The following is a list of all publications generated by the Foundation Coalition, listed by author. These documents require the use of the Adobe Acrobat software in order to view their contents.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
- Froyd, J.E., Rogers, G., Winkel, B., 1993, “An Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics: Innovative Research in the Classroom,” Proceedings of the National Heat Transfer Conference.
Roedel, R.J., Kawski, M., Doak, B., Politano, M., Duerden, S., Green, M., Kelly, J., Linder, D., Evans, D.L., 1995, “An Integrated, Project-based, Introductory Course in Calculus, Physics, English, and Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Arizona State University is a member of the NSF-sponsored Engineering Education Coalition known as the Foundation Coalition. This paper describes the development of an integrated introductory course delivered to freshman engineering students at ASU in the Fall '94 semester as a part of the Foundation Coalition program.
The course combined and integrated material from introductory courses in calculus, physics, English composition, and engineering, normally taught in a stand-alone format. The calculus used in this course was based on the ``Harvard reform model'' and include d a review of functions, the derivative, the definite integral, and application of these topics to physics and engineering problems. The physics was mechanics-based, with emphasis on kinematics, dynamics, conservation principles, rotational motion, and re lativity.
What differentiated this integrated package from versions found at other institutions in the Coalition was (a) the inclusion of English composition, and (b) the project-based introduction to engineering. In this integrated course, the students learned to organize and develop ideas for both technical and general audiences. In addition, they learned the use of rhetorical principles with readings from the philosophy of science, engineering case studies, and so on.
The over-arching framework for the class was the use of engineering projects to teach design and modeling principles. The three projects incorporated the calculus and physics that had been learned to date in the class. The first utilized kinematics and curve-fitting to functions to design and build a simple projectile launcher; the second employed dynamics and numerical integration to design and build a bungee drop system; and the third project, which also served as the final exam, used rotational motion concepts and a data acquisition system to identify the shape and material of a hidden object.
The integrated course also employed considerable use of computers in an active learning environment that stressed teaming and other quality tools.
- Bellamy, L., McNeill, B., Bailey, J., Roedel, R.J., Moor, W., Zwiebel, I., Laananen, D., 1995, “An Introduction to Engineering Design: Teaching the Engineering Process Through Teaming and the Continuous Improvement Philosophy,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: In this paper we describe a first year required course in engineering design, initiated at ASU in the Fall '94 semester. The organizing thread and philosophy for the course is the process of engineering, utilizing teaming and continuous improvement, based on Deming's fourteen points. Process is defined as a collection of interrelated tasks that take one from input to output in the engineering environment.
The course has three components: Process Concepts, Design Laboratory, and Computer Modeling. In the concepts section, the emphasis is on a problem solving heuristic similar to the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act process or the Boeing Seven Step problem solving process. The concepts section meets once a week for two hours in a large, multimedia classroom with a center podium and tables for teams of four students. The capacity of the concepts class is 120 students.
The design laboratory component of the class has two main portions: (1) A Mechanical Dissection and Reassembly of an Artifact, in which the reassembly process is developed, documented, and evaluated using community volunteers for testing, and (2) An Artifact Design for Reproducible Performance, in which an object is designed, constructed, and evaluated. In the Fall '94 semester, students dissected a telephone for the reassembly process and constructed a mouse trap powered model airplane launcher for the artifact design process.
In the computer modeling component of the course, students learn how to develop models conceptually and then evaluate these models with Excel spreadsheets and TKSolver. Nine different computer models are generated and evaluated in this portion of the course, which meets in a computer classroom which contains approximately 25 computers.
The class combines active learning and technology enhanced education. More details of the course content and the assessment and evaluation of the student performance will be described in the talk.
- Parker, J.K., Cordes, D., Richardson, J., 1995, “Engineering Design in the Freshman Year at The University of Alabama - Foundation Coalition Program,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: A pair of courses, GES 131 & 132 (Foundations of Engineering I & II), form the two semester engineering component of Foundation Coalition's integrated freshman year at The University of Alabama. These courses replace two existing freshman engineering courses which are devoted to computer programming (FORTRAN) and engineering graphics. In order to present a more realistic and interesting introduction to engineering as a profession, the courses focuses on the engineering design process.
Both courses are organized around four three-week long "design" projects. The projects are selected from a variety of areas, covering the breadth of engineering disciplines taught at UA. The design projects also complement the current subject matter of the integrated math, chemistry, and physics courses. For example, while both physics and chemistry are introducing the ideal gas law, the engineering project involves the design of a CNG (compressed natural gas) tank for an automotive application. Each design project requires a team report, in written and (sometimes) oral form. The students are introduced to a variety of computer tools to aid their presentation of reports, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation packages. Student access to the Internet (for data collection) and e-mail (for communication) is also provided.
This paper provides an in-depth examination of the first of these two courses. It includes a brief overview of the relationships that exist between the integrated courses in the freshman year, a detailed examination of the nature and scope of the design projects included within the course, and feedback from both faculty and students on the merits of the approach.
Richards, D.E., Rogers, G., 1996, “A New Sophomore Engineering Curriculum -- The First Year Experience,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: During the 1995-96 academic year, Rose- Hulman offered a new sophomore engineering curriculum as part of its participation in the National Science Foundation funded Foundation Coalition. This paper will briefly describe the curriculum and discuss the assessment of the first year of the program. The Rose-Hulman/Foundation-Coalition Sophomore Engineering Curriculum consists of two parallel course streams -- applied mathematics and engineering science -- and integrates material both across and within these streams. This curriculum is required of all electrical and computer engineering majors and is an option for mechanical engineering and civil engineering majors. Assessment was an important part of the first year program with emphasis on providing information to faculty for improving the effects of the curriculum on student learning.
Rogers, G., Sando, J., 1996, “A Qualitative, Comparative Study of Students' Problem Solving Abilities and Procedures,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: Currently, two freshmen curricula exist at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. This creates a unique opportunity to compare the problem-solving, team training and technology utilization abilities of students who completed the Integrated First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (IFYCSEM) pilot program to the abilities of students who completed the traditional freshman engineering curriculum. This study seeks to identify the differences that exist between the techniques of sophomores who were IFYCSEM students and sophomores who were in the traditional first-year curriculum when they are confronted with a complex problem in a group setting. This study will also address the link between observed behaviors during problem-solving sessions and students' performance on standardized tests designed to assess problem solving predispositions and abilities.
- Doak, B., McCarter, J., Green, M., Duerden, S., Evans, D.L., Roedel, R.J., Williams, P., 1996, “Animated Spreadsheets as a Teaching Resourse on the Freshman Level,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Computer animation can serve as a powerful teaching tool. Too often, however, interactive computer animation degenerates into a video game, with students blithely entering data and enjoying "gee-whiz" graphics while managing to ignore completely the underlying physics and math - the understanding of which is the actual intent of the animation! Such unfocused trialand- error engagement can be largely avoided if the animation is introduced as a tool rather than as a "black box." Spreadsheets lend themselves very well to this. One simple, easily-understood macro to "step" time is all that is required. Graphs based on formulas referencing this time immediately become animated. If the student has entered and understood the spreadsheet formulas in the first place, the animation is a completely natural extension of a familiar tool. The visual impact is just as great as with more sophisticated animation but is a natural outgrowth of the underlying physics and math rather than being simply the output of a "black box."
- Kagan, A., Richards, T., Adu-Asamoah, R., 1996, “Multimediated Curricular Development Applications,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: This study approaches the issue of integrated system and management applications within the engineering curriculum using Multimediated technologies for classroom delivery. Three components of the technology are used in this approach: 1) Client/server systems are used to build information literacy across the engineering curriculum, 2) Multimediated applications and examples including the use of the Internet for functional management related topics within the systems curriculum are developed, and 3) Expanded use of rapid data retrieval applications for image storage and graphical application development are implemented.
- Parker, J.K., Richardson, J., Cordes, D., 1996, “Problem Solving and Design in the Freshman Year: The Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference.
Abstract: A pair of courses, GES 131 and 132, form the two semester engineering component of the Foundation Coalition's integrated freshman year at The University of Alabama. The courses use engineering design and problem solving processes to present a more realistic, interesting, and useful introduction to engineering. The overall goals of the Foundation Coalition (curriculum integration, teaming & active learning, technology enabled education) are introduced and developed within the overall framework of problem solving and design.
Each course is organized around several four-weeklong design projects that are integrated with current topical material from the mathematics, chemistry, and physics courses. The design projects give students a taste of real-world engineering and develop the students problem-solving skills. Students use teaming, active learning, and technology extensively in these courses. Details about specific exercises and common student problems are discussed in the paper.
- Evans, D.L., Doak, B., Duerden, S., Green, M., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Williams, P., 1996, “Team-Based Projects for Assessment in First Year Physics Courses Supporting Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Two team-oriented, project-based exercises developed and used for student assessment in an integrated freshman program are described. These projects allow assessment of student progress toward meeting desirable student outcomes such as ability to work in teams, ability to communicate, and able to apply science and engineering to the solution of problems. One project involves measurement of the velocity of a projectile; the other one involves the measurement of the ambient magnetic field strength. Lists of parts supplied to each student team are include as are photos and sketches of the more complex pieces of equipment. Student comments and faculty roles are also discussed.
Richardson, J., Parker, J.K., Cordes, D., 1996, “The Foundation Coalition Freshman Year: Lessons Learned,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Three years ago, mathematics, science, and engineering faculty at the University of Alabama (UA) designed a new set of freshmen courses which integrate science and engineering topics, promote active learning, and incorporate computer tools. The new courses have now gone through two cycles (1994-95 and 1995-96 academic years). The original goals of the new courses are presented followed by discussions of some of the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches.
- Frair, K., Froyd, J.E., Rogers, G., Watson, K.L., 1996, “The Foundation Coalition: Past, Present, and Future,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition (FC) was funded in 1993 as the fifth coalition in the National Science Foundation's Engineering Education Coalitions Program. The FC has as its vision a new culture of engineering education: students and faculty working in partnership to create an enduring foundation for student development and life-long learning. The member institutions - Arizona State University (ASU), Maricopa Community College District (MCCD), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT), Texas A&M University (TAMU), Texas A&M University - Kingsville (TAMUK), Texas Woman's University (TWU), and the University of Alabama (UA) - are developing improved curricula and learning environment models that are based on four primary thrusts: integration of subject matter within the curriculum, improvement of the human interfaces that affect educational environments, technology-enabled learning, and continuous improvement through assessment and evaluation. The Foundation Coalition partners draw on their diverse strengths and mutual support to construct improved curricula and learning environments; to attract and retain a more demographically diverse student body; and to graduate a new generation of engineers who can more effectively solve the increasingly complex, rapidly changing societal problems that demand
1) Increased appreciation and motivation for lifelong learning
2) Increased ability to participate in effective teams
3) Effective oral, written, graphical, and visual communication skills;
4) Improved ability to appropriately apply the fundamentals of mathematics and the sciences
5) Increased capability to integrate knowledge from different disciplines to define problems, develop and evaluate alternative solutions, and specify appropriate solutions
6) Increased flexibility and competence in using modern technology effectively for analysis, design, and communication
As part of the FC strategic planning process, seven measurable objectives have been established to guide our activities over the remaining years of the grant period (1993-1998). Our objectives, and therefore activities, have not been of equal priority every year, and priorities are established each year as part of the budget allocation process. Three objectives that we have focused on a great deal thus far and that will be dealt with here are: Lower-Division Curricula, Assessment/Evaluation, and Institutionalization.
Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Doak, B., Kawski, M., Green, M., Duerden, S., McCarter, J., Williams, P., Burrows, V., 1996, “Use of the Internet to Support an Integrated Introductory Course in Engineering, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and English,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Arizona State University has been offering an introductory course that integrates engineering design and modeling, calculus, physics, chemistry, and English through the Foundation Coalition, an Engineering Education Coalition sponsored by the National Science Foundation. One of the critical components of courseware developed through the Foundation Coalition is the infusion of technology enhanced education. This paper will describe the use of the Internet, through the World Wide Web and through videoconferencing, to support this introductory course. It is interesting to note that the success of Internet usage is directly tied to the performance of the net. That is, when Internet traffic or bandwidth problems arise, both the students and the faculty become less enthusiastic about using the technology.
Richardson, J., Parker, J.K., 1997, “Engineering Education in the 21st Century: Beyond Lectures,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education.
Abstract: The authors' experience with an experimental freshman engineering program at the University of Alabama points to new roles for engineering educators. The program, part of the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition, emphasizes curriculum integration and team work. The most striking result of the program is the attitude of the students at the end of the freshman year. Compared to students in the traditional curriculum, students from the experimental program take more responsibility for learning and work considerably harder.
- Frair, L., Rogers, G., 1997, “Evolution and Evaluation of an Integrated, First-Year Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is planning to offer a new first-year program for all entering students in the 1998-99 academic year. The new first-year program will build on seven years of experience with the Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (IFYCSEM). In IFYCSEM, faculty integrate topics in calculus, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering design, engineering statics, and engineering graphics into a year-long curriculum which emphasizes links among topics, problem solving and teams. These faculty have pioneered innovations in the areas of curriculum integration, technology-enabled education, cooperative learning, and continuous improvement through assessment and evaluation. Rose-Hulman's experience has helped encourage other institutions to offer prototype firstyear curricula modeled upon IFYCSEM. These institutions include Rose-Hulmans partners in the Foundation Coalition: Arizona State University, Maricopa Community College District, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University at Kingsville, Texas Woman's University, and the University of Alabama. The paper will summarize goals of the curriculum, structure of the curriculum, significant innovations, student perceptions of the curriculum, summative assessment data, evolution of the program through formative assessment and continuous improvement, impact of IFYCSEM beyond Rose-Hulman, and development of an Institute-wide first-year program.
- McCartney, M.A., Reyes, M.A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1997, “Internal and External Challenges for Minority Engineering Programs,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: The Office of Minority Engineering Programs (OMEP) in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at Arizona State University (ASU) is a growing support system for underrepresented minority students and others. Nearly 500, approximately 14%, of the undergraduate students in the CEAS are underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans). During the Fall 1995 semester, the OMEP served over 300 students, including 13.5% non-minority. The OMEP is composed of a Director, Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Coordinator, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program Coordinator, an Administrative Assistant, a half-time graduate assistant, and two undergraduate part-time students, as well as student tutors and MESA liaisons. The OMEP reports to and is strongly supported by the CEAS Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Special Programs.
None the less, there are internal challenges for the survival of the OMEP. The MEP, along with the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program, has been asked by the University for an accounting of its program and whom they serve. The OMEP budget is continually reviewed to prove that the program is making a difference. Not all are convinced that colleges should be funding K-12 educational support programs such as MESA. The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) has proposed eliminating scholarship funding for minority students. The ABOR has also discussed the necessity for and legality of diversity programs during public hearings over the past two years.
The external challenges for the survival of the MEP come primarily from the national review of affirmative action policies associated with presumed preferential treatment of minority students. Perceptions that a great amount of resources are designated to only a few selective students needs close review if minority support programs are to survive. Since the CEAS works very closely with industry, the OMEP must keep pace with the changing work force needs of the future if we are to remain a competitive resource for strengthening the economy.
ASU is making progress towards increasing diversity and quality through campus wide efforts that are based on twenty recommendations made by a 1994 task force. ASU recognizes that campus diversity is needed for an educated citizenry and for international competitiveness. ASU is dedicated to developing and to supporting additional programs to improve student preparation for university success. ASU recognizes that any such programs must be outcome based and have commitment from top management. The OMEP model strongly aligns with the diversity objectives and strategies of the university.
This paper discusses how the OMEP at ASU is answering the internal and external challenges through an expansion of their services to make a positive impact.
Roedel, R.J., Green, M., Garland, J., Doak, B., McCarter, J., Evans, D.L., Duerden, S., 1997, “Projects that integrate engineering, physics, calculus, and English in the Arizona State University Foundation Coalition freshman program,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition at Arizona State University has been offering a novel first year program in engineering for the last three years.[1-5] This program integrates coursework in English composition and rhetoric, calculus, freshman physics, and introductory engineering concepts through student projects. The projects increase in complexity as the term progresses, to keep pace with students' increasing knowledge of science and engineering. The purpose of this paper is to describe the projects, the process used to deliver them, and their impact on the learning in this class.
- Duerden, S., Graham, J.M., Garland, J., Doak, B., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Williams, P., 1997, “Scaling Up Arizona State University's First-Year Integrated Program in Engineering: Problems and Solutions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: This paper discusses how scale-up from a pilot of 32 students to 80 students affected the integrated delivery of material in English composition, physics, and engineering to a cohort of freshman engineering students. It also discusses how collaborative learning and projects were structured to fit 80 students, the effects of class size on student-to-student interaction and student-to-faculty interactions in and out of the classroom, and what modifications were made to the classroom facilities to accommodate these projects. Although there were some detrimental effects accruing to the scale-up, for the most part, student performance was unaffected or slightly improved.
Reyes, M.A., McCartney, M.A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1997, “Transferring the Knowledge in a Bridge Program: Engineering Students Become Coaches,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: A unique, very successful summer bridge program was held for incoming underrepresented minority freshman and transfer engineering students at Arizona State University (ASU) during the summer of 1996. The Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Summer Bridge Program was a two week residential program designed to ensure academic success for the 44 student participants. The program was supported by a grant from the Coalition to Increase Minority Degrees and ASUs College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).
Unlike typical Bridge Programs taught by faculty and staff, the curriculum for this program was delivered by undergraduate engineering students. Three students, two women and one man, formed Dream Team I for the curriculum development and delivery for each day from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m., when the dinner hour began. The evening hour activities from 6:00 p.m. until midnight were developed and supervised by Dream Team II, composed of four additional undergraduate students, three males and one female, who were selected from the three underrepresented minority societies, AISES, NSBE and SHPE.
The program content was developed by both teams, with the support of the Director and the Program Coordinator of the CEAS Minority Engineering Program (MEP) and a faculty member. In particular, the curriculum was designed by Dream Team I in consultation with a CEAS Associate Professor. The coach professor met with the students on several occasions to plan the program, made himself available as a consulting coach during the first week of the program, and allowed the students full autonomy over the instruction during the second week.
The curriculum team determined that the students would be teamed to develop a Web Page to be presented at the conclusion of the program. After each module, the curriculum team reconvened to discuss progress and to make modifications for the following sessions. At their own initiative, each day, the two dream teams met during dinner in a transition meeting to evaluate student progress in the program and to better plan for the evenings activities.
The participants related very well to instructor peers. The instructors had credibility since they had been through the same type of curriculum. Student evaluations of the program were extremely positive with particularly high points for the instruction portion of the Web Page development. Although the student instructors taught teaming, at the same time, they were forced to learn a lot about teaming and teaching. They had several conflicts to resolve among themselves. One is now considering teaching as a career. Curriculum team members continued to tutor students after the program creating a support structure for the students.
- Duerden, S., Green, M., Garland, J., Doak, B., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Williams, P., 1997, “Trendy Technology or a Learning Tool? Using Electronic Journaling on Webnotes for Curriculum Integration in the Freshman Program in Engineering at ASU,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Lately, technology has transformed our world, with millions of users negotiating everything from purchasing goods to accessing research. The pressure to embrace this technology has grown to the point that even in the composition classroom, instructors are exploring ways to most profitably use it. Given the growth and commercialism of the World Wide Web (WWW), it is not always easy to distinguish the hype from the useful. However, one worthwhile application is WebNotes¥, a commercial, WWW-based electronic forum software product that has become a powerful journaling tool for fostering connections, delivering information, and creating an online community in and out of the classroom. In our first two iterations of the NSF Foundation Coalition integrated program for first-year students at Arizona State University, we used journaling to encourage students to connect their classes by explaining math, physics, or engineering concepts to the non-specialist (English teachers), discussing teaming and teaming issues, and providing feedback. Before the use of WebNotes¥, the English teachers collected the journals and passed them on to the other faculty members, usually in the space of one week, causing many logistical problems. With Webnotes, students now write entries in a word processing program, which encourages them to check spelling and grammar, and then they paste them into a WebNotes¥ forum. The faculty can then read the entries at their convenience and respond to each student via e-mail. These entries can be kept hidden from other students until or unless the moderators (faculty) choose to release them. Assessment of student responses to this form of journaling, in the form of anecdotes and a survey, has been very positive. Students like the individual and immediate responses they receive via e-mail -- always a popular form of communication with students. Moreover, they appreciate the fact that multiple faculty may read a single entry. As a learning tool, an integration tool, and a feedback tool, this technology has proved that technology is not simply trendy. Sometimes it really can enhance learning and communication.
- Bester, K., Lee, T., Roboski, J., Richardson, J., Laurie, C., 1997, “What Do You Do When Your Students Want To Lead?,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Engineering students in the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition (FC) program at the University of Alabama formed a Student Coalition Team to help provide organization, communication, and support to the students of the Coalition. The impetus for the formation of the Student Coalition Team came from students, not faculty. This paper describes the Student Coalition Team and explores how the structure of the Foundation Coalition program at the University of Alabama, primarily through enhanced studentstudent, faculty-student, and faculty-faculty interaction and communication, helped to create an environment which gave rise to the Student Coalition Team.
Richards, D.E., 1998, “A New Framework for Engineering Science Education,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe a new framework for engineering science education -- a systems and accounting framework. This framework helps students build connections between subjects that are usually perceived by students and often taught by faculty as being totally unconnected.
Roedel, R.J., El-Ghazaly, S., Aberle, J.T., 1998, “An Integrated Upper Division Course in Electronic Materials and Electromagnetic Engineering - "Wave Phenomena for Electrical Engineers",” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition at Arizona State University offered for the first time a novel upper division integrated course in Electrical Engineering in the Fall 97 semester. This first offering combined two upper division courses into an integrated class that sought to reduce the compartmentalization and emphasize the substantial overlap of the separate courses. The courses involved were (1) an introduction to the properties of electronic materials and (2) the first course for EE majors in electromagnetic engineering. The main thread that integrated the two courses was wave phenomena. This paper will discuss the organization of the course, the nature of the course integration, details about the technology infusion, and a brief description of the tool used to carry out assessment of the course and the students performance.
- Haag, S.G., Reed-Rhoads, T., 1998, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Integrated Freshmen Curricula in Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Reform across subject areas through curricular integration has an overarching goal of achieving high academic success for all students. A number of schools in the country associated with the National Science Foundation Engineering Education Coalition program have incorporated reform across subject areas as one of their objectives. In an attempt to reform engineering education at Arizona State University, the Foundation Coalition (FC) program offered an integrated freshman program and embedded four core reform competencies in its strategic plan and across all subject areas. The core competencies are emphasized not only for high academic success but for student retention and professionalism. The four competencies include: 1) Utilization of technology-enabled education, 2) Improvement of human interactions that affect the educational environment, 3) Integration of subject matter within the curriculum, and 4) Promotion of life long learning.
This report contains outcomes from a comprehensive evaluation of the FC program. The evaluation included assessment of FC students and a non- FC comparison group of students.
To gain a broad perspective of the program a multi method research approach was used. The FC program was examined to capture: immediate effects, short-terms effects, and longer effects. This was the 5th of a 10 year plan to observe the quality of the program. Methods included: survey research, document review, and collection and analysis of data on ASU engineering students.
Students were asked to fill out surveys periodically during the year to elicit their perceptions about the program. In addition, student academic performance was collected. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and the Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT) were also given in the FC freshmen class by the Physics professor. Both tests were multiple choice and were scored on a percent correct basis. Furthermore, the FC and non-FC course GPAs were compared over time to examine student differences and gains.
Current assessment of the program has shown that the FC is continuing to meet its strategic objectives. According to exiting freshman engineering students, the program was more effective in the utilization of technology in education, curricular integration, and the promotion of life long learning than the comparison group and the differences were statistically significant. Additionally, the FC has proven to be successful in the retention of students in the field of engineering. Another strength of the FC program was faculty responsiveness.
However, there were no statistical differences between the Coalition and the comparison groups for teaming. One explanation is that the non-FC comparison program also uses teaming in one of their courses which may have affected this outcome. Based upon this preliminary feedback, FC faculty will improve the team training, monitoring, and assessment this year. Additionally, a special team time was added to the schedule to help improve team dynamics.
Additional information has shed light upon specific student differences. For example, females responded differently than the males on all survey questions pertaining to teaming, technology, integration, and life long learning. Additionally, FCI and MBT scores revealed gender and special interest group differences. Although all groups exhibited similar gains, the males always outscored all other groups of interest. The gender differences in every test administration, both FCI and MBT significantly favored the males This formative evaluation feedback has provided impetus for program modification. Faculty and staff are examining differences and determining strategic curricular and non-curricular actions to correct learning and attitudinal discrepancies.
Rogers, G., 1998, “Asynchronous Assessment: Using Electronic Portfolios to Document and Assess Student Learning Outcomes,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Portfolios are not a new concept in the assessment of educational outcomes. They have been widely used in elementary and secondary schools for over a decade. The current interest in the use of portfolios to document student outcomes in engineering education has been driven by the adoption of revised engineering accreditation criteria, Engineering Criteria 2000 . In Criteria 3, portfolios are mentioned as one way to document and assess student outcomes. In a white paper  issued in 1996 by the Joint Task Force on Engineering Education Assessment, portfolios were referred to as being one assessment method correlated with nine of the eleven desired attributes of engineering graduates identified in EC2000.
The presentation will discuss the experience of Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology in the selection and development of an electronic portfolio (RosE-Portfolio) system designed to document, assess, and evaluate student outcomes. A brief demonstration of how students, faculty, and raters will use the RosE-Portfolio will be given. Lessons learned during the development process and the identification of the elements to consider when designing an electronic portfolio process will also be discussed. The implications for the use of industry and alumni raters in the assessment of the portfolio submissions in an asynchronous environment will be highlighted.
Richardson, J., Corleto, C.R., Froyd, J.E., Imbrie, P.K., Parker, J.K., Roedel, R.J., 1998, “Freshman Design Projects in the Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Many talented engineering students abandon engineering before taking a single engineering course. Herded into large sections of pre-engineering mathematics, chemistry and physics courses, many students prove themselves academically but walk away from engineering, disillusioned. Numerous schools have instituted freshmen engineering courses to retain some of these capable but disinterested students in the engineering program. Freshman engineering courses spark students interest by showing students that engineers communicate, lead, and create as well as analyze. One of the most successful ways of showing first-year students the diversity of skills needed to practice engineering is through freshman design projects.
The authors have each selected three of their favorite freshman design projects (a total of fifteen projects) and posted detailed descriptions on the web (www.foundation.ua.edu/projects). For those interested in learning a little background about the freshman programs in which these projects were used, please read on. This paper provides: a brief description of the freshman programs at each school (the schools are participants in the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition), short summaries of each project, and answers to frequently asked questions about freshman design projects.
- Sathianathan, D., Sheppard, S., Jenison, R., Bilgutay, N.M., Demel, J.T., Gavankar, P., Lockledge, J., Mutharasan, R., Phillips, H., Poli, C., Richardson, J., 1998, “Freshman Design Projects: Lessons Learned in Engineering Coalitions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: NSF established the Engineering Education Coalition programs for the purpose of creating systemic changes in engineering education. Coalitions are groups of institutions of higher learning who work collaboratively to achieve their coalition's mission. The first Coalition program was established in 1990. There are now eight Engineering Education Coalitions representing some 59 Universities (roughly 20% of all of the undergraduate institutions in the United States).
Most coalitions have developed freshman design projects to increase the interest of new engineering students and to begin the integration of design across the curriculum. These activities are multi-week project approach, where students are engaged in hands-on experimental learning. The projects require that the members of the team must work together to complete the task. The multi-week projects dominate the course and the project theme motivates both the fixed and the flexible content covered during the course.
This special session will discuss the various types of freshman design projects used and lessons learned by the Engineering Coalitions. Short presentations from the various coalitions will review what has been done and the lessons learned. The sessions will be interactive, involving the audience in the discussion of these lessons learned. A list of projects used in the coalitions along with a list of publications will be made available.
Reyes, M.A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., McCartney, M.A., 1998, “Freshman Introductory Engineering Seminar Course: Coupled with Bridge Program Equals Academic Success and Retention,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Arizona State University's (ASU) Office of Minority Engineering Programs (OMEP) has hosted the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Summer Bridge Program for the past two years. The purpose of the program is to promote greater awareness of and recruit potential candidates to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at ASU. The program content and curriculum were designed to prepare underrepresented ethnic minority students for success in the College at ASU. The program focused on building community and utilized undergraduate student role models as instructors, while the curriculum focused on engineering design, technical communications, and a design project. Academic scholarships were awarded to all participants based on a team design project competition.
The Summer 96 program participants were encouraged to participate in the MEP Academic Success Seminar course offered in the Fall 96. Twelve of the 43 participants chose to do so. Since the instructor for the course was also the director of the bridge program, the MEP used this as an opportunity to continue building community, reduce student isolation, and monitor student progress throughout the semester. In fact this is exactly what occurred with those who participated, however, continuing all these facets was difficult with the remaining 31. Therefore, the following year, the Summer 97 program participants were required to participate in the course as a stipulation to receive their scholarship. As a result, all 38 participants chose to register for the seminar course or the Foundation Coalition Match program at ASU.
The academic success of these students during their first semester is evaluated, compared, and correlated with several measures including 1) a comparative analysis of seminar course success between the students who participated in the bridge program and those who did not; 2) students scores on the university mathematics placement examination and the students class grade earned in their beginning mathematics class; and 3) the students use of the MEP support system (i.e. Tutoring program, Academic Excellence Program).
- Anderson-Rowland, M.R., Reyes, M.A., McCartney, M.A., 1998, “MEP Summer Bridge Program: Mathematics Assessment Strategies,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: Arizona State University's (ASU) Office of Minority Engineering Programs (OMEP) has hosted two successful Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Summer Bridge Programs to promote greater awareness of and recruit potential candidates to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). Through a collaborative effort, the two-week residential program was funded by the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities and the CEAS Deans Office. The program content and curriculum were designed to prepare underrepresented ethnic minority students for success in the CEAS at ASU. The curriculum focused on engineering design, technical communications, and included a design project. Academic scholarships were awarded to all participants based on a team design project competition. The competition included the design of web pages, documentation in individual design notebooks, and a presentation to industry representatives and parents.
During the summer of 1996, 44 students participated and completed the program. As a recruitment tool, the program was an overwhelming success with 43 of the 44 students completing the academic year (one chose not to because of the familys financial situation). During the summer of 1997, 39 students also completed the program. Currently, 38 of the 39 from the 1997 program have enrolled in the CEAS (one choosing not to enroll because of problems with financial aid). During both programs, the students were given university mathematics placement examinations. The students were then advised to take either MAT 117: College Algebra, MAT 170: Pre-Calculus, MAT 270: Calculus with Analytic Geometry I, or more advanced classes based on their placement test results. However, students were not required to register for a mathematics course based on their exam score. The academic success of these students in their first mathematics course is evaluated relative to their placement score as well as their participation in an academic success seminar and use of the MEP tutoring program.
- Lim, C., Metzger, R.P., Rodriguez, A.A., 1998, “Modeling, Simulation, Animation, and Real-Time Control (MoSART) Environments: Tools for Education and Research,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: This paper describes a set of Microsoft Windows '95/NT, Visual C++, Direct-3D based software environments for simulating and visualizing several different dynamical systems. Different simulation and animation models may be selected by the user for each environment. Users are also able to alter model and controller parameters "on the fly" - thus allowing them to quickly examine different scenarios. The environments take advantage of Direct-3D to produce high-quality three-dimensional real-time animated graphical models of the systems. Real-time plotting and graphical indicators are also employed to help users abstract-out key phenomena. The environments also accommodate data exchange with MATLAB. Users may readily export simulation data to MATLAB and use the associated toolboxes for post-processing and further analysis. The MoSART environments are valuable tools for enhancing both education and research. Examples are presented to illustrate their utility.
Roedel, R.J., El-Ghazaly, S., Reed-Rhoads, T., El-Sharawy, E., 1998, “The Wave Concepts Inventory - An Assessment Tool for Courses in Electromagnetic Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition at Arizona State University offered for the first time a novel upper division integrated course in Electrical Engineering in the fall97 semester. The courses involved were (1) an introduction to the properties of electronic materials and (2) the first course for EE majors in electromagnetic engineering. The main thread that integrated the two courses was wave phenomena. To determine whether this integration successfully teaches the students in wave phenomena, we developed an assessment tool, which we have called the Wave Concepts Inventory. This paper will describe in detail the organization of the Waves Concepts Inventory and its use in assessing upper division students in their understanding of wave concepts.
Reed-Rhoads, T., Dozier, R.J., Garland, J., 1998, “Views about Writing Survey - A New Writing Attitudinal Survey Applied to Engineering Students,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The development and initial administration results of a new attitudinal instrument, the Views about Writing Survey (VAWS), are presented. The goal of the VAWS is to measure the attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions that students have about writing at the beginning of the composition course and again at the end of the semester to show if and how their attitudes change. To this end, the instrument is used as a pre- and post- semester tool to compare students taught in a traditional English composition course with those taught in an English composition course that has been integrated with the engineering, physics, and calculus courses.
The VAWS was administered to 50 freshmen engineering students within the Foundation Coalition program and to 155 freshmen students within regular sections of English in the first week and again in the last week of classes in the fall semester of 1997. This paper will discuss the development of the instrument including the course objectives addressed by the survey. Further, initial validation results of this new instrument and statistical results from comparisons of the engineering students within the Foundation Coalition and students in regular English courses will be presented.
- Malave, C.O., Rinehart, J., Morgan, J.R., Caso, R., Yao, J., 1999, “Inclusive Learning Communities at Texas A&M University-A Unique Model for Engineering,” Proceedings of the First Conference on Creating and Sustaining Learning Communities, Tampa, FL, March 10-13.
Abstract: In Gabelnicks, MacGregors, Matthews and Smiths Learning Communities: Creating Connections Among Students, Faculty and Disciplines (1990) primer on "Learning Communities" it is acknowledged that the term Learning Communities is "a generic term for a variety of curricular interventions." Gabelnick, et al. approach greater specification with their own working definition of Learning Communities as entities which engage in "purposefully restructuring the curriculum to link together courses or course work so that students find greater coherence in what they are learning as well as increased intellectual interaction with faculty and fellow students." Given that neither the nature of the curriculum restructuring, nor the combination and nature of course and coursework links have been unequivocally circumscribed by these authors or by others who have contributed to the literature, it should not surprise us that the configurations and components of Learning Communities should differ across applications, or that similarly conceived, designed and implemented models should be identified by different names (i.e., learning clusters, triads, federated learning communities, coordinated studies, and integrated studies.)
The Texas A&M University (TAMU) Dwight Look College Of Engineering (COE), has contributed to the profusion of Learning Community model variations and appellations by modifying and vastly expanding its well developed and successful National Science Foundation Coalition freshman program, into a fully institutionalized, universally implemented, freshman engineering program involving over 1100 students, and by adding the word Inclusive (e.g., Inclusive Learning Communities, ILC) to emphasize the importance of diversity, access and constituent ownership to the success of TAMU College of Engineering Learning Communities. TAMU has operationalized its working definition of Inclusive Learning Communities as follows: Fully accessible groupings of students, faculty, and employers with common interests who value diversity, and work collaboratively as partners, to improve the engineering education experience.
TAMU operationalizes Inclusiveness by working to find new and more meaningful ways to include and engage all students, faculty, and industry in the educational process at a broad institutional level. One such way has been to more comprehensively involve industrial participation at all levels. Another way has been to focus on faculty rewards and systematic gathering of faculty feedback. To significantly increase the successful involvement of under-represented groups in the educational process, the COE has adopted an institutional policy of universalizing and enhancing access to programs and interventions which might at one time have been targeted to "special" groups. This same institutionalized commitment to Inclusiveness mandates that the TAMU COE guard against the inadvertent generation of small or exclusive academic groupings in which only a select few students can participate.
This paper and presentation are offered as a framework for an evolving body of knowledge and practical experience. At this time, the framework contains information, representing snapshots of a work-in-progress: the current configuration and evolutionary status of the Inclusive Learning Communities implemented at TAMU in the College of Engineering. Mirroring the constant, reflective metamorphosing which characterizes the TAMU ILCs, the contents of this framework are also likely to have expanded and evolved by the time this presentation is delivered.
Reed-Rhoads, T., Roedel, R.J., 1999, “The Wave Concept Inventory - A Cognitive Instrument Based on Bloom's Taxonomy,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition at Arizona State University has developed a new instrument to measure the cognitive development of electrical engineering students in the area of wave phenomena. Originally, the objective was to measure the difference between a novel upper division course offering which integrated an introduction to the properties of electronic materials and the first course for Electrical Engineering majors in electromagnetic engineering. The instrument consists of 20 multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers in many of the situations presented. In fact, choosing more than one correct answer correlates with an increased understanding of the material. The knowledge of the multiple correct answers has been tied to the levels of learning as presented by Blooms Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. That is, a student that has a higher level of understanding of a particular concept is more likely to correctly choose the multiple correct answers. However, students choosing a higher level answer before a lower level answer is not likely to understand the concept at the higher level. In other words, the student may be guessing. This paper describes how the questions are tied to the levels of learning and presents a discussion of the focus group conducted on the instrument in order to verify the wording of the instrument.
- Courter, S.S., Lewis, D., Reeves, J., Eapen, J., Murugesan, N., Sebald, D., 2001, “Aligning Foundation Coalition Core Competencies and Professional Development Opportunities: A University of Wisconsin-Madision Case Study in Preparing a New Generation of Engineers,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Faculty within the Foundation Coalition (FC) are working together to prepare a new generation of engineers by strengthening both undergraduate and graduate students educational foundations and helping them develop core competencies. The coalition links together six institutions: Arizona State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Texas A & M University, University of Alabama, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth. Partner institutions are diverse in terms of size, age, public/private, student body characteristics, and experience in educational reform, but all share a commitment to the improvement of engineering education. With the goal of student learning in mind, the Foundation Coalition defines core competencies to be the abilities that educators must develop, continuously improve, and use in order to create a new culture of engineering education that is responsive to technological changes and societal needs the FC vision. The core competencies are curriculum integration; cooperative and active learning; utilization of technology-enabled learning; assessment-driven continuous improvement; recruitment, retention, and graduation of women and under-represented minorities; teamwork and collaboration; and management of change. The University of Wisconsin-Madison helps faculty, staff, and teaching assistants develop and use these core competencies in myriad ways.
This paper describes two professional development opportunities at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, College of Engineering: the New Educators Orientation (NEO) and the Teaching Improvement Program (TIP). While NEO introduces the core competencies, each TIP workshop incorporates one or more of the FC competencies. The program director and graduate student cochairs use the competencies to guide workshop selection and design. This paper traces the development of both NEO and TIP; the incorporation of the FC core competencies, vision, mission, student outcomes, and objectives; the impact on curricula as reported on evaluations; lessons learned; and plans for future professional development opportunities. Four case studies illustrate how graduate students, the next generation of engineers, develop the core competencies through professional development opportunities including TIP and NEO.
Richardson, J., Morgan, J.R., Evans, D.L., 2001, “Development of an Engineering Strength of Material Concept Inventory Assessment Instrument,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: This paper discusses development of an instrument for assessing undergraduate student understanding of fundamental strength of materials concepts. The instrument was modeled after the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) by David Hestenes and others. Like the FCI, the strength of materials concept inventory is brief, requires no computation and should be repeatable across broad student populations. The initial version of the instrument was tested on strength of materials students at the University of Alabama, Texas A&M University, and other institutions. A Beta version of the instrument will be available at the conference.
- Merton, P., Clark, M.C., Richardson, J., Froyd, J.E., 2001, “Engineering Curricula Change Across the Foundation Coalition: How They Succeeded, What They Learned,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the engineering education coalitions program to profoundly change the culture of engineering education. The culture of engineering education encompasses not only the way an engineering curriculum is prepared and shared with students, but also the processes through which engineering curricula grow and improve. Therefore, the Foundation Coalition has undertaken a qualitative research project that examines processes through which coalition partners have initiated and attempted to sustain curricular change. It is important to emphasize that the focus of the study is the process of curricular change, not content of new curricula. The project is organized as series of six qualitative case studies that examine curricular change at each of the partner institutions. Data for each case study is collected through interviews of approximately twenty key faculty and administrators as well as review of relevant documentation. Each case study identifies critical events and salient issues involved in that process, as well as valuable lessons each institution learned from their experience. To date, interviews have been conducted at four the six institutions, but the present report will be based on data from the first three institutions at which interviews have been completed.
To date, several themes have emerged from analysis.
1) Each of the institutions initiated curricular improvement by developing a pilot program and offering it to a relatively small number of students. Initiating improvement via pilot programs is well-accepted developmental strategy for engineering artificial systems, but it offers benefits and presents challenges in an educational environment. Expanding from a pilot curriculum to a curriculum for an entire college of engineering also presents challenges in terms of faculty development and facility costs. Pilots should be planned both to study the proposed improvements as well as to support eventual adoption across the entire college.
2) Building support for curricular improvement within and beyond the College of Engineering required significantly more design and effort than anticipated by the change leaders. Based on the interviews, building support requires widespread communication, selection of influential faculty, political strategizing and assessment data. Communication plans require substantial up-front investment in addition to the efforts required to implement the plans.
3) The emphasis on research in most institutions presents significant obstacles for those who want to play an active role in curricular improvement.
Our study demonstrates that effecting major change in engineering curricula is a complex process but one that can succeed with careful planning and sustained effort. It is our hope that the experience of the partners of the Foundation Coalition will be helpful to other engineering programs as they plan for curricular change.
- Merton, P., Clark, M.C., Richardson, J., Froyd, J.E., 2001, “Engineering Curricular Change Across the Foundation Coalition: Potential Lessons from Qualitative Research,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the engineering education coalitions program to profoundly change the culture of engineering education. The culture of engineering education encompasses not only the structure of an engineering curriculum and the methods between students and the curriculum, but also the processes through which engineering curricula grow and improve. Therefore, the Foundation Coalition, one of eight engineering education coalitions, has undertaken a qualitative research project that examines processes through which coalition partners have initiated and attempted to sustain curricular change. It is important to emphasize that the focus of the study is the process of curricular change, not content of new curricula. The project is organized as series of six qualitative case studies that examine curricular change at each of the partner institutions. Data for each case study is collected through interviews of approximately twenty key faculty and administrators as well as review of relevant documentation. Each case study identifies critical events and salient issues involved in that process, as well as valuable lessons each institution learned from their experience. Interviews have been conducted at six institutions and case study reports have been prepared for three of the six institutions.
To date, several themes have emerged from analysis of the data.
1) Each of the institutions initiated curricular improvement by developing a pilot program and offering it to a relatively small number of students. Initiating improvement via pilot programs is well-accepted developmental strategy for engineering artificial systems, but it offers benefits and presents challenges in an educational environment. Expanding from a pilot curriculum to a curriculum for an entire class in a college of engineering also presents challenges in terms of faculty development and facility costs. Pilots should be planned both to study the proposed improvements as well as to support eventual adoption.
2) Building support for curricular improvement within and beyond the College of Engineering requires significantly more design and effort than anticipated by the change leaders. Building support requires insight into the processes of change. Communication plans that facilitate change require substantial up-frontinvestment in addition to the efforts required to implement the plans.
3) Soliciting support beyond the College of Engineering requires interaction that is outside normal communication lines.
Our study demonstrates that effecting major change in engineering curricula is a complex process that requires careful planning and sustained effort for success; however, what qualifies as success also changes from site to site. . is our hope that the experience of the partners of the Foundation Coalition will be helpful to other engineering programs as they plan for curricular change.
- Morgan, J.R., Rinehart, J., Froyd, J.E., 2001, “Industry Case Studies at Texas A&M University,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: In the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, the college and industry have partnered to present classroom case studies, model the engineering profession, support curricular efforts, and offer student workshops. Many faculty members bring industry into the classroom in senior or capstone design classes, but NOT in meaningful ways at the freshman level. An important difference in the TAMU partnership with industry is that efforts are focussed on first-year students. Both partners are working to prepare the very best engineers possible, and there is a growing group of industry teams who come to campus several times each semester to offer different services for different levels of students. This paper will concentrate on the case studies that industry partners prepare and present.
Case studies are an effort to demonstrate "real world" engineering to currently enrolled engineering students. Companies usually send a team of 2-8 engineers who spend their day with students in an engineering course, typically a first semester, freshman engineering course. This team typically presents a 15-20 minute overview of a problem encountered in their company or industry. Students break into assigned teams, generate possible solutions to the problem, and then student teams present their solutions to the class. In the discussion that follows, the industry team presents the solution selected at their company and reviews the major contributing factors to the decision. In addition, the students are able to enter into a question and answer period with engineers from industry about their work environment, greatest challenges, rewards, etc. Companies that have presented case studies include Accenture, Applied Materials, Compaq Computer, Exxon Mobil, FMC, Lockheed-Martin, Motorola, Texaco, and TXU. As an example of the scope of the project eight companies presented case studies to almost 2,000 students during the 1999-2000 school year. The paper will describe the process for organizing case studies, examples of actual case studies, benefits for the students, benefits for the companies, and obstacles that are being overcome.
Richards, D.E., 2001, “Integrating the Mechanical Engineering Core,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: This paper describes a new paradigm for integrating engineering coursesa systems, conservation and accounting, and modeling approach. The paper presents a historical background of this approach and discusses the motivation. The overall framework is presented, including the important concepts and definitions, the basic conservation and accounting equations, and a common problem solving approach. A detailed development is presented for conservation of linear momentum to illustrate how the equations are developed. Several examples are included to demonstrate how students solve problems using problem-specific models developed from the general equations instead of using a plug-and-chug approach. Experience with using this approach for teaching and curriculum design is discussed. Results to date indicate that this approach can improve student performance and help them develop a more integrated understanding of material that has traditionally been taught as unrelated topics.
- Duerden, S., Garland, J., Helfers, C., Roedel, R.J., 2001, “Integration of first year English and Introduction to Engineering Design: A Path to Explore the Literacy and Culture of Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: One of the goals of the Foundation Coalitions Freshman Integrated Program for Engineers (FIPE) at Arizona State University is to help students attain a critical awareness of the culture in which they live and work. Therefore, through sustained and ongoing dialogue with the engineering professor, the English teachers in the FIPE program have designed a curriculum that asks students to engage with other perspectives, both cultural and historical, about issues relevant to them as future engineers. As Samuel Florman explains, [w]ithout imagination, heightened awareness, moral sense, and some reference to the general culture, the engineering experience becomes less meaningful, less fulfilling than it should be. In this first of two semesters, the engineering students explore the rhetorics, literacy, and culture of engineering in the university and in the professional workplace. They are exposed to the historical and cultural background of issues related to engineering, they explore rhetorics of inquiry to discover ways of knowing and thinking in engineering, which leads them to more informed arguments, decisions, and use of language. Through a freshman English class that has been carefully integrated with the engineering curriculum, we are able to help students contextualize, explore, question, and apply concepts learned in engineering to their writing in English.
- Garland, J., Duerden, S., Helfers, C., Rodriguez, A.A., 2001, “Integration of First-year English with Introduction to Engineering Design with an Emphasis on Questions of Ethics,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Fundamental to engineering education, and mandated by ABET is that students engage with questions of ethics. Too often, however, this does not occur until late in the students career. In the Foundation Coalition Freshman Integrated Program in Engineering at Arizona State University, we believe that concern for ethics must be integrated vertically into the curriculum beginning in the first year of the students career. This can be successfully achieved if freshman English and engineering design are integrated, as we have been able to do. We introduce our students in their first semester to the ancient rhetors concept of values and use that to explore specific engineering codes of ethics and decision-making tools employed in engineering. This foundation then allows students to critically analyze case histories and discover for themselves that ethical considerations are and must be part of the decision-making processes they employ, even when the tools they use cut out such considerations. This foundation allows us to then explore ethical considerations vertically throughout their careers as engineering students. Therefore, we urge educators to consider the possibility of developing integrated courses that allow students to connect the intellectual rhetorics of inquiry developed in freshman English classes with their engineering classes so that students can truly appreciate and comprehend the importance of ethics in their future professional lives.
- Graham, J.M., Caso, R., Rierson, J., 2001, “The Effect of the Texas A&M University System AMP on the Success of Minority Undergrduates in Engineering: A Multiple-Outcome Analysis,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Texas A&M System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (a.k.a. TX AMP), is a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary National Science Foundation program designed to foster significant increases in the number of underrepresented minority students earning baccalaureate degrees in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (SMET) disciplinesi. There are currently 25 LSAMP projects in existence across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The Texas A&M System AMP was among the first six to be funded, beginning in Fall 1991. In addition to Texas A&M University (TAMU), the TX AMP has actively included 4 other Texas A&M System Universities and 9 community colleges .
Each campus has pursued the objectives of the AMP Program by implementing strategies intended to increase retention, enrich learning, and encourage progression through SMET BS programs into SMET graduate programs for under-represented minority students. While many activities for nurturing the academic success of under-represented minority SMET students were employed in several or all TX AMP partner institutions, the particular repertoire of tactics employed have varied by campus, depending upon the particular needs of their students, as well as their particular institutional mission and culture. A description of TX AMP program activities is provided in Appendix A. Over the years it has also become a fundamental aim of the NSF AMP program to affect the institutional internalization of the programs objectives and institutional ownership of program activities.
On the TAMU main campus, the AMP Program has operated from within the College of Engineering as part of the Engineering Academic Programs Office. The programs focal strategy has revolved around building an inviting academic and emotionally supportive minority student community for prospective and enrolled minority students, in which retention and individual academic achievement are fostered. Specific tactics have included high-school to university bridge programs, transfer student bridge activities, scholarship or stipend funding, matching with peer, faculty and/or administration mentors, clustering students, supplemental instruction, special industry internship opportunities, and undergraduate research opportunities.
The TAMU AMP program has traditionally sought to include those minority students often considered most at risk: first generation college students, students with great financial need, and students unprepared to take engineering calculus in their first semester. Since 1996 the TX AMP program has operated under constraints imposed by the Hopwood Decisionii, which prohibits admission or access to special programs, services or incentives based upon racial or ethnic selection. In 1997, the TX AMP program worked to find legal means by which to hold ground on gains which had been achieved in attracting, nurturing, and increasing pools of under- represented minority engineering students, as well as an effective means of continuing to provide underrepresented minority students with a nurturing academic community and access to academic enrichment. A strategy adopted in the TAMU College of Engineering, in 1998, was to incorporate and institutionalize within the freshman engineering academic program many of the practices which had been initially seeded and supported by the AMP programiii.
Yearly Annual Reports and progress updates to NSF regularly report on the programs principal success indicator, the number of minority SMET BS students graduated by the TX AMP across all campuses. Our motives for undertaking this study were to probe and evaluate the effect of the AMP program and AMP program tactics upon some of the other important student performance outcomes which reflect upon students educational experience. We believe that this objective may be accomplished most meaningfully and usefully by studying the individual TAMU main campus program, taking into consideration the particular repertoire of program tactics employed and the particular contexts in which they have been implemented. The Coordinators of the TAMU campus AMP program were interested in exploring both the effectiveness of their program, but also the differential effect of various program tactics, all with an eye toward further improving the TAMU AMP program. Specifically, the current study uses a variety of outcome variables to measure the effectiveness of the TAMU AMP program across time and at different periods in students academic careers. Additionally, post hoc explorative analyses were conducted to provide possible explanations for findings.
- Adair, J.K., Reyes, M.A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., Kouris, D.A., 2001, “Workshops vs. Tutoring: How ASU's Minority Engineering Program is Changing the Way Engineering Students Learn,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: For the past five years, the Minority Engineering Program in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Arizona State University (ASU) has channeled retention efforts through their Academic Excellence Program. This program housed two components: peer tutoring and mentoring and group workshops. While both produced successful retention rates among minority students within the College, both students and faculty strongly expressed a need for a more structured and intensive program to assist engineering students with the more challenging courses. In fall of 2000, ASUs MEP remodeled their efforts at retention and created the Academic Excellence Workshop program. The workshop program replaces tutoring and mentoring programs with weekly workshop sessions. This non-traditional approach to academic support has necessitated a change in paradigm for staff, faculty, and students. The response to this change has been promising. This paper will discuss the AEW program structure and how the workshop concept has been promoted to students and faculty.
Richardson, J., 2002, “A Simple and Effective Curriculum Assessment Procedure,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: This paper describes a curriculum assessment procedure that is easy to use and provides meaningful results. The core of the procedure is a review by a department committee of student work from each civil engineering course. The author proposed the idea of a peer-review assessment procedure to the faculty during a departmental retreat and the faculty developed the implementation plan. Our department has completed two cycles of the assessment and evaluation procedure and successfully passed our ABET accreditation review last fall. The best endorsements of the effectiveness of this procedure, however, are the curriculum changes volunteered by the faculty during the report-out phase of the procedure.
- Caso, R., Clark, M.C., Froyd, J.E., Inam, A., Kenimer, A.L., Morgan, J.R., Rinehart, J., 2002, “A Systemic Change Model in Engineering Education and Its Relevance for Women,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: The paper will present the experience at Texas A&M University (A&M) in institutionalizing its first-year and sophomore curricula using learning communities (LC) as the underlying concept. In 1998-99 academic year, A&M completed the transition from pilot curricula to new first and second year engineering curricula for every student. As the foundation for new curricula, A&M developed LCs. At A&M, a LC is a group of students, faculty and industry that have common interests and work as partners to improve the engineering educational experience. LCs value diversity, are accessible to all interested individuals, and bring real world situations into the engineering classroom. The key components of A&M engineering LCs at are: (1) clustering of students in common courses; (2) teaming; (3) active/cooperative learning; (4) industry involvement; (5) technology-enhanced classrooms; (6) peer teachers; (7) curriculum integration; (8) faculty team teaching; and (9) assessment and evaluation. This presentation will use both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods to try and understand how LCs have affected student retention, performance, and learning experience.
- Morgan, J.R., Froyd, J.E., Rinehart, J., Kenimer, A.L., Malave, C.O., Caso, R., Clark, M.C., 2002, “Can Systemic Change Really Help Engineering Students From Under-Represented Groups?,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education.
Abstract: In 1998-99 academic year, A&M completed the first phase in the transition from pilot curricula to new first and second year engineering curricula for every student. Inclusive Learning Communities (ILC) form the foundation for new curricula. At A&M, an ILC is a group of students, faculty and industry that have common interests and work as partners to improve the engineering educational experience. These communities value diversity, are accessible to all interested individuals, and bring real world situations into the engineering classroom. The key components of an ILC at A&M are: (1) clustering of students in common courses (math, engineering, science); (2) teaming; (3) active/cooperative learning; (4) industry involvement in the classroom; (5) technology-enhanced classrooms; (6) undergraduate peer teachers; (7) curriculum integration; (8) faculty team teaching; and (9) assessment and evaluation. Based on the experience with its pilot curricula and the experiences since institutionalization in 1998-99, A&M believes that the new curricula based on the ILC concept offer a superior educational experience for engineering students. To demonstrate this conclusion, quantitative data on retention and progress toward graduation will be offered for all male and female students, as well as minority and non-minority students.
- Dantzler, J., Richardson, J., Whitaker, K., 2002, “Carry-Over Effects of a Freshman Engineering Program as Indentified by Faculty Ratings,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: For seven years, The University of Alabamas College of Engineering has presented incoming freshmen with the opportunity to participate in a non-traditional first year program called TIDE (Teaming, Integration, and Design in Engineering). Components of TIDE that differ from the traditional first year program are cohort grouping, cooperative learning, team design projects, and an emphasis on written and oral communication. Student record data indicates that the program has improved retention in the engineering program but has had minimal effect on achievement. Anecdotal evidence from follow-on teachers, however, suggests that the TIDE program may have soft skill carry-over effects. Upper-class engineering students who participated in the TIDE program may exhibit more confidence, better communication skills and greater team skills than their traditional program counterparts.
To test this hypothesis, engineering faculty who teach downstream design courses that rely heavily on student soft skills were asked to rate past students on a variety of dimensions. Each rater was presented with a list of their past students matched on high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. These students were not identified to the raters as either TIDE or traditional students. Ratings for each skill were completed on a rubric-style scale designed to ensure consistency of rating meaning across raters. All data was collected during the 2000-01 academic year. A discussion of the analysis and implications will be presented.
Richardson, J., Dantzler, J., 2002, “Effect of a Freshman Engineering Program on Retention and Academic Performance,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Longitudinal studies using seven years of student record data were recently performed on the students participating in a freshman-engineering program (called TIDE) and on students in a comparison group. The results show that: (1) a statistically significant larger percentage of TIDE students graduated in engineering than students from the comparison group, and (2) there was no significant difference in academic performance (as measured by final GPA) between TIDE and traditional students. TIDE students entering the university ready for calculus had a 14% better graduation rate (significance level of Ñ = 0.001), students entering ready for precalculus had a 16% better graduation rate (Ñ = 0.10), women entering ready for calculus had a 23% better graduation rate (Ñ = 0.001), and women entering ready for precalculus had a 26% better graduation rate (Ñ = 0.05). The paper briefly describes the TIDE program, presents the data, and discusses the results.
Richardson, J., Froyd, J.E., Clark, M.C., Merton, P., 2002, “Observations on Our Engineering Education Culture Based on 10 Years of Foundation Coalition Curricula Change Efforts,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Faculty at universities participating in the Foundation Coalition (FC) developed innovative freshman and sophomore engineering curricula in the early to mid 1990s. Since that time, faculty and administrators at those institutions have worked to see the new curricula adopted as the standard curricula. The FC change effort, especially the adoption process, prompted out-of-the-ordinary responses from many faculty and administrators. The authors compare these responses across the FC institutions and attribute common responses to manifestations of our academic culture. Most interesting are the invisible aspects of our culture, the ways we think and act about which many of us are not even aware.
Many of the authors observations on our academic culture seem, in hindsight, to be common sense. For example, faculty will be reluctant to teach an innovative course developed by a colleague down the hall. Yet FC faculty learned the hard way during the curricula reform effort about this and other aspects of academic culture. Additional characteristics of our culture described in this paper were gleaned from an analysis of the over 100 interviews of FC faculty and administrators recorded and transcribed as part of the authors on-going three-year research project.
- Morgan, J.R., Kenimer, A.L., Kohutek, T., Rinehart, J., Lee, M., 2002, “Peer Teacher From an Instructor's Perspective,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: Following a pilot program during the 2000-2001 academic year, the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University placed a peer teacher in every section of every first-year engineering course starting in fall 2001. Seven upper division peer teachers were assigned to eight of the first year engineering learning communities. The peer teachers were part of a teaching team: 1 problem-solving faculty; 1 graphics faculty; 1 graduate teaching assistant; and 1 undergraduate peer teacher. The peer teachers attended the engineering class; offered academic support two evenings a week on calculus, physics, chemistry and engineering; and served as mentors and guides for the first year students in their particular community/ course cluster.
The pilot program was successful in improving the overall section GPA (2.85 with peer teacher and 2.61 without peer teachers). There was also a positive, significant difference in how the students interacted with the faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and their team members.
Although the peer teachers are only part of a larger effort (including more active learning, use of teams and technology, course clustering, etc.), it is clear that they have contributed greatly to the success of our students. This paper will present the implementation of the program and evidence of its success.
- Todd, B.A., Brown, M.A., Pimmel, R.L., Richardson, J., 2002, “Short Instructional Modules for Lifelong Learning, Project Management, Teaming, and Time Management,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference, Gainesville FL, April 2002.
Abstract: Criteria 3 of ABET 2000 includes professional skills that have not traditionally been explicitly taught in undergraduate engineering programs. In addition, the criterion related to "modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice" provides for the instruction of a wide range of topics that are useful for the young engineer. Engineering faculty have limited experience and resources on teaching professional skills. Most engineering programs do not have the luxury of adding a professional skills course to their already overcrowded curriculum. Therefore, a suite of modules has been developed for the professional skills of lifelong learning, project management, teaming, and time management. Each module has been designed to fit within three 50-minute class periods in a standard course and includes bridge material to transition back to the original course. Each module was beta-tested by another instructor with a multidisciplinary group of student evaluators. The beta testing was done as a highly controlled stand-alone experience instead of part of a regular class. Many of these modules have not yet been used in the traditional classroom. Overall, the students had a positive reaction to each of the modules. Details of each of the modules and specific resluts of the beta testing are included in the paper. While the modules are still undergoing improvement, they are at a stage where they can be used by other faculty. Thus, the modules are available at http://ece.ua.edu/faculty/rpimmel/public_html/ec2000-modules.
- Dantzler, J., Richardson, J., Whitaker, K., 2003, “Development of a Diversity Comfort Inventory for Engineering Students,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: One of the goals of a new freshman engineering program at the University of Alabama was to increase the value of diversity among students. The Team Identification Comfort Level Inventory (TICLE) was developed to assess an engineering students comfort with serving on diverse engineering related teams in contrast with the students comfort level with serving on teams of mostly white, males. The TICLE was given to 399 engineering students for validation. The TICLE displayed a high level of reliability with a Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient of .89, and strong evidence of validity through factor analysis. Results indicated that while there was no statistical difference between gender-based matched pair teams; there were differences in comfort level ratings on race-based teams. White males and white females showed a significant preference for non-diverse teams, while non-white males and females showed a significant preference for diverse teams. Based on the psychometric analyses and initial analyses of group differences, the TICLE shows promise as a diversity diagnostic tool for engineering educators.
- Clark, M.C., Froyd, J.E., Merton, P., Richardson, J., 2003, “Evolving Models of Curricular Change: The Experience of the Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: This paper examines one aspect of the curricular change process undertaken by the Foundation Coalition, namely how the understandings about change held by the FC leaders evolved as they moved through the process of developing and implementing a new curriculum. We show how those change models became more complex as they struggled with three major issues: the role of assessment data, the limitations of the pilot for gaining full-scale adoption of the new curriculum, and the need for structural change to sustain the new curriculum.
- Clark, M.C., Revuelto, J., Kraft, D., Beatty, P., 2003, “Inclusive Learning Communities: The Experience of the NSF Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: This qualitative study examines the experience of cohorted students in the Foundation Coalition curricula. These cohorts serve as inclusive learning communities that function in multiple ways to enhance student learning. Elements of their learning include learning to work as a team; discovering how they learn best; figuring out the most effective ways to get help; learning to survive in college; and learning how to think like engineers. We conclude that the cohort experience is a powerful facilitator of student learning.
- Evans, D.L., Gray, G.L.., Krause, S.J., Martin, J.K.., Midkiff, C., Notaros, B.M., Pavelich, M., Rancour, D., Reed-Rhoads, T., Steif, P., Streveler, R., Wage, K.E., 2003, “Progress on Concept Inventory Assessment Tools,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
Abstract: The Foundation Coalition and others have been working on the development of Concept Inventory (CI) assessment instruments patterned after the well-known Force Concept Inventory (FCI) instrument of Halloun and Hestenes. Such assessment inventories can play an important part in relating teaching techniques to student learning. Work first got started two years ago on CIs for the subjects of thermodynamics, solid mechanics, signals and processing, and electromagnetics. Last year work got under way on CIs for circuits, fluid mechanics, engineering materials, transport processes, and statistics. This year work began on chemistry, computer egineering, dynamics, electronics, and heat transfer. This panel session will discuss the progress on these concept inventories. More importantly, the panelists will discuss the early student data that are emerging from the process of continuous improvement of the instruments. Results will be compared to the data collected by Hake that are segregated by how the content was managed and delivered (e.g., "traditional" lecture mode compared to the "interactive engagement" mode, as defined by Hake). Discussions of effective practices for use in the development of CIs will also be discussed.
- Merton, P., Froyd, J.E., Clark, M.C., Richardson, J., 2004, “Challenging the Norm in Engineering Education: Understanding Organizational Culture and Curricular Change,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.
Abstract: In the study of organizational behavior, several linkages have been made between organizational change and organizational culture. One link suggests that a "strong" culture is a prerequisite for corporate success, and attaining "excellence" often requires culture change. In the study of change in higher education, there have been suggestions that an institution must have a "culture" that validates change, and that change strategies are often shaped by organizational culture. Recently, as presented in the 2003 ASEE conference, Godfrey made a considerable contribution to understanding the culture of engineering education by prviding a theoretical model that may assist change leaders in understanding the dimensions of their own school's engineering education culture. She suggests that if the espoused values inherent in any proposed change do not reflect the existing culture at an "operational level," change will be difficult to sustain.
In the Foundation Coalition (FC) we have been studying the change processes FC partner institutions went through to restructure freshman and sophomore curricula. The six diverse FC institutions attempted major curricular changes based on an identical set of principles using similar change models. We noticed that similar change strategies produced different results. Using two examples from the same institution from our study, this paper will examine change strategies through the framework of organizational culture, a framework in which engineering education culture is subsumed. In showing how organizational culture was a critical variable in curricular changes undertaken by one FC institution, we will show how essential cultural analysis is to any change attempt.