June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
This work-in-progress report details the restructuring of a three-quarter Freshman general engineering laboratory course sequence ending in a term-long cornerstone design project. Motivated by a taskforce implemented in 2015 to improve the freshman common curriculum, this development effort affects the first two quarters of this three-quarter, first-year-program laboratory course sequence. Faculty representatives from all engineering departments in the college were assembled to address three goals. The first goal was the establishment of a course structure emphasizing professional skills and engineering design. Second was the creation of a database of "mini-projects" to be integrated into the new course structure. The third goal was the establishment of a blended learning environment which uses web-based lectures and assessments in conjunction with hands-on, problem-based-learning laboratory activities. Three design-focused mini-projects were piloted during the fall and winter quarters of the 2016 – 2017 academic year. A professional skills-focused "micro-project" ran for the first three weeks of the fall quarter, followed by seven weeks of a design-focused "mini-project". Pilot sections in the winter quarter began with a different seven-week mini-project followed by three weeks of another professional skills-focused micro-project. The first three mini-projects developed for this effort were titled: Robot Instruments, Heat Engine, and the Supercap Car Challenge. During the fall and winter quarters, students in the pilot sections were given self-efficacy surveys before and after their projects based on a Likert-type scale. These gauged their impressions of the projects, and self-evaluate their relevant knowledge and abilities before and after the projects. Early results presented in this paper indicate an improved level of student satisfaction with the new course structure and the pilot mini-projects.
Terranova, B. B., & Weyant, C. M., & Wrenn, S., & Kim, Y., & Khuon, L., & Imhoff, K., & Ayers, K., & Kontsos, A., & Hrebien, L., & Mitchell, J. E. (2017, June), Work in Progress: Curriculum Revision and Classroom Environment Restructuring to Support Blended Project-Based Learning in First-Year General Engineering Laboratory Courses Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29147
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