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Using Experiential Learning in Course Curriculum: The Case of a Core Engineering Graphics Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Integrating Experiential Learning into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Martha M. Snyder Nova Southeastern University Orcid 16x16

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Martha (Marti) Snyder, Ph.D., PMP, SPHR teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in learning design and technology, design thinking, project management, and computing privacy and ethics. She also chairs doctoral student dissertations. Marti researches effective designs for teaching and learning in face-to-face, blended, online, mobile, and virtual learning environments; and issues relating to technology use among older adults. Her work crosses multiple disciplines including education, engineering, information systems, and health professions. Marti has published articles in national and international journals and is an active reviewer for journals and conferences in her field. Her current research focuses on use of remote monitoring technologies by informal caregivers as well as effective instructional designs for face-to-face, blended learning, simulations, and mixed-reality.

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Manuel Salinas Nova Southeastern University

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Dr. Manuel Salinas received his Bachelor of Science (2009), Master of Science (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University.. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School before joining Nova Southeastern University. He is a founding assistant professor of the Department of Engineering and Technology at the new NSU’s College of Engineering and Computing where he designs classes and program objectives in addition to teaching. He has published several papers in academic journals relating to heart valve tissue engineering studies. His research areas include vascular tissue engineering, artificial organs, and cardiovascular biomechanics. In addition, He enjoys collaborating in projects related to computational fluid dynamics, fluid structure interactions; algorithm optimization; finite element/volume analysis, computer aided design; steady and transient data visualization among others. In his free time he practices soccer and tennis.

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Molly J. Scanlon Nova Southeastern University

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Molly J. Scanlon, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing and Communication in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at Nova Southeastern University. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in first year experience, composition, writing studies, and visual rhetoric. Research interests include visual rhetoric, identity construction, and experiential learning pedagogy, with publications in Composition Studies, Reflections, and ImageText; and presentations at Frontiers in Education, Conference on College Composition and Communication, National Council of Teachers of English, Florida Distance Learning Association, and the National Society for Experiential Education.

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This work-in-progress paper overviews how an experiential education program was established at a private, non-profit university in the southeast, describes the process for certifying experiential courses using a formal course review process and qualification rubric, and details the case of a freshman engineering graphics course.

Grounded in the early works of Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget, experiential learning theory has become increasingly popular in higher education. Experiential learning serves as a foundation for lifelong learning and the development of the whole self as a citizen, family member and human being (Kolb, 2015). Austin and Rust (2015) define experiential learning as “‘hands-on’ learning and may involve any of the following activities: service learning, applied learning in the discipline, co-operative education, internships, study abroad, and experimental activities” (p. 143). These opportunities help students gain real-world experiences in their profession (Jacoby, 2015).

In Fall 2017, our university launched its experiential education and learning program (ExEL). Students earn ExEL credits through curricular and co-curricular experiences including internships, study abroad, community service, faculty-led research, and ExEL-designated courses (i.e., first year seminar, capstones, and discipline-specific courses). With commitment from our president and guidance from a grassroots, faculty-led experiential education advisory council, a plan for experiential education was underway. Comprised of ten faculty from undergraduate-serving colleges and five professional staff from student affairs, the purpose of the council was to create a structure within which ExEL would be successful at the university. Over twelve months, the council developed the mission and goals of the program, decentralized ExEL to 18 colleges and 18 operational units, identified existing experiential opportunities including co-curricular and curricular, established an ExEL qualification process, created an ExEL website and marketing plan, and oriented the incoming class of 2021.

The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to first offer a theoretical foundation supporting the value of experiential education in higher education and engineering, in particular. Next, we will discuss how we launched the ExEL program at our university and gained faculty commitment and involvement. A case involving the collaboration of an ExEL faculty champion and an engineering professor will be shared. Details will be presented regarding the roles and responsibilities of the faculty champions, their preparation and support, as well as, how they work with faculty across campus to inform, educate, and motivate them to deliver their courses in an active and experiential way.

Details will be shared relating to quality control of ExEL course curriculum through a formal course review process and qualification rubric. This qualification rubric was designed using National Society of Experiential Education’s (NSEE) Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities. These principles include intention, preparedness and planning, authenticity, reflection, orientation and training, monitoring and continuous improvement, assessment and evaluation, and acknowledgement (NSEE, 1998).

The design of GENG1012: Engineering Graphics, will be described along with how the qualification rubric was used to guide the design. This class covers the foundation of computer aided graphics, setup of engineering drawings, annotation and implementation, and introduction to Ansys software. Formative feedback regarding course design from the course professor and students will be discussed.


Austin, M.J. & Rust, D.Z. (2015). Developing an experiential learning program: Milestones and challenges. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 27(1), 143-153.

Jacoby, B. (2015). Service-learning essentials: Questions, answers, and lessons learned. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kolb, D.A. (2015). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.

National Society of Experiential Education (1998; 2013). Eight principles of good practice for all experiential learning activities. Presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting, Norfolk, VA. Last updated on Monday, December 9, 2013. Retrieved from:

Snyder, M. M., & Salinas, M., & Scanlon, M. J. (2018, June), Using Experiential Learning in Course Curriculum: The Case of a Core Engineering Graphics Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31204

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015