Journal of Engineering Education

Published by American Society for Engineering Education
Online ISSN: 2168-9830
Print ISSN: 1069-4730
The development and implementation of a 4 quarter course sequence starting in the Spring of the Junior year is the focus of this paper. The first course focuses on having teams of students take an industrial based project from inception through a conceptual design process culminating in a final design specification. The senior year sequence is structured to have 3-5 member teams function as a type of “engineering consultant firm” to address industrial sponsored projects. The teams initially work with the sponsor to develop a “product design specification” (PDS) as the foundation of the project. The teams then develop the conceptual design of the project during the Fall quarter in order to get sponsor approval to move toward final implementation or prototype development during the Winter and early Spring teams. The course culminates with a day long symposium where each team makes formal presentations of their project and designs to the campus community, the sponsor representatives, and invited guests from the local community and potential industrial sponsors. The paper presents the specifics of the Junior and Senior level courses, brief overviews of the related sophomore and junior prerequisite courses, the method of obtaining the industrial sponsors, team formation process, sample projects and assessment results from the first two offerings of the sequence
This paper discusses a protocol and rationale for peer and student involvement in the assessment of courses in engineering at Stanford University, USA. The protocol is based upon elements of good teaching practice, and on standards for peer review as used in journal publication. It has been “prototyped” in nine engineering courses over the past two years and has generally been found to be a good mechanism for near real-time monitoring that creates constructive feedback for teaching and learning quality control. Major features of this ongoing project are summarized, including faculty attitudes and required time commitment
Bioinformatics is a new engineering field poorly served by traditional engineering curricula. Bioinformatics can be defined in several ways, but the emphasis is always on the use of computer and statistical methods to understand biological data, such as the voluminous data produced by high-throughput biological experimentation including gene sequencing and gene chips. As the demand has outpaced the supply of bioinformaticians, the UCSC School of Engineering is establishing undergraduate and graduate degrees in bioinformatics. Although many schools have or are proposing graduate programs in bioinformatics, few are creating undergraduate programs. In this paper we explore the blend of mathematics, engineering, science, and bioinformatics topics and courses needed for an undergraduate degree in this new field
We compare and contrast teacher-centered and student-centered paradigms of engineering education. We identify the following seven roles for teachers wishing to adopt a student-centered paradigm: 1) model thinking/processing skills, 2) identify students' cognitive development, 3) develop questions that facilitate exploration/growth, 4) introduce visual tools to aid establishing connections, 5) provide group learning settings, 6) use analogies and metaphors, and 7) provide a “no-risk” student feedback channel for information. Several case studies for different subjects and from different institutions are presented. Our results indicate a student-centered model is most effective when coupled with academic depth and experience in the subject matter.
The author describes the method of co-class instruction (CCI), an efficient educational structure to incorporate interpersonal management skills (IPMS) education into the existing engineering curriculum. Using CCI, seniors directly supervise project design teams composed of sophomores. As project leaders, seniors are responsible for overall project management, direct supervisory technical management, and formal performance evaluation. Sophomores apply thier current knowledge and skills, e.g., electronic spreadsheets to simulate economics and technical processes, computer-aided design, elementary mass and energy balances, etc., to accomplish project tasks. CCI was incorporated into senior design and sophomore thermodynamics/mass balance courses in the Biochemical and Food Process Engineering curriculum at Purdue University
This paper describes the educational opportunities and challenges of teaching in a realtime wireless classroom (WC) environment. The WC environment allows instructors to replace conventional blackboards and chalk with a collaborative, networked, portable computing environment. WCs provide a wide variety of new instructional possibilities, including collaborative presentations and whiteboard interaction, live audio and video, animated examples, independent and instructor-directed web surfing, and other powerful multimedia methods. However, making effective use of these realtime interactive capabilities is not straightforward, and there are many challenges involved with teaching in such an environment. This paper describes our practical experiences teaching in a WC the past academic year. The costs and effort needed to prepare course materials for a WC are discussed, and experiments that integrate the WC environment with a distance learning effort are reported
Although the industrial partners of academe are unanimous in their desire to hire engineering graduates who are experienced in working productively in small groups, implementing small group work in a computer science class can be difficult. The obvious assignment, a group programming project, proved to be a poor choice when implemented in the author's computer graphics class. An examination of the literature in this area shows that a group programming project has many features in common with a group term paper, the assignment which has been uniquely identified as the worst choice for small group work. Fortunately, there are better choices for cooperative learning in computer science. Assignments with “the three S's”: same problem, specific choice and simultaneous reporting of group choices, work well. This was implemented in a class by having students work multiple choice quizzes designed to require high level learning skills. Quizzes were first worked by individuals, then by small groups. The small group answers are then compared and discussed in class. This generates the type of interaction between the professor and students which creates positive cooperative learning experiences. Promising preliminary results have been seen with this method, from both the student and the professor's perspective
A new first year engineering orientation course has been put in place. The course stresses integration with other first year courses, writing, team building, critical thinking, disciplinary thinking and has a strong problem solving component. Students were randomly selected to participate in the course. Students' attitudes about engineering and the first year experience were assessed using an instrument developed by Besterfield-Sacre and Atman and compared with the normal introduction to engineering course. Students in this course were more positive about their learning experience in the first semester, reported a higher satisfaction with all their courses and were less likely to think that the first year courses were designed to “weed” students out of the program
This paper reports on large-scale trials of Internet-based university-level distance teaching. The use of technology, and more specifically the Internet, has been an important advance for distance education. However, simply translating material from familiar media into electronic form is rarely productive-and is certainly inadequate for supported distance education, which aims to engage the student in a `community of learning'. The value Internet technology brings to distance education lies not in direct translation from other media but in transformation of support mechanisms to exploit its potential range. The paper begins by considering how instruction and support functions can be served and potentially enhanced by an Internet-based structure. It considers which changes in culture help to preserve or improve teaching quality while adapting to screen-based and often asynchronous interactions. It discusses: trials of mechanisms for interactions among students and instructors; assignment marking using an electronic marking tool; electronic assignment handling; synchronous and asynchronous Internet-based problem sessions; and automatic student registration. The paper summarizes qualitative and quantitative findings of an extensive evaluation involving several hundred students over three courses and considering learning, student experience, assignment marking, problem sessions, scalability and integration into existing administrative structures. It highlights both costs and gains of using the Internet to transform the distance learning environment for those associated with it: students, instructors, administrators and institutions
Often heard at engineering educational conferences is the plea, “where's the proof that use of information technology really works?” No single study can produce convincing evidence because in learning-teaching experiments there exist many confounding factors even in the best-designed study. Only sifting through the great amount of information can one find the patterns. The authors' review summarizes the research findings on computer assisted instruction over the past fifteen years. Many of the studies are themselves reviews and meta-analyses, which cover hundreds of studies, over approximately 2180 studies either directly or indirectly. Their interest is to gather hard, statistical evidence about the use of information technology for better learning, time on tasks, costs and learner/teacher attitudes. Research strongly supports the use of technology as a catalyst for improving the learning environment. Educational technology has been shown to stimulate more interactive teaching, effective grouping of students, and cooperative learning. A few studies, which estimated the cost effectiveness, reported time saving of about 30%. At first, professors can be expected to struggle with the change brought about by technology. However, they will adopt adapt, and eventually learn to use technology effortlessly and creatively
Multimedia systems have emerged as one of the fastest growing segments of computing systems and thus need to be well integrated into a computer engineering curriculum. Fortunately the teaching and learning of multimedia systems can be aided with novel instructional techniques based on multimedia. The DVD project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is developing a unified set of instructional materials on the engineering techniques used in the design and test of hardware, software and networks for multimedia. This large project includes three facets: (1) multimedia instructional modules using web-linked digital video disks, (2) multimedia communication utilities to facilitate student interaction, and (3) multimedia component design projects. In this paper, we explain our approach to using multimedia as both content and instructional technology and briefly present preliminary results in each of the three facets
The Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics & Engineering Science at the University of Florida in conjunction with the Alachua County, Florida School Board has embarked on a four-year project of university-secondary school collaboration designed to enhance mathematics and science instruction in secondary school classrooms. The goals are to provide teachers with a fundamental knowledge of flight sciences, and to stimulate interest among students, particularly women and minorities, toward careers in engineering, mathematics, and science. In the first year of the project, all thirteen of the eighth grade physical science teachers and all 1200 of the eighth grade physical science students in the county participated. The activities consisted of a three-day seminar taught at the college level for the teachers, several weeks of classroom instruction for all the students, and an airport field trip for a subgroup of about 430 students that included an orientation flight in a Cessna 172 aircraft. The project brought together large numbers of middle school students, teachers, undergraduate and graduate engineering students, school board administrators, and university engineering faculty.
The Purdue Pillars of Engineering Undergraduate Education. 
A simple physics problem. 
A model for modeling a physical system with mathematics. 
Current concerns over reforming engineering education have focused attention on helping students develop skills and an adaptive expertise. Phenomenological guidelines for instruction along these lines can be understood as arising out of an emerging theory of thinking and learning built on results in the neural, cognitive, and behavioral sciences. We outline this framework and consider some of its implications for one example: developing a more detailed understanding of the specific skill of using mathematics in modeling physical situations. This approach provides theoretical underpinnings for some best-practice instructional methods designed to help students develop this skill and providesguidance for further research in the area.
A simple model to help students see the connections between a physics course and their engineering major is described. "Bridging" had positive effects on performance, attitude, and motivation, as measured by grade analyses, surveys, and student and faculty comments. In addition to the improved performance, enrollment in the physics course was also found to increase considerably during the two years of the bridging. The bridging model can be applied to a variety of courses and suggested components are discussed here.
A survey of 2800 teachers from 33 two- and four-year colleges shows markedly different perceptions of teaching goals and roles. The most significant differences occurred across fields of study. For example, whereas 55 percent of the science teachers said they were primarily concerned about teaching students the facts and principles of their subject matter, only 17 percent of the English teachers saw mastery of subject matter as their primary goal. These and other findings are related to research on college teaching, and suggestions are offered for applying findings to classroom teaching.
This work investigates the efficacy of software simulations of electronic circuits laboratories to support beginning electrical engineering students. Experiment 1 was a formative evaluation of an Electronic Laboratory Simulator (ELS), as an optional add-on to physical labs for 120 subjects at four universities. All subjects received the same treatment: their normal classes and physical labs, with optional use of simulated labs. Subjects took written tests specific to the lab's content, before and after using each simulated lab. Only subjects who took both pre- and post-tests were included. Pre- and post-test comparisons indicated significant improvement in both theory and lab knowledge when scores for all labs were combined, but inconsistent performance on individual labs. As the treatment included other learning opportunities in addition to simulated labs, the results were not attributed to the simulations, but provided initial indications and qualitative data on subjects' experiences. These helped to improve the labs and the implementation strategies. Experiment 2 used 40 college sophomores in a beginning electronic circuits lab. Physical lab subjects received seven physical labs. Combined lab subjects received a combination of seven simulated labs and two physical labs. The latter repeated two of the simulated labs to provide physical lab practice. Both treatments used the same assignments. Learner outcome measures were: (a) time required to complete a new criterion physical lab; (b) score on written lab and theory tests over all the labs; and (c) comments on the lab experience. The group that used combined simulated and physical labs performed significantly better on the written tests than the group using entirely physical labs. Both groups were equivalent in time to complete the criterion physical lab. Comments about the simulated labs were generally positive, and also provided specific suggestions for changes.
By now it is well understood in the engineering community that preparing for accreditation evaluation under Engineering Criteria 2000 is a demanding task. Perhaps the most challenging requirements of the criteria have to do with setting up mechanisms to obtain input from various constituencies, formulating precise objectives and outcomes on the basis of these inputs, setting up a range of assessment mechanisms to evaluate how successful the program is in meeting these objectives and outcomes, and setting up feedback mechanisms to use the results of the assessments to improve the program. This paper presents the experience of one program in doing this, and some of the lessons learned. 1 Introduction By now it is well understood in the engineering community that preparing for accreditation evaluation under Engineering Criteria 2000 (henceforth abbreviated EC 2000) is a demanding task [4, 8, 6]. Perhaps the most challenging of the EC 2000 requirements are those that have to do with obje...
An "autorating" (peer rating) system designed to account for individual performance in team projects was used in two sophomore-level chemical engineering courses in which the students did their homework in cooperative learning teams. Team members confidentially rated how well they and each of their teammates fulfilled their responsibilities, the ratings were converted to individual weighting factors, and individual project grades were computed as the product of the team project grade and the weighting factor. Correlations were computed between ratings and grades, self-ratings and ratings from teammates, and ratings received and given by men and women and by ethnic minorities and non-minorities. Incidences of "hitchhikers" (students whose performance was considered less than satisfactory by their teammates), "tutors" (students who received top ratings from all of their teammates), dysfunctional teams, and teams agreeing on a common rating were also determined. The results suggest that t...
This paper describes the growth of the individual andteam national undergraduate and graduate AIAA/Industry design competitions. These design competitions have been developed primarily to enhance the university capstone design education experience of both undergraduate and graduate aerospace engineering programs. The competitions represent an Industry/University partnership to improve the design capability of individuals, corporations and the nation at large. TheAIAA serves as the facilitator in this process. The student design teams respond to RFPs developed by AIAA Technical Committees. The competitions are funded by interested corporations. TheAIAA design competition model or template could easily be implemented by any professional engineering society to nurture and encourage student capstone design efforts in that society 's discipline. Students, corporations, the AIAAand the nation benefit from these competitions which enhance the competitiveness of all of the partic...
As part of their curriculum, many computer science departments offer an introductory software engineering course. This course normally provides an introduction to software engineering topics in conjunction with a semester long team project. The typical goals of this project are to provide students with a team based realistic software development project experience. To ensure students acquire the correct lessons from this project experience, it is essential that the teams utilize well-defined software development processes similar to those practiced by leading software development organizations.
This study is based on historical data for a 28 year period, from 1966 through 1993. The study evaluates if the freshmen engineering courses supply the entering engineering student with the necessary foundation to persist in engineering because of the skills he/she acquires in these courses. To measure this, the authors evaluate longitudinal data on retention and graduation rates of students that start in the standard first semester courses, start in the off sequence semester or participate in their tutorial program and complete the engineering curriculum.
An Experimental Bicycle Dissection Exercise was designed in which students perform an abbreviated and slightly altered version of the "Bicycle Dissection Exercise" offered in the Stanford course, "Mechanical Dissection." Like the formal course version of the Exercise, student groups were supplied with a bicycle, tools, a manual, and an assigned set of questions; unlike the formal course Exercise, groups in the Experimental Exercise were also supplied with a multimedia stack that explained (through graphics, text, sound and movies) various aspects of the bicycle. This multimedia stack was created to enrich the dissection experience by providing information and background on the mechanics of bicycles. Three groups of students were videotaped performing this Experimental Bicycle Dissection Exercise. The videotapes were then evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of reviewers using a technique called Video Interaction Analysis (VIA). This paper presents a summary of the experimental assess...
In an era of unprecedented technological advancement, engineering practice continues to evolve but engineering education has not changed appreciably since the 1950s. This schism has prompted industry, government, and other key constituents to question the relevancy and efficacy of current programs. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Engineering Criteria 2000, which will be fully implemented in 2001, emphasizes outcomes over process, and provides an opportunity for stakeholders to help universities define educational goals and objectives and design a curriculum to meet the desired outcomes . 1 While the need for curriculum reform has been acknowledged, the "industry position" was amorphousand anecdotal and therefore difficult to address. Qualitative methodologies such as formal surveys and structured interviews can be used to capture and quantify industry expectations of the needed attributes (i.e., knowledge, skills, and experience) for entry le...
As an innovative approach to teaching the laboratory component of an undergraduate course on dynamic systems, we present the haptic paddle: a low-cost, single-axis, force-feedback joystick. Using the paddle, students not only learned to model and analyze dynamic systems, but by using their sense of touch, they were able to feel the effects of phenomena such as viscous damping, stiffness, and inertia. Feeling the dynamics, in addition to learning the underlying physics, improved students' understanding and added an element of fun to the course. In this paper, we describe the purpose and design of the haptic paddle, present examples of how the paddle was integrated into laboratory exercises, and show the results of student evaluations. 1.
It is sometimes forgotten that industry is an important customer of engineering education. Ignoring this relationship has produced graduates that often fail to meet the changing needs of industry in today's competitive environment. On the basis of feedback from our industrial customers, faculty from Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering at Brigham Young University have jointly developed a new senior capstone design course entitled "Integrated Product and Process Design." This new capstone course is centered on industrial design and manufacturing projects. These projects involve both product and process design activities. Multidisciplinary teams of students are taught a structured development approach to produce typical industrial deliverables. These deliverables include a functional specification, product and process design, prototype, and first production sample. This paper identifies changing industrial needs, describes how the course was designed to me...
Many recent studies demonstrate that cooperative learning provides a variety of educational advantages over more traditional instructional models, both in general and specifically in engineering education. Little is known, however, about the interactional dynamics among students in engineering work groups. To explore these dynamics and their implications for engineering education, we analyzed work sessions of student groups in a sophomore-level chemical engineering course at North Carolina State University. Using conversation analysis as a methodology for understanding how students taught and learned from one another, we found that group members generally engaged in two types of teaching-learning interactions. In the first type, transfer-of-knowledge (TK) sequences, they took on distinct teacher and pupil roles, and in the second, collaborative sequences (CS), they worked together with no clear role differentiation. The interactional problems that occurred during the work sessions were...
In response to the demand for enhanced design, problem-solving, and team skills in engineering graduates, Penn State has instituted a number of team-based, project-learning courses, including one taken by nearly every first-year engineering student. To determine the impact of these experiences on our students we have begun a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of their intellectual development based upon the Perry model. In this paper, we describe the research methodology and results for the initial group of first-year students interviewed. The results of the study include the effects on intellectual development of the first-year design course, gender, honors status, and the students' academic ability as indicated by SAT scores and grade point average. Design experience was positively related to enhanced intellectual development. Honors status, gender, and academic ability were not significantly related to Perry rating. We discuss the implications of these findings for i...
Some principles that have guided the development of engineering courses in the past are identified and applied to the development of strategies for contemporary circumstances. Implications of current changes in constraints are explored for class meetings and for student work outside of class. The realization that two-thirds of a typical university academic course, and most of the learning, occurs outside the class meeting times compels careful focus by faculty on the design of interactive learning experiences to help students learn proficiently outside the class room. Designing courses of study in which the learning activities outside, as well as inside, the class room form a coherent and effective whole can improve courses dramatically. I. RESPONSIBILITY FORLEARNING Teachers in college adopt, intentionally, a fundamentally different strategy of instruction than teachers in secondary school, or high school. 1 In high school, the teacher lays out during class what the studen...
Recent advances in computer hardware and software can enable individual instructors to easily create and deliver prerecorded lectures via the World Wide Web. Through the use of new video and audio compression techniques, an entire semester of lectures can be stored on less than 2 gigabytes of disk space and delivered over the Internet on demand. A methodology for quickly generating effective lectures at relatively low video frame rates is described, and examples of the technique are provided on the Web. I. Introduction In recent years, the need to expand instruction beyond the traditional classroom has led to the rapid growth of supplemental teaching methods such as videotaped lectures, classes via satellite broadcast, and Internet delivery of lectures. In particular, the World Wide Web is receiving growing attention as a preferred medium for asynchronous delivery of course materials and prerecorded lectures to remote students. Universities throughout the country are developing courses...
Change is coming to engineering education, but many reform efforts have proceeded without explicitly examining the current prime movers of change, the forces that resist change, or the facets or foci of the system that are most in need of change. This essay frames the current debate by examining these things. Specifically, change is seen as being motivated by external competitive and technological forces. Resistance to change is viewed as being reinforced by the fundamental myth of engineering education that asserts the supremacy of basic research over all other engineering academic activities. After providing evidence that the myth resulted largely from an overestimation of the role of science and an underestimation of the role of engineering in World War II, the essay considers needed organizational, integrative, and programatic changes. Key among these are the proposal to create student-faculty teams responsible for delivering a quality education, a proposal for bottom-up alliances ...
Working in teams is an integral part of modern engineering practice and education. However, successful team interaction depends on individuals possessing skills that allow them to communicate and interact with other people in adaptive and contributing styles. Simply putting people in teams does not teach them to work together effectively. A program for teaching interaction skills to engineers was developed at the University of Tennessee and has been expanded and used at the University of San Diego and in industry. Based on learning style theory, this customized program relies on the typical problem solver 's strengths to teach skills of interviewing, questioning, exchanging ideas, and managing conflict. The goal of this program is to enable problem solvers to more effectively apply their technical skills by improving interpersonal interactions. This training has been developed over the last three years and has been used with freshmen, sophomore, and senior engineering students and in...
The principle of the behaviouristic control mechanism.  
The affinity research group model provides students with opportunities to learn, use, and integrate the knowledge and skills that are required for research with the knowledge and skills that are required for cooperative work. Membership in affinity groups is dynamic, i.e., members graduate and new members join, and students come to the groups with different levels of knowledge and skills. Because of this, an annual orientation is needed for new members to facilitate their understanding of the philosophy and goals of the affinity model, understanding of the research goals of the projects to which they are assigned, learning of the basis of the cooperative paradigm, and awareness of group expectations. More importantly, the orientation develops new members' basic understanding of the research process and provides information about available resources. The orientation also is important for established members. It provides them with an opportunity to renew their commitment to the group, improve their research and cooperative group skills, and process within the group with the goal of improving the group's effectiveness. The orientation also allows faculty mentors to become aware of members' misgivings and expectations of the affinity group experience and to process among themselves with the goal of reevaluating the model and its success. The orientation, which is the topic of this paper, consists of five components that provide a cooperative platform for meeting these objectives.
In this talk, I'll explore some of the ways educators share details of their practice and of how they find out "what works" from others. This exploration will include examining some barriers and inhibitors to successful exchange and some thoughts on the importance of representations of practice; that is how we represent our teaching to ourselves, to each other and for posterity. As part of this exploration, I will present a model of sharing I have devised with Josh Tenenberg, called the Disciplinary Commons: further details of this can be seen at:
Summarizes the discussions at the conference under the topics, Objective Criteria for the Future" and Teaching Concepts Basic to Nuclear Engineering." Includes comments from personnel representing universities, industries, and government laboratories. (TS)
Analyzes the future employment opportunities for engineering graduates of the next decade based on statistics on employment demand and manpower supply. Indicates that the widespread involvement of engineers in all areas of employment will provide engineering graduates withan advantage in the competition for jobs. (CC)
Background Cocurricular and extracurricular activities benefit precollege students. Yet connections between these activities and academic outcomes in college are mixed or inconclusive. Little is known about how involvement in cocurricular activities is associated specifically with academic engagement in college.Purpose (Hypothesis)The purpose of this study was to understand the connection between cocurricular activities and academic engagement for engineering and computer science undergraduates. We hypothesized that cocurricular activities and engagement are not directly related but are associated with one another through interactions with academic self-efficacy.Design/Method This study surveyed engineering and computer science students at four different institutions. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression models to understand the relationships between cocurricular activities and academic engagement.ResultsWhile relationships between cocurricular activities and academic engagement were not significant, interaction effects with academic self-efficacy were significant. Academic cocurricular activities interacted positively with, whereas nonacademic cocurricular activities interacted negatively with, relationships between self-efficacy and academic engagement.Conclusions Results show that connections between cocurricular involvement and academic engagement not only occur in interactions with self-efficacy, but also depend on the nature of the cocurricular activity. Most students who are active in cocurricular activities report higher levels of engagement than do their nonactive peers for the same levels of self-efficacy.
Many universities are currently trying to increase the number of women enrolled in engineering colleges. These universities may be motivated to increase the percentage of women in what has traditionally been a male career or they may be motivated to increase total enrollment and see women as a potential source of additional students. Eight headings categorize the proven techniques used to attract women to engineering. These recruiting efforts may be in part responsible for the national increase in the precentage of women engineering graduates. They are as follows: Make a commitment to recruit and keep women engineering students; publicize the engineering program to prospective women students; recruit prospective women students at the high school level; counsel women students after they arrive on campus; establish a student section of the Society of Women Engineers; hire women faculty and administrators; recognize outstanding women students; and publicize opportunities for engineering graduates.
Results of a limited comparative study of selected parameters relating to the planning and financing of engineering education programs, sponsored by southeastern section of the American Society for Engineering Education. (IR)
Background Few studies have investigated how engineering education admission policies contribute to the underrepresentation of specific groups. Transforming these policies may significantly affect who becomes an engineer. This article reports the outcome of using research results to inform change in admission policy at a Midwestern public university.PurposeThere were three research questions: Is there statistically significant evidence of admission decision gender bias for engineering applicants? Do affective and cognitive factors predictive of engineering student success differ between men and women? Can a difference in the resulting admitted class be confirmed when such factors inform admission policy?Design/Method Admissions records were examined for differences in cognitive metrics between men and women. Student records were analyzed before and after the policy change. Neural network modeling of student records predicted the cognitive and affective measures most important for success in retention and graduation.ResultsStatistical analysis indicated a gender bias in the admission process results, which was traced back to the policy. Success factor modeling suggested a different set of criteria could mitigate this bias. After admission criteria were changed, statistical analysis confirmed the gender bias against women was mitigated.Conclusions The application of research and the change process described shows the important role of research in motivating and informing policy change. This work highlights the contribution of institutional bias in admission policy to the underrepresentation of groups in engineering education, especially if admission is limited to a minimum standardized math test score.
Evaluation of continuing education needs and definition of the context of continuing engineering education used in the study. The data presented are based on both interviews with engineering management and on an extensive confidential questionnaire survey conducted. The questionnaire dealt with the utilization of engineers, with the relatimon between the individual, his superior and his company, with his educational background, his goals, his professional aims, his '%'inventiveness'%' and with his interest in continuing education.
Describes a course for non-engineering students as an introduction to: (1) the physical principles of flight within the atmosphere and in space, (2) the major historical developments in the conquest of air and space, and (3) the current state of aeronautical developments. (Author/TS)
Would engineering technology education be appropriate for a major portion of positions now classified as engineering positions, and held by engineering graduates? To test this hypothesis, electrical engineering graduates of The University of Alabama who had received a bachelor's degree in the years 1950 through 1974 were queried about their use of and need for subject matter offered in the technical curricula. Mathematics was chosen as an indicator since it is one of the subjects commonly used to distinguish engineering programs from those in engineering technology. The article reports on the results of the survey and the conclusions drawn from it.
This article was published in the journal, Journal of Engineering Education [© American Society for Engineering Education] and the definitive version is available at: This paper describes a model for laboratory education based on Kolb’s experiential learning theory. The method is implemented using modern teaching technologies and a combination of remote, virtual, and hands-on laboratory sessions and have been applied to the teaching of the undergraduate process control laboratory at the Chemical Engineering Department at Loughborough University, United Kingdom. An argument that poor learning in the laboratory is due to insufficient activation of the prehension dimension of Kolb’s cycle was suggested and verified, providing a pedagogical explanation. The quantitative analysis showed significant enhancement of the learning outcomes of the experimental group compared with the control group. Apart from the hands-on session, the proposed model involves additional activities, such as pre- and post-lab tests and virtual laboratory sessions, which are associated with Kolb’s cycle to facilitate constructivist learning. The paper provides the first laboratory education model that builds thoroughly on Kolb’s experiential learning theory. Accepted for publication
One goal of the VaNTH Engineering Research Center is to estimate the effects of the "value added" to bioengineering student learning as a result of "How People Learn" (HPL) framework interventions. A necessary step in that process is to assess pedagogical differences in both lecture-based and HPL-oriented courses. Data from 28 bioengineering courses, over five semesters, were analyzed using a newly developed HPL Index. This index, developed from the Classroom Interaction Observation portion of the VaNTH Observation System, reports levels of HPL-inspired pedagogy, traditional pedagogy, and classroom organization within a class using codes for different types of faculty and student interactions assigned by an observer in real time. Results confirm the HPL Index's ability to distinguish pedagogical practices based on HPL principles and pedagogical practices based on traditional, non-HPL pedagogy.
Abstract A method that provides tremendous benefits to both instructors and students is described in this paper. The method is based on asking a multiple choice question after every 10 to 20 minutes of a lecture and getting responses from all the students. The students respond by raising a card which displays the letter corresponding to their choice of answer. The method is easy to implement in any traditional lecture setting. It provides instant assessment of student learning and lets an instructor take corrective measure, if necessary, in the same class period. The method allows all the students in a class to actively participate, evaluate their own performance, and reflect upon what they have learned. The method works well either in a small or a large class and it typically creates an atmosphere of fun and learning in the classroom.
A new engineering ethics video, Incident at Morales, was assessed with two different instruments: the standard Defining Issues Test and a short ad hoc survey. According to pre-tests and post-tests with the Defining Issues Test, viewers of the video increased the sophistication of their moral reasoning skills. According to the survey, viewers changed their opinions about the most important responsibilities of engineers and about meeting environmental regulations when working overseas. From these results, it appears that the video is an effective approach to teach engineering ethics. published or submitted for publication is peer reviewed
Academic dishonesty has become a serious problem at institutions of higher learning. This is particularly true in engineering where, according to previous research, engineering undergraduates are among the most likely to cheat in college. To investigate this concern, the authors embarked on a research project whose goal was to develop a better understanding of what students and faculty perceive as cheating and to use this knowledge to help instructors and institutions increase the level of academic integrity among students. The primary instrument was a seven-page survey that was administered to 643 engineering and pre-engineering undergraduates at eleven institutions, ranging from community colleges to large research universities. This manuscript provides an overview of the descriptive data from the PACES-1 Survey organized around the following questions: what is student cheating and how often does it occur; why do students cheat; and what methods can be used to reduce or stop cheating? Peer Reviewed JEE PACES1.pdf
Discusses the definition of "biomedical engineering" and the development of educational programs in the field. Includes detailed descriptions of the roles of bioengineers, medical engineers, and chemical engineers. (CC)
Discussed are communication considerations for instructors of undergraduate engineering courses designed to teach students to prepare written technical reports. Illustrated are the differences between "real life" technical writing and classroom writing. (SL)
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