July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
First year engineering students often fail to see the immediate importance of their composition course and how it relates to their future careers as engineers. In fall 2020, _______ University embarked on a mission to better connect students with interdisciplinary first year content. This included the goal of encouraging learner development of competencies and mindsets to uniquely prepare them for the rapidly changing world they will encounter after graduation. Driven to address this immediate challenge, we realized the need to prototype and pilot interdisciplinary student experiences that directly link content between curricula of traditionally vastly different courses. Our goal was to increase student perception of the importance of humanities composition courses, while reinforcing content delivered in engineering courses, thus leveraging and building content in both courses .
At ______University we group schedule our first-year engineering students in cohorts of 20 students. These students have a common schedule; they have the same math, engineering, chemistry lab, and chemistry classes. Additionally, in the Fall 2020 semester, we piloted adding composition into the common schedules of five cohorts. This study focuses on the intentional connection between the composition and engineering courses in this pilot group.
The instructors of the five composition sections met weekly with the instructor of the engineering course along with composition and engineering first-year program coordinators. To discuss current topics and identify points of commonality. We have been able to identify and share resources for common topics and genres. For example, in engineering, the students analyzed an ethical issue related to the Flint Water Crisis, while at the same time in composition students performed a rhetorical analysis on materials related to the Flint Water Crisis.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the increased connection between composition and engineering pre- and post-surveys on student attitudes toward writing and communication were collected in composition. Additionally, on a mid-semester early-term feedback survey, students were asked to respond to the following open-ended question, “How is composition supporting and/or how could it better support the work you are doing in other classes?” A qualitative analysis will be performed on these responses. For comparison, the same surveys were administered in several other sections of composition that were not cohort scheduled with engineering. The results from this study will be used to better design linked interdisciplinary curriculum and leverage topics in all cohorted classes.
Hamlin, B., & Hamlin, A., & Reeder, T. C., & Chase, J., & Raber, M., & Vidal-Chiesa, L., & Yusuf, M. O., & Romney, A., & Seigel, M. (2021, July), Work-In-Progress: Leveraging Interdisciplinary Topics in First-year Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38217
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