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Work in progress: Redesigned First-Year Seminar course in engineering — Delivery, learning outcomes assessment, and lessons learned

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This paper discusses the delivery of content and rubrics for assessment of learning outcomes in the redesigned version of the critical entry-level course, First-Year Seminar course in Engineering, for undergraduate engineering students. The First-Year Seminar in Engineering at our institution is offered once each year during the fall term. The course comprises 45 to 50 first-year students who will graduate with engineering degrees from four-year programs. The redesign of this course was necessitated by the (1) disparate nature of the content from session to session (2) lack of continuity across sessions, and (3) absence of a common thread to bind the content of the course. For the incoming engineering student to receive both the holistic University experience and develop the ability to learn and retain fundamental engineering principles and practices, the course has been redesigned to incorporate community-based engineering projects as the core theme of the course. The students formed teams, and maintained team-based blogs to document their progress on the engineering project. In addition to the traditional learning outcomes assessment methods (e.g. in-class testing, homework assignments, individual and group reports), rubrics were developed to assess the performance of the students in the engineering projects.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2012

Date of Conference:

3-6 Oct. 2012