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The Use of Active Learning to Address ABET Course Learning Objectives in a Large Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Class

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Environmental engineering pedagogy and innovation

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

23.1241.1 - 23.1241.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22626

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

biography

Alison M Cupples Michigan State University

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Dr. Cupples is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University. She obtained her PHD from Stanford University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the USDA. Her research focuses on the biodegradation of environmental contaminants. She was a Lilly Teaching Fellow in 2011-2012.

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biography

Susan J. Masten P.E. Michigan State University

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Susan J. Masten is a professor of environmental engineering at Michigan State University. She teaches a range of courses from the introduction to engineering course to the upperclass courses on water/wastewater treatment, air pollution engineering and science, and capstone design . She was recently involved in the development of a B.S. program in environmental engineering
Dr. Masten’s research involves the use of chemical oxidants for the remediation of soils, water, and leachates contaminated with hazardous organic chemicals. Dr. Masten has been working etensively to develop water treatment technologies that are more effective and suitable for use in decentralized water treatment systems. Over the last year, she has also begun to evaluate water treatment technologies for developing countries, and is looking at improving the ceramic water purifiers for pathogen removal. Dr. Masten, along with several other faculty members, holds a patent on a hybrid ceramic membrane filtration system. She has conducted extensive research on the use of this technology for the control of disinfection by-products, nanoparticles, bromate, and pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
In addition to her classroom efforts, Professor Masten guides numerous student research projects. She has graduated over 50 M.S. students and 12 Ph.D students. Dr. Masten is co-author of the textbook, Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science, which is published by Mc-Graw-Hill and is in its 3rd edition.

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biography

Weimin Sun Rutgers,The State University of New Jersey

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Education
o Ph.D. Student (Aug. 2006 – Nov. 2011) Environmental Engineering. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan.
o M.E. (2005) Environmental Engineering. School of Environmental Engineering & Science, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.
o B.E. (2002) Electrical Engineering. School of Electrical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.

Professional Employment
o Postdoctoral Associate (Starting from July 2012). Department of Environmental Sciences. Rutgers University. New Brunswick, NJ.
o Postdoctoral Researcher (March. 2012-July.2012). Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan.
o Research Assistant (Aug. 2006-Jan. 2012). Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan.
o Research Assistant (Sep. 2002-May 2006). School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.

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Abstract

The Use of Active Learning to Address ABET Course Learning Objectives in a Large Undergraduate Environmental Engineering ClassAbstractThe overall aim was to determine if in-class activities based on active learning improve theachievement of Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET) course learningobjectives (CLOs) and overall student learning. The study was performed (Fall semester of 2011)in a large (~80 student) undergraduate introductory environmental engineering course (CE 280,Principles of Environmental Engineering). The study was initiated because previous ABET datacollected (Fall 2009) indicated a low level of CLO achievement. The approach was simple andinvolved between 2 and 4 in-class exercises or short questions in every lecture session. Thestudents responded to the questions using a response pad (resulting in 5% of their final grade).The questions were all multiple choice and were either qualitative questions or short quantitativequestions. The questions were typically at the beginning, then after 15, 35 minutes and 50minutes. Three sets of data were collected to determine the efficiency of this approach. Of these,two data sets were compared between 2009 and 2011. The first assessment method concerned acomparison of Course Learning Objective Evaluation (or CLOSE) forms. The second data setinvolved pre- and post- surveys in 2011. The third set involved a comparison of studentperformance in questions relating to each CLO. The CLOSE forms illustrated that the studentsbelieved they had a high level of understanding of each CLO in 2009 at the end of the semesterand this did not change in 2011. The pre- and post- surveys indicated the students recognized thevalue of in-class assessment as well as the use of response pads. The post- survey showed astatistically significant more positive response to considering the CLOs when studying. The finalassessment method concerned an analysis of student performance on questions relating to eachCLO. In 2009 over five CLOs were not achieved, however in 2011, only 1 CLO was notachieved. These data indicate the introduced pedagogical approach was highly successful atimproving student learning of CLO content.

Cupples, A. M., & Masten, S. J., & Sun, W. (2013, June), The Use of Active Learning to Address ABET Course Learning Objectives in a Large Undergraduate Environmental Engineering Class Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22626

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