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Work in Progress: Cultivating Reflective Engineers: Does providing a reflective ePortfolio experience in a first-year design course lead students to be more reflective in later courses?

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division (FYP) - WIPS 1: Programs & Curricula

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs Division (FYP)

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--44195

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/44195

Download Count

124

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Paper Authors

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Rebecca Thomas Bucknell University

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Rebecca Thomas is the inaugural director for the Pathways Program at Bucknell University, where she oversees the rollout of Bucknell's E-Portfolio initiative. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 2018 and currently instructs the first-year course for ECE majors. She holds a B.S. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Sarah Appelhans Bucknell University

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Sarah Appelhans is a postdoctoral research assistant at Bucknell University. She earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University at Albany (SUNY). Her dissertation research, "Flexible Lives on Engineering's Bleeding Edge: Gender, Migration and Belonging in Semiconductor Manufacturing", investigates the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and immigration status among semiconductor engineers. She is currently the resident social scientist in the Electrical Engineering Department at Bucknell, exploring how to teach convergent ("deeply integrative") problems to undergraduate engineers. Past research projects include studies of governance in engineering education and the influence of educational technology on engineering education.

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Stu Thompson Bucknell University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3444-8503

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Stu is an associate professor and chair of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, PA. His teaching responsibilities typically include digital design, computer-related electives, and engineering design. His research focus is on the application of mobile computing technology to interesting problems. My broadly he is interested in the continued evolution of engineering education and how the experience can help create graduates who will go on to make substantial change in the world.

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Stewart Thomas Bucknell University

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Stewart Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He received the B.S. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. and the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He is a member of ASEE and IEEE.

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Robert M. Nickel Bucknell University

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Robert M. Nickel received a Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, in 1994, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2001.

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R. Alan Cheville Bucknell University

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Alan Cheville studied optoelectronics and ultrafast optics at Rice University, then spent fourteen years as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University working on terahertz frequencies and engineering education, developing resources in photonics and engineering design. After serving for two and a half years as a program director in engineering education at the National Science Foundation, served as chair in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and secretary of the faculty at Bucknell University. At Bucknell he helped found the Maker-E, an electronic MakerSpace for students.He is currently interested in engineering design education, engineering education policy, and the philosophy of engineering education. He has served as associate editor on several journals, an ABET PEV, and on several national-level advisory boards.

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Richard J. Kozick Bucknell University

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Richard J. Kozick received the B.S. degree from Bucknell University in 1986, the M.S. degree from Stanford University in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, all in electrical engineering. From 1986 to 1989 and 1992 to 1993 he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Since 1993 he has been with Bucknell University where he is currently Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests include antenna array system design, signal processing, and medical ultrasound imaging. Dr. Kozick received a 2006 Best Paper Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society and the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence from Bucknell University in 1999.

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Christa Matlack Bucknell University

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Christa Matlack serves as a Career Coach in the Center for Career Advancement at Bucknell University where her role is to empower undergraduate students to seek meaningful careers and to guide students through the career development process. In addition, Christa is a co-leader of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Career Community through which she has developed programs and resources designed to assist students in their exploration and pursuit of careers within the STEM industry. Christa completed her Master of Science in Biological Sciences at PennWest-Clarion in 2013 and graduated with honors from Bucknell University in 2011 where she majored in Biology with minors in Philosophy and Studio Art.

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Philip Asare University of Toronto

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Abstract

This Work in Progress paper will assess the impact of an ePortfolio experience provided in a first-year course on students as they continue throughout an electrical and computer engineering curriculum. Many institutions are investigating the use of ePortfolios and other reflective assignments as student learning tools. Our department has adopted ePortfolios as a key component of our NSF grant due to the demonstrated linkage between reflective activities and metacognition and the subsequent ability to retain and transfer course material [1]. The portfolios will also encourage students to use narrative to reframe their experiences and cultivate their identities as engineers. Professors developed ePortfolio assignments in a first-year design course to give students a space to reflect on their potential career paths and envision themselves as future engineers. We have been curious about the impact this experience might have on students’ reflective thinking as they continue through the program. Do student ePortfolios in a first-year design course promote better reflection in subsequent technical courses? Electrical and computer engineering students (N=28) at a liberal arts university completed an ePortfolio assignment to explore the discipline during their first-year design course. From this experimental group, we collected samples of lab reports students wrote during their sophomore year courses. As a control group, lab reports from students the previous year who had not completed the ePortfolio activity were compared. Inductive methods were used to generate a codebook from a small sample of lab reports (N=8) from both the control and experimental groups looking for evidence of reflective thinking. Using the codebook, multiple members of our team coded the remaining reports and checked for intercoder reliability. We provide a quantitative summary of reflective thinking in the control and experimental groups. We discovered that students that had the ePortfolio experience in their first-year were more reflective thinkers in their second-year. This is an important finding because reflection is an indicator of metacognition, which improves students’ ability to retain and recall information. If students develop habits of reflective thinking, we expect their ability to retain core engineering concepts throughout the curriculum will increase. Our future plans are to expand ePortfolio usage to all design courses as well as some core courses throughout the curriculum.

Thomas, R., & Appelhans, S., & Thompson, S., & Thomas, S., & Nickel, R. M., & Cheville, R. A., & Kozick, R. J., & Matlack, C., & Asare, P. (2023, June), Work in Progress: Cultivating Reflective Engineers: Does providing a reflective ePortfolio experience in a first-year design course lead students to be more reflective in later courses? Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--44195

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