment instruments to measure the efficacy ofsustainable engineering courses or programs. Using two complementary instruments, we willexplore whether service learning has influenced students’ knowledge of and motivation topractice sustainable engineering. Our rationale for this exploration rests in the experientialaspects of learning through service; rather than learning about sustainable engineering in aclassroom, students are instilled with the humanistic nature of sustainable engineering throughcommunity involvement. The first instrument is an open-ended, reality-based question designedto measure students’ levels of understanding of sustainable engineering. The second instrumentis an online survey designed to measure students’ confidence, motivation and affect in thesustainable engineering domain. In this paper, we describe the instrument development andvalidation, the results of our pilot study, and future dissemination of validated assessmentinstruments.
Wiggins, J., & McCormick, M. E., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Swan, C. W., & Paterson, K. (2011, June), Students and Sustainability: Assessing Students' Understanding of Sustainability from Service Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18676
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