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Work in progress: Integration of topic modules and organization of session flow for the First-Year Seminar course in engineering to motivate and sustain student learning

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1 Author(s)
Sundaram, R. ; Gannon University

This paper presents the overview of course instructional material in modules and the organization of these modules for presentation in sessions of the critical entry-level course, First-Year Seminar in Engineering, for undergraduate engineering majors at ABET-accredited institutions of higher education. The First-Year Seminar in Engineering at our University is offered once each year during the fall term. The enrollment can be between 45 and 50 first-year students. In recent years, the course, which is coordinated by one engineering faculty member and taught by up to fifteen different instructors, comprises a loosely organized collection of engineering and non-engineering topics delivered in twenty eight 55-minute sessions of the semester (14 weeks of instruction). The summative assessment of the student learning outcomes has revealed glaring weaknesses in content and delivery. For the incoming engineering student to receive both the holistic university experience and the ability to learn and retain fundamental engineering principles and practices, the course is being revised through central and integrative engineering design projects with service learning components. The revised structure places emphasis on the continuity across modules and sessions to ensure (a) the sustained engagement, and (b) the highest levels of student learning and retention of concepts throughout the semester.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2011

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct. 2011