Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
In the Summer of 2019, instructors from a large midwestern university led the inaugural instance of a short-term study abroad trip to Western Europe. This four-week program included 12 intensive, 4-hour class meetings designed to teach students a full semester of Statics content knowledge. The course was originally designed to include active, blended, and collaborative learning elements in both its instruction and learning resources, bringing demonstrations, videos, and group activities into the students’ learning environment. The process of adapting this research-based Statics curriculum, built around a typical 16-week semester, to fit its new international setting was impacted by the timeline, the student population, their social context, and the resources available abroad. For example, the weekly instructor office hours held during a typical semester became daily office hours while abroad, combining a week’s worth of course content and instructional resources into a single day.
Engineering researchers and administrators have frequently highlighted the benefits of experiential learning, including the international educational experiences afforded by study abroad programs. These study abroad experiences provide engineering students with unique opportunities to develop their professional skills and global competencies, while simultaneously promoting student success and fulfilling key standards for program accreditation. This work-in-progress paper describes our initial observations and their implications from the study abroad course in question by combining reflections from the lead instructor with semi-structured interviews from student participants. The paper specifically outlines the decisions that were made when transitioning the existing statics class and environment to its abbreviated format, examines the implications of those decisions using qualitative analysis of interviews and comparison to published study abroad and accelerated learning research, and conveys general insights and lessons learned from the study abroad program. Our emergent findings highlight the importance of student collaboration and community, emphasize the need for culturally embedded learning activities, and note how active, blended, and collaborative learning methods can easily translate to an accelerated classroom environment. As a work-in-progress, the paper concludes by laying the groundwork for subsequent qualitative and quantitative inquiry as well as future instruction in the course.
Evenhouse, D. A., & Krousgrill, C. M., & Rhoads, J. F., & Berger, E. J., & DeBoer, J. (2020, June), WIP Statics Abroad: Lessons in Pedagogy from a Short-term Study Abroad Mechanics Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35515
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