June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1264.1 - 15.1264.15
The Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: Highlights from a CCLI Phase 3 Initiative
The inability of incoming students to advance past the traditional first-year calculus sequence is a primary cause of attrition in engineering programs across the country. As a result, this paper will describe an NSF funded initiative at Wright State University to redefine the way engineering mathematics is taught, with the goal of increasing student retention, motivation and success in engineering. Since its inception in Fall of 2004, the WSU model has had an overwhelming impact on the retention and success of engineering students at Wright State University. As part of a 2008 NSF CCLI Phase 3 initiative, various aspects of the WSU model are now under pilot adoption and assessment at a total of 15 institutions across the country. This paper will provide a brief overview of the WSU model for engineering mathematics education, followed by year one highlights from a subset of these collaborating institutions.
Introduction - The WSU Model for Engineering Mathematics Education
The traditional engineering curriculum requires at least one full year of calculus as a prerequisite to core sophomore-level engineering courses. However, only about 42% of incoming students who wish to pursue an engineering or computer science degree at Wright State University have traditionally advanced past the required first-year calculus sequence. The remaining 58% either switch majors or leave the University. This problem is not unique to WSU. Indeed, the inability of incoming students to successfully advance past the traditional first-year calculus sequence plagues engineering programs across the country. As such, there is a drastic need for a proven model which eliminates the first-year mathematics bottleneck in the traditional engineering curriculum, yet can be readily adopted by engineering programs across the country. A nationwide expansion and assessment of precisely one such model is the focus of this work.
The WSU model for engineering mathematics education involves three primary components: 1) The development of EGR 101 "Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications," a novel freshman-level engineering mathematics course. 2) A large-scale restructuring of the early engineering curriculum, where students can advance in the program without first completing the traditional freshman calculus sequence. 3) A more just-in-time structuring of the required math sequence.
The WSU model begins with the development of EGR 101, a novel freshman engineering mathematics course. Taught by engineering faculty, the EGR 101 course includes lecture, laboratory and recitation components. Using an application-oriented, hands-on approach, EGR 101 addresses only the salient math topics actually used in the core sophomore-level engineering courses. These include the traditional physics, engineering mechanics, electric circuits and computer programming sequences. More importantly, the EGR 101 course replaces traditional math prerequisite requirements for the above core courses, so that students can advance in the engineering curriculum without first completing the required calculus sequence.
Klingbeil, N., & Newberry, B., & Donaldson, A., & Ozdogan, J. (2010, June), The Wright State Model For Engineering Mathematics Education: Highlights From A Ccli Phase 3 Initiative Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16675
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