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Trials And Tribulations Of A Freshman Design Course

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1214.1 - 7.1214.10



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Paper Authors

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Ronald Bennett

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Elizabeth Orwin

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Session 2793

Trials and Tribulations of a Freshmen Design Course

Elizabeth J. Orwin, Ph.D, Ronald J. Bennett, Ph.D.

Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA/University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN


This paper describes the issues confronting the engineering faculty at the University of St.

Thomas arising out of the second semester of a freshman engineering design course. It was the

goal of the department to instill excitement for engineering in its students in their first year of

study, with the added benefits of retaining interested students and enticing those who might have

been wavering into the major. The hands-on engineering design course that was developed was

offered in addition to the introductory engineering course, which had focused on giving the

students a feel for engineering through a series of guest speakers and other activities. The revised

second semester course had a team-based approach to learning about engineering. Mini-lectures

were given on the engineering design experience and students were given hands-on tasks as well

as an overall design project. The course culminated in a team design competition. We found that

student attitude had a significant impact on the course outcome. Students were resistant to the

new approach to varying degrees and indicated that they felt overworked. This paper describes

our analysis of the reasons why the students reacted in this fashion. We hypothesize that the

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Bennett, R., & Orwin, E. (2002, June), Trials And Tribulations Of A Freshman Design Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10413

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