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Follow-up on a Freshman engineering course experiment

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3 Author(s)
W. Venable ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV, USA ; R. McConnell ; A. Stiller

In 1994-95, the authors conducted new freshman engineering courses at West Virginia University, USA, which integrated computers, math and design while giving a more rigorous introduction to engineering. At the end of the first year, as they reported at the 1995 FIE, there was no difference in retention between the experimental course and the “standard” classes. This paper examines longer term effects. For this study, transcripts for engineering students from the previous study who remained in engineering after 2 1/2 years were examined. It was found that the experimental sections had about 20% higher retention, but this difference is not highly significant. During transcript analysis, some interesting patterns in “liberal arts” were observed. It is concluded that more rigor in their freshman engineering courses certainly does not hurt, and might help retention. The authors remain satisfied that they delivered a high quality experience, but the College has not chosen to adopt the approach

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1997. 27th Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in an Era of Change. Proceedings.  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov 1997