Asee peer logo

Team Teaching In An Integrated Freshman Engineering Curriculum

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.434.1 - 1.434.4



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Richard M. Felder

author page

Philip R. Dail

author page

Leonhard E. Bernold

author page

John E. Gastineau

author page

Ernest E. Burniston

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1261


Richard M. Felder, Leonhard E. Bernold, Ernest E. Burniston, Philip R. Dail, John E. Gastineau North Carolina State University

An integrated freshman engineering curriculum called IMPEC (for Integrated Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, and Chemistry Curriculum) is currently being pilot-tested at North Carolina State University under the sponsorship of the NSF SUCCEED Coalition. In each semester, the students take a calculus course, a science course (chemistry in the first semester, physics in the second), and a one-credit engineering course. The goals of the curriculum are to provide (1) motivation and context for the fundamental material taught in the first-year mathematics and science courses; (2) a realistic and positive orientation to the engineering profession, and (3) training in the problem-solving, study, and communication skills that correlate with success in engineering school and equip individuals to be lifelong learners.

IMPEC is one of a number of integrated engineering curricula being developed around the country. In contrast to many of the other programs in which courses in different disciplines are simply coordinated, IMPEC features full integration. The curriculum is taught by a multidisciplinary team of professors using a combination of traditional lecturing and alternative instructional methods including cooperative learning, activity-based class sessions, and extensive use of computer simulations. A single computer-equipped classroom that accommodates 36 students serves for all class meetings (except for chemistry wet-labs). This paper outlines the approach used to develop and teach the curriculum and proposes necessary conditions for multidisciplinary team teaching to be effective.

Faculty Roles and Tasks

One faculty member (RMF) serves as overall project coordinator and instructor in the first-semester engineering course. Another (JEG), who is fully supported by the project funding, takes principal responsibility for student recruitment and program logistics (class scheduling, equipment and supplies maintenance, and coordination of assignment and handout preparation) and is also the physics instructor. Both of these faculty members jointly coordinate the program assessment and evaluation. The remaining faculty members have teaching as their primary responsibility: calculus (EEB), chemistry (PRD), and the second- semester engineering course (LEB).

All project faculty members participate in the summer orientation session. The coordinator describes the overall program objectives, structure, and instructional approach, each faculty member describes the role of his discipline in the curriculum, and everyone responds to questions. At the end of the session, students interested in participating sign forms that give us permission to access their records for program assessment purposes. One of us (JEG) selects the 36 students who will participate, matching the demographic profile of the class to that of the overall freshman engineering class, and assigns other would-be participants to a control group whose performance will be compared with that of the IMPEC group.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Felder, R. M., & Dail, P. R., & Bernold, L. E., & Gastineau, J. E., & Burniston, E. E. (1996, June), Team Teaching In An Integrated Freshman Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6341

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: © 1996 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