July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
During the summer of 2020, a team of faculty re-imagined the School of Engineering’s first-year design course to create consistency between individual sections, to create space for first-year students attending online classes to form friendships, to explicitly teach design thinking and problem solving in a virtual environment, and to integrate ethics into the project-based course. This fall-term course enrolled the entire first-year class of approximately 140 chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and general engineering students. Interdisciplinary teams worked on projects in the general theme of “Engineering for Social Good.” Project topics included: designing smarter and more resilient cities, developing therapeutic devices, designing shelter for refugees in flight, and making fuel from food waste. The faculty designed and led their own section’s projects while having a set of common activities and deliverables with similar timelines and baseline rubrics. To build community among the students, every project team had a maximum of eight students mentored by an undergraduate teaching assistant. Each class dealt with the limits of the pandemic in different ways; for instance, some courses developed “@Home” kits, some courses provided limited access to campus spaces, and some courses had all virtual projects. The faculty met weekly to assess course progress. Additionally, a survey was developed to assess how well students communicated, formed bonds, and enjoyed the course across different sections and approaches to handling a project-based course in the era of COVID.
Simson, A., & Lawless, M. S., & Lee, C., & Shay, L., & Cumberbatch, T. J., & Smith, A. W., & Shlayan, N. (2021, July), Teaching the First-Year, Hands-On Engineering Design Experience Online Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37826
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