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Workshops for the Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning Through Service (EFELTS) Project: Development and Initial Findings

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

23.1401.1 - 23.1401.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22786

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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Chris Swan Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5670-8938

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Christopher Swan is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Development in the School of Engineering and an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Tufts University. He has additional appointments in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. He has also served as chair of Tufts CEE department (2002-2007). Dr. Swan’s current research interests in engineering education focus on project-based learning and service-based pedagogies.

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Angela R Bielefeldt University of Colorado, Boulder

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Dr. Angela Bielefeldt, PE, is a professor and associate chair for Undergraduate Education in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. She began incorporating service-learning projects into the capstone design course for environmental engineering in 2001. Her engineering education research interests include attracting and retaining students, sustainable engineering education, engineering ethics, and assessment of learning outcomes.

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Kurt Paterson P.E. Michigan Technological University

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David O Kazmer University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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David Kazmer is a Professor of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell where he has previously served as Associate Dean. His academic work is motivated by industry experiences with teaching and research related to engineering education, design, manufacturing, and optimization.

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Olga Pierrakos James Madison University

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OLGA PIERRAKOS is an associate professor and founding faculty member of the James Madison University Department of Engineering, which graduated its inaugural class in May 2012. At JMU, Dr. Pierrakos is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (CIEE) and Director of the Advanced Thermal Fluids Laboratory. Her interests in engineering education research center around recruitment and retention, engineer identity, engineering design instruction and methodology, learning through service, problem based learning methodologies, assessment of student learning, as well as complex problem solving. Her other research interests lie in cardiovascular fluid mechanics, sustainability, and K-12 engineering outreach. Dr. Pierrakos is a 2009 NSF CAREER Awardee. Dr. Pierrakos holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Annie Soisson Tufts University

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Annie Soisson is the Associate Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Tufts University. She works with faculty to foster teaching innovation and to facilitate improved learning outcomes for students. Her areas of interest are service learning, diversity, team teaching and interdisciplinary learning. She earned graduate degrees in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Boston University.

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Bowa George Tucker University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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Bowa George Tucker, Ed.D. is a Research Fellow for the National Science Foundation funded Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning through Service, a multi-institution research initiative, and Engineering for the Common Good in the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is also an adjunct faculty in the department of political science. He received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in Higher Education Administration. His dissertation research produced a rigorous qualitative study entitled Uncovering the Civic Dimensions of Service-Learning in Higher Education: A Multi-Case Study. Dr. Tucker has extensive experience in program management and evaluation of multi-million dollar education partnership programs. His expertise includes assessment in teaching and learning outcomes in k-12 and in higher education, diversity, leadership, community outreach, and curriculum development.

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Abstract

Workshops for the Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning Through Service (EFELTS) Project: Development and Initial FindingsThe EFELTS project consists of a three-year effort focuses on Learning Through Service (LTS)– a pedagogical method that combines academic learning with service. These educational effortscan range from curricular service-learning to extracurricular community engagement efforts;each focused on enhancing the educational experience for engineering students. The EFELTSproject involves a team of investigators from five, diverse institutions invoking a 4D Process(Discover, Distill, Design, and Disseminate) to realize two project goals: a) evaluate the impactson engineering faculty currently engaged in LTS efforts; and b) empower and aid faculty toimplement new, or enhance existing, LTS efforts. This paper focuses on the Design componentof the process, specifically the development and implementation of a series of faculty workshopson LTS efforts and faculty views on LTS in engineering education.The EFELTS project team developed and conducted two, 2-day workshops for engineeringfaculty involved with new or existing LTS efforts at their institutions. A total of 36 workshopparticipants, from various academic institutions and with various employment levels, attendedworkshops in Houghton, MI (August, 2012) and Boulder, CO (September, 2012). Workshopparticipants were selected primarily on LTS activity that they proposed to implement/enhance attheir institution. Workshop design consisted of three connected components – 1) LTS grounding,2) preliminary development of an LTS effort, and 3) exploring future options for an LTScommunity. Exercises used in the grounding component explored participant’s knowledge ofLTS and their existing experiences and/or beliefs on the relevance of LTS to engineeringeducation. The preliminary LTS development component, which encompassed the majority ofthe workshop’s effort, focused on preliminary development and/or enhancement of participants’LTS efforts. This development effort was facilitated by the creation of an LTS ‘blueprint’ whichprovided a framework from which to structure LTS efforts. Finally, the workshop explored waysto build a ‘community-of-practice’ to help support the continued development and use of LTS inengineering education.Results from both formative and summative workshop evaluations, including qualitative andLikert-type quantitative questions, were administered to gage participant satisfaction withspecific workshop content and exercises. In summary, workshop evaluations indicate a highlevel of satisfaction with the overall workshop. Most participants commented favorably on theuse of the LTS ‘blueprint’ to structure their LTS efforts and provide them a methodology tocontinually review and enhance desired goals and values that their effort intends to provide. Inaddition, participants became keenly aware of the need for appropriate assessment of LTS effortsto aid in the continuous enhancement of LTS, as well as to provide evidence of the benefits/costsassociated with use of LTS in engineering education. Specific results from LTS groundingexercises indicated that major benefits to LTS exist for all stakeholders including: 1) positivedevelopment of students’ technical and professional skills, 2) real-world application ofengineering concepts, and 3) numerous possible benefits to community and institutionalstakeholders. These exercises also revealed that LTS can negatively burden available facultytime and may require additional financial and human resources. Suggestions for future efforts increating a ‘community of practice’ of LTS practitioners include developing additionalworkshops, modules, and other learning tools to further disseminate workshop and EFELTSgoals.

Swan, C., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Paterson, K., & Kazmer, D. O., & Pierrakos, O., & Soisson, A., & Tucker, B. G. (2013, June), Workshops for the Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning Through Service (EFELTS) Project: Development and Initial Findings Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22786

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