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Work-In-Progress: Leveraging Interdisciplinary Topics in First-year Engineering

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Learning and Teaching Experiences

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38217

Download Count

107

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Paper Authors

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Brett Hamlin Michigan Technological University

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Brett Hamlin is a student centered educator who focuses his effort in active collaborative discovery based learning designed around student driven interests. Dr. Hamlin spends much of his time engaging and mentoring students to guide them towards answering their own questions. Dr. Hamlin a Senior Lecturer and Interim Chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological University.

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AJ Hamlin Michigan Technological University

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AJ Hamlin is a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological University, where she teaches first-year engineering courses. Her research interests include engineering ethics, spatial visualization, and educational methods. She is an active member in the Multidisciplinary Engineering and the Engineering Design Graphics Divisions of ASEE. For the Multidisiplinary Division she has served as the Secretary/Treasurer and Program Chair and is currently serving as the Division Chair. Dr. Hamlin has also served as the Associate Editor and the Director of Publications/ Journal Editor of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal.

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Tori Claudette Reeder

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Josh Chase Michigan Technological University

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Josh Chase is a PhD candidate at Michigan Technological University. His research looks at the intersections between conspiratorial rhetoric and public discourses on popular culture, politics and ideology, and science and technology. He teaches composition and technical communication, and he is assistant director of the Michigan Tech Writing Center.

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Mary Raber Michigan Technological University

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Mary Raber currently serves as Assistant Dean for the Pavlis Honors College Institute, co-Director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship and Director of the Global Leadership Program at Michigan Technological University. She oversaw the implementation and growth of the Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech since its inception in 2000. Her current responsibilities include academic program and curriculum development and assessment of and workshop/course instruction in the areas of teaming, human-centered design and leadership. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Wayne State University and is currently working on her PhD at Michigan Technological University. Before joining MTU she held various engineering and management positions during a 15 year career in the automotive industry.

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Laura Vidal-Chiesa Michigan Technological University

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Modupe Omolara Yusuf Michigan Technological University

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Abraham Romney Michigan Technological University

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Abraham Romney is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition in the Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University where he directs the Composition Program. His scholarship focuses on writing studies, histories of rhetoric in the Americas, and digital and visual rhetorics.

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Marika Seigel Michigan Technological University

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Marika Seigel’s scholarship focuses on the rhetoric of health and medicine—particularly as it pertains to women's reproductive health and pregnancy—as well as on innovative approaches to undergraduate education. She teaches courses in rhetoric and composition and technical communication at Michigan Tech. As Educational Innovation Strategist for IDEA Hub, she is coordinating the Tech Forward "Education for the 21st Century" initiative in the areas of first-year education, general education, and interdisciplinary education. In addition to two books with the University of Chicago Press--The Rhetoric of Pregnancy, and Expecting: A Brief History of Pregnancy Advice--Dr. Seigel's work has appeared in scholarly journals such as College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, and Transactions on Computing Education as well as in more popular outlets such as Al Jazeera America, BuzzFeed News, and McSweeney's.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015