June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Community Engagement Division
23.1401.1 - 23.1401.12
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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