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Work in Progress: Redesigning Curriculum to Foster Student Success

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Postcard Session 1: Retention and Student Success Strategies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31302

Download Count

8

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Paper Authors

biography

Krystal S. Corbett Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Krystal Corbett is a lecturer for the Mechanical Engineering Department at Louisiana Tech University. She teaches in their prestigious Living with the Lab first year program as well as other mechanical engineering related courses. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2008/2010), M.S. in Mathematics (2012), and Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2012) at Louisiana Tech University. Formerly, she was the Director of Curricula at the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) where she managed various educational enterprises.

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Abstract

A curriculum can be thought of as a set of living documents that should change and be updated periodically, allowing the content and student activities to adapt to different generational learning styles and interests. This paper describes the evolution of a project-based, first-year curriculum called Living with the Lab (LWTL) that was implemented in 2007 for all engineering students at Louisiana Tech University. In 2011 the content underwent a major redesign to incorporate the Arduino microcontroller as the key hardware component for instruction. Implementation and adaptation of the curriculum continues at universities across the nation.

Given that it has been six years since the previous content update, course materials are currently being restructured to more systematically foster student ability to solve complex, multi-step problems involving circuits, conservation of energy, material balance, statics and engineering economics, while also utilizing a new cost-efficient robot that was designed in-house. More focus is also placed on soft skills like teamwork and communication. Some of the revision materials for the curriculum includes: notes that have more structure and clarity, new engaging projects that drive the fundamental concepts presented, more time built-in during class to work on projects, structure for group assessments, and a fresh set of homework questions.

This work in progress will chronicle the revision process while assessing preliminary student performance data pre- and post-revision. A comparative analysis of exam questions related to core fundamental topics from students in previous years with students in the current revision will serve as the primary source of assessment data. The researchers will use this data to determine whether or not the new scaffolding attempts in the revision are resulting in better performances by students. Lessons learned and future goals will also be discussed.

Corbett, K. S. (2018, June), Work in Progress: Redesigning Curriculum to Foster Student Success Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31302

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