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Teaming Activities In A Freshman Engineering And Computer Science Course Aimed Towards Recruitment And Retention

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1236.1 - 11.1236.10



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Paper Authors


Blair Rowley Wright State University

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BLAIR A. ROWLEY is a Professor of Biomedical, Industrial, and Human Factors Engineering and Director of the Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Program. He holds the Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia and is a PE. He has been in academia since 1970. Among his many activities he served as Chair of the ASEE/BMD 1987-1988 and is a reviewer for NSF. His research focus is on rehabilitation engineering and teaching.

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Kumar Yelamarthi Wright State University

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KUMAR YELAMARTHI is a Ph.D. student and holds an MSEE from Wright State University. He serves as the lead Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Program. He was honored with the most outstanding graduate student in 2004 and excellent in teaching award for teaching assistants in 2005. He had authored three other papers. His research focus is VLSI design and Engineering Education.

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Thomas Bazzoli Wright State University

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THOMAS L. BAZZOLI is Assistant Dean for Fiscal Affairs and Research. He holds the MS in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. During his Air Force career he directed diverse research programs in modeling and testing of system performance, compositional mapping of submicron materials and machine translation of text. He was instrumental in establishing the college’s freshman program.

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

Teaming Activities in a Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Course Aimed Towards Recruitment and Retention


Our university has an open enrollment policy. This means that any person with a high school diploma can enroll in engineering or computer science. As a result entering students have a range of abilities from being excellent in math and science to struggling to understand algebra concepts. The current course, developed over the past five years has seen the overall engineering retention grow from 45% to 70%. This has been accomplished through hands-on experience, establishing a sense of community, developing an understanding of how to be successful in studying, and fostering collaboration among students through cooperative teaming events. This paper describes three major teaming events within the freshman engineering and computer science course that have contributed to fostering collaboration and helped provide an enjoyable experience within the college.

Data from each event is provided which includes the students’ candid feedback, what they like and dislike, and what implementations they would like to see in the future. Students discover that working as a team takes effort and that a team’s result depends upon each member’s efforts. Overall the teaming activities have been well received.


The Freshman Engineering and Computer Science (FECS) Course at our university is designed to introduce engineering and computer science principles through hands-on experience, establish a sense of community, develop an understanding of how to be successful in studying engineering, and to foster collaboration among students through cooperative teaming. All incoming first year engineering students are required to take the FECS course. This course has one lecture section, a computer lab, and an instrumentation lab. The computer labs are designed for students to work independently and the instrumentation labs are designed for students to work in teams. A course outline is provided in Table 1.

The computer lab exercises involve e-mail and web searching, designing an airplane wing, HTML scripting, MatLab, Excel, and statistics, and how things work as the writing intensive assignment. The instrument labs cover 2-D and 3-D drawing using TurboCAD and SolidWorks, use of lab instruments, circuit measurements on resistive circuits, and building and testing a multivibrator, decade counter, and flip-flop using integrated circuits. In addition, basic soldering and basic wireless communication is taught using a temperature satellite. Apart from the labs, students also participate in three other teaming activities which are the focus of this paper. The three teaming events, three exams and two labs constitute 10% each, home work 15% and class participation 5% of the course grade.

During recruitment, students are introduced to FECS course and teaming events to show how engineering learning experience can be both fun and interesting. As a result, students, when entering FECS course, look forward to participate in the teaming events. These teaming events

Rowley, B., & Yelamarthi, K., & Bazzoli, T. (2006, June), Teaming Activities In A Freshman Engineering And Computer Science Course Aimed Towards Recruitment And Retention Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--522

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: © 2006 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