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Work in Progress - Integration of Voice Technology into the First-Year Engineering Curriculum

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Unique Projects & Pedagogies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Jaskirat Sodhi New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Jaskirat Sodhi is interested in first-year engineering curriculum design and recruitment, retention and success of engineering students. He is the coordinator of ENGR101, an application-oriented course for engineering students placed in pre-calculus courses. He has also developed and co-teaches the Fundamentals of Engineering Design course that includes a wide spectra of activities to teach general engineering students the basics of engineering design using a hands-on approach which is also engaging and fun. He is an Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow and the recipient of NJIT's 2018 Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award.

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Ashish D. Borgaonkar New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Ashish Borgaonkar works as Asst. Professor of Engineering Education at the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Newark College of Engineering located in Newark, New Jersey. He has developed and taught several engineering courses primarily in first-year engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and general engineering. He has won multiple awards for excellence in instruction. He also has worked on several research projects, programs, and initiatives to help students bridge the gap between high school and college as well as preparing students for the rigors of mathematics. His research interests include engineering education, integration of novel technologies into engineering classroom, excellence in instruction, water, and wastewater treatment, civil engineering infrastructure, and transportation engineering.

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Ludvik Alkhoury New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Mr. Ludvik Alkhoury is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ. He is currently the Lab instructor of Fundamentals of Engineering Design (FED) 101, a course that reviews the basic concepts of engineering and introduces some tools used for the design and implementation of devices and systems.

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Nicole Bosca

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Voice technology is a growing field and is becoming more prominent in society. In a study, National Public Research found that 65% of voice-enabled smart speakers’ users would not want to go back to life without using them and an estimated 39 million people own a voice-enabled smart speaker (National Public Media, 2017). The Amazon Alexa devices are such cloud-based, continuously improving, digital assistants designed to respond to voice commands. They are able to answer many questions and the number of questions they can answer is continuously increasing. One of the newer innovative applications of the Amazon Alexa devices is starting its integration into higher education. However, the focus of integrating voice technology thus far has been through campus life and residence halls and not through classroom instruction for actual curriculum (Ask ASU, 2018 & Developer Amazon, 2018). This work-in-progress paper will summarize our efforts on embedding voice technology into our first-year fundamentals of engineering design course that reviews the basic concepts of engineering and introduces some tools used for the design and implementation of devices and systems. The goal is to enhance student learning through hands-on projects in first-year design courses and use this to not only further engage students with the course content, but also foster the skills necessary for effective communication on projects with multiple stakeholders. Students, with little background on the subject, are designing a working device (such as a portable fan, a remotely-controlled car, or a robotic arm) using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, making the parts with 3D printers, creating an Arduino code to control the action of their device, and finally writing a voice interface (given a skeleton code) to actuate the servo motors on the device using voice commands. For example, students use voice to turn a fan on or off, change its speed, and enable oscillation. Ours is a unique approach towards not only integrating new emerging technology into the classroom but also finding new ways to engage students and help them learn new skills. Upon completion of this pilot, we expect that students would have expanded their communication, collaboration, and listening skills, learned how to personalize Voice technology, and the researchers would have improved the course design as well as prepared for the study to be offered on a larger scale.

Sodhi, J., & Borgaonkar, A. D., & Alkhoury, L., & Bosca, N. (2020, June), Work in Progress - Integration of Voice Technology into the First-Year Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35589

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