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Transforming an Engineering Design Course into an Engaging Learning Experience Using ePortfolios

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Pedagogy II - Best Teaching Practices

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

23

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35401

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35401

Download Count

162

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Paper Authors

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Taylor Tucker University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Taylor Tucker graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics and is now pursuing a master's in Curriculum and Instruction through the Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency (DELTA) program. She is interested in engineering design and lends her technical background to her research with the Collaborative Learning Lab, exploring how to improve ill-structured tasks for engineering students in order to promote collaborative problem solving and provide experience relevant to authentic work in industry.

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Esmee Vernooij University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Catherine LaBore University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Catherine LaBore is a sociocultural anthropologist and media production professional. She has had a long career producing educational media. As an ethnographer and media/content producer, she spent nine years supporting engineering research with colleagues developing intelligent systems for education. She’s worked on problems of user experience and design and higher-level content development (e.g. expert ontology and schemata) for systems designed to teach language skills, cross-cultural social interaction, critical thinking, problem solving, user tailoring (differentiation) and diagnostic intervention. She now works as an Emerging Technology and Media Professional at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Illinois, where she directs technology support for the campus ePortfolio platform. Current research interests include deeper pedagogical uses of visual material in behavioral and biological sciences.

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Ava R. Wolf Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

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Ava Wolf, PhD supports faculty in developing courses that emphasize active and engaged learning, and conducts research on interactive learning spaces, effective teaching strategies, and the integration of technology.

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Cheelan Bo-Linn Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, University of Illinois

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Robert Thomas Baird

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As Senior Associate Director at the Center for Innovation in Teaching And Learning Robert leads the faculty development, emerging educational technologies, media, and online instructional design units. He has extensive experience in technology-enhanced classrooms, online teaching environments, and web-based student writing and multimedia projects. Robert teaches cinema, new media, and digital video courses. His 1995 dissertation used cognitive psychology to understand how filmgoers can be frightened and startled by film scenes they know are fictional. In the early 1980s he worked as an assistant film editor in Hollywood on over a dozen films. He has published essays on literature, film, and cognition. For the past 15 years Robert has been an active soccer player and coach, coaching youth teams for the local Illinois Futbol Club (Little Illini).

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Nattasit Dancholvichit University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Nattasit Dancholvichit was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1990. He received a B.A. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2014. He received an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017.
He is currently a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He carries out research in the field of micro-manufacturing, precision control, manufacturing, and mechatronics. His research also includes control optimization and system identification. He is also a graduate teaching assistant of design for manufacturability.

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Leon Liebenberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0834-6212

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For the past 25 years, Leon Liebenberg has been engaged in engineering teaching, research, and community engagement. He was a professor of mechanical engineering at two South African universities (University of Pretoria; North West University), before becoming a higher education consultant in Switzerland where he worked with colleges of engineering and technology management. He is now a teaching associate professor at the UIUC.
Leon is passionate about multidisciplinary research, particularly in the fields of energy engineering, biomedical engineering, and engineering education. His university research has focused on development of industrial energy-efficient technologies and cancer therapies using energy restriction methods. His published research works enjoy an h-index of 26.
Leon’ first love is however for teaching. He co-developed and taught a unique freshman course on “Innovation”, where students work in so-called “whole-mind” thinking teams when addressing technological problems. These helped show that innovation for a sustainable world can be maximized by the convergence of natural sciences, engineering sciences, and the arts.
pedagogies of engagement for use in the mechanical engineering curriculum. Leon is collaborating with colleagues from various disciplines in this venture.
He also founded the TechnoLab technology awareness facility for junior engineering students and for school children, where the learners work in small teams to solve problems using Lego Dacta and other didactic equipment. The TechnoLab model has been adopted by several South African schools since its inception in 1997. Leon also founded the Space and Aviation Challenge for school learners in South Africa, which aimed at demystifying the aeronautical engineering profession. The Challenge was annually presented for several years in collaboration with Nasa’s Dryden Lab who offered the first prize for a learner to attend Space Camp USA.
Leon teaches a variety of subjects, including: Innovation; Statics; Dynamics; Thermodynamics; Fluid Mechanics; Design for Manufacturability; Machine Design; Heat Transfer; Aerodynamics; Aeronautics; and Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer.
Leon holds doctoral and master’s degrees from Imperial College London and from the University of Johannesburg.

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Abstract

Work-Progress paper

INTRODUCTION: ePortfolios have been shown to be effective for supporting student learning by serving as a powerful vehicle for students to display their individual competencies, and for faculty to provide personalized assessment. In addition to documenting ePortfolios usefulness for evaluating student achievement of course learning goals, this study will also explore the use of students own reflective practices to measure their progress toward program learning goals.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of the study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of Digication, an ePortfolio tool, by studying various aspects of its use and features with a sophomore-level Design for Manufacturability course (190 students). Of importance will be the ability to customize the Digication platform for the class so that it offers students, faculty, and administrators an exacting and measurable method for streamlining and integrating the related processes of teaching, learning, and individualized assessment. Chief among the goals of the project are to provide students with an easy-to-use tool for collecting their digital artifacts, including course assignments and other documents that will be used to display and evaluate their course competencies. Of particular interest will be the extent to which ePortfolios can be said to support and encourage student use of meta-learning and reflective practices, as demonstrated by curation of artifacts and the writing of personal reflections. We believe that by allowing students to explore and discover how their competencies are developing through their course assignments, they may also discover how classroom learning goals connect to professional learning goals drawn from the ABET quality assurance framework.

APPROACH: Due to the personalized nature of ePortfolios, and the process of curating their learning experiences and artifacts, it is believed that students will come to perceive their classroom learning experience as being multi-dimensional and immersive. Teaching students about meta-learning and requiring them to reflect on their learning via ePortfolios should further support a holistic learning experience for students. For the Instructor and Teaching Assistants, ePortfolio-based projects will provide a good catalog of work for assessing student mastery, and the opportunity to make meta-learning and reflective practice part of the assessment process. As students will also have the opportunity to give and receive feedback from their peers, they will have the benefit of incorporating other views and perspectives into their progress to help identify, strengthen and consolidate their learning experiences.

IMPLICATIONS: Comprehensive ePortfolio platforms support and streamline student assessment in ways that enrich their learning experience while satisfying the need for institutional accountability. ePortfolios have the potential to facilitate deeper understanding of course content, make the curriculum more relevant for students, and to help build connections between classroom and professional learning competencies. Of particular importance to this investigation is the emphasis placed on personal reflection in the context of developing required competencies in engineering practice. We believe that the use of ePortfolios for connecting teaching, learning, and individualized assessment makes this a valuable contribution to the literature on engineering education.

Tucker, T., & Vernooij, E., & LaBore, C., & Wolf, A. R., & Bo-Linn, C., & Baird, R. T., & Dancholvichit, N., & Liebenberg, L. (2020, June), Transforming an Engineering Design Course into an Engaging Learning Experience Using ePortfolios Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35401

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