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The First Year Engineering Course At Nc State University: Design And Implementation

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Introduction to Engineering: The Present State

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1138.1 - 8.1138.11



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Paper Authors

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Jerome Lavelle

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Mary Clare Robbins

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

Session 1653

The First Year Engineering Course at NC State University: Design and Implementation

Jerome P. Lavelle and Mary Clare Robbins

North Carolina State University


Over the past three years the freshmen engineering course in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University has been substantially redesigned. This paper describes the design, implementation and assessment of the new course. This course has undergone substantial change since 1996, Porter et al. previously reported on what had been implemented prior to 19991 . In the past three years, the Freshmen Engineering Program at NC State has continued to refine the course. The approach taken involves four steps: (1) define course learning objectives with constituents, (2) deve lop course content based on learning objectives (again with constituents), in the presence of constraints, (3) assess degree of achievement of learning objectives and effectiveness of content, and (4) utilize assessment data to implement changes which increase effectiveness and efficiency of resources.

Design of the Course

E 101: Introduction to the College of Engineering and Problem Solving is a required one- semester-hour course that is offered for all new entering engineering freshmen at NC State. There are approximately 1,150 such students each fall who are enrolled in this course. Over the past twenty years the course has been evolving  there has been substantial change over the last six years. The course is now focused on active team-based problem solving; understanding engineering as a discipline and career choice; effective team membership; understanding and using basic engineering design principles; effective oral and written communication; and understanding the resources, opportunities, and policies and rules that apply to engineering students at NC State. The stated Goals and Learning Outcomes of the course, as offered in the Fall 2002 semester, are given in Table 1.

The learning objectives of the course are achieved using an active/cooperative learning approach, targeted out-of-class activities, and special Engineering College events that focus on student involvement and accountability.

Implementation of the Course

Below are the important characteristics of the new E101 course: • The course carries one-semester-hour credit and is required of all entering engineering freshmen students, students must pass the course to graduate; • Students take the course for a grade (C- minimum must be earned); • Classes meet once per week for a two- hour active learning lecture/lab session;

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Lavelle, J., & Robbins, M. C. (2003, June), The First Year Engineering Course At Nc State University: Design And Implementation Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12686

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