Program for 2013 Frontiers in Education Conference
Wednesday, October 23
Wednesday, October 23, 13:30 - 16:30
W1A: Pre-Conference Workshop: Computer Engineering Curriculum Guidelines (FREE workshop - costs covered by NSF grant)
- Computer Engineering Curriculum Guidelines
- Participants of this pre-conference workshop will learn about the development of computer engineering curricula reports. They will also learn about the revision process and will have the opportunity to provide comment and opinion on drafting an update of the joint ACM and IEEE Computer Society document from 2004 titled, "Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer Engineering" known also as CE2004. The authors of this workshop welcome all participation including overall comments and targeted editing assistance from the computer engineering education community. This activity will ensure that an updated document is a forward-looking summary of state-of-the-art educational practices in the computer engineering field.
W1B: Pre-Conference Workshop: Modeling Software the Alloy Way
- Modeling Software the Alloy Way
- CONTACT Michael J. Lutz Software Engineering Department Rochester Institute of Technology Phone: 585-475-2472 Email: email@example.com WORKSHOP GOALS AND FORMAT The goal of this workshop is to introduce Alloy - both the language and support tool - to faculty interested in formal methods and mathematical modeling. After a brief introduction to Alloy concepts, the tool and language will be explored by interactively developing a simple software system model. This approach mirrors the way Alloy is taught and used within RIT's undergraduate software engineering program[3,4]. WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION Until recently, those who taught mathematical modeling (or "formal methods") faced daunting challenges. First, most modeling tools used seemingly esoteric notations that were hurdles for many students. Even if the notation could be tamed, the tools themselves were rarely more than syntax checkers, possibly with support for simple expression evaluation. Venturing beyond this requires understanding of proof theories and strategies well beyond that typical of other engineering disciplines. What is more, the tools worked at a much lower level than that of the domain itself; it was easy for students to miss the forest for the trees. The development and release of the Alloy from MIT has improved the situation dramatically. With Alloy, instructors now have a tool that supports formal structural and behavioral modeling (using C-like syntax), along with state space exploration and property verification using relational logic, predicates, and assertions The tradeoff involved - only first order systems over finite domains can be analyzed - is not problematic in practice. THE WORKSHOP ORGANIZER Professor Lutz has taught courses in formal methods and modeling for over 20 years, first in RIT's computer science program, and for the past 15 years in the software engineering program. He has used Alloy[1,2] for over a decade, and has reported on his experiences at ACM and ASEE conferences. REFERENCES  Jackson, Daniel. Software Abstractions: Logic, Language, and Analysis (Revised Edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2012.  "Alloy Analyzer 4.0." 2008. MIT.edu. http://alloy.mit.edu/alloy4/ Accessed 31 January 2013.  Lutz, Michael J. "Alloy, Software Engineering, and Undergraduate Education." November, 2006. ACM SIGSOFT First Alloy Workshop. Portland, Oregon.  Lutz, Michael J. "Experiences with Alloy in Undergraduate Formal Methods." June, 2006. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. Chicago, Illinois. WORKSHOP AGENDA WITH APPROXIMATE TIMES (15 min) The Context: Alloy vs. Other Formal Methods During this time participants will install Alloy on their notebooks. (10 min) What Alloy's Analyzer Can (and Cannot) Guarantee. (40 min) Alloy Foundations: Signatures, Atoms, Sets, Relations (30 min) Specifying constraints: Facts and Predicates (15 min) Exploring the state space: The Run command (40 min) Relational navigation: Joins and Transitive Closures (15 min) Verifying properties: Assertions (15 min) Questions and Discussions AUDIENCE (20 max) Computer science, software engineering and computer engineering faculty using discrete mathematics to describe and analyze software system structures. Participants should bring a notebook computer (Mac / Linux / Windows) with a USB port for installation of the software. TAKEAWAY Participants will have running versions of the Alloy analyzer. They will also know the fundamentals of the Alloy approach to modeling, the essential components of Alloy's first-order logic system, the strengths and weaknesses of the Alloy analyzer. In addition, hints and heuristics that have proven valuable in teaching this material will be discussed. The organizer hopes that this material will be incorporated into computer science theory courses as well as software engineering modeling courses. REQUIREMENTS Computer video projector system (screen or large monitor). FEES Duplication of handouts approximately $5.00 per participant.
W1C: Pre-Conference Workshop: Programming Board Game Strategies in CS2
- Programming Board Game Strategies in CS2
- This workshop presents freshman-level projects based on designing and programming player strategies for well-established board games. Unlike modern computerized games, board games are typically discrete, where the game state can be stored in basic data structures, and a variety of search techniques can be used to evaluate possible player moves. Such board games provide a natural context for many introductory Computer Science topics. The strategy component makes the project open-ended, motivating the students to keep improving their code. After appropriate background information is presented, to better understand how the project works from the students' perspective, participants will act as students, brainstorm through a variety of data structures, and develop a small part of a player module.
W1D: Pre-Conference Workshop: Why are continuous-time signals and systems courses so difficult? How can we make them more accessible?
- Why are continuous-time signals and systems courses so difficult? How can we make them more accessible?
- Goals of the workshop This NSF sponsored workshop offers engineering and science faculty an engaging opportunity to explore how to improve learning in introductory continuous-time signals and systems (CTSS) courses. The two primary goals of the workshop are to provide: •an interactive discussion of the sources of difficulty in CTSS courses in order to define the "problem", and •a hands-on experience with laboratories that have been used at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Bucknell University to improve learning in CTSS courses Purpose of the Workshop The introductory CTSS course is one of the most difficult courses that students encounter in an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum, as evidenced by well-above-average drop/failure rates. We have received NSF funding to explore why students find these courses so difficult and to determine effective methods for helping students grasp the concepts. To help explore the problem, we will spark discussion by presenting data from surveys, focus groups, historical data, the CTSS concept inventory, and the Index of Learning Styles. To demonstrate methods for engaging students, we present hands-on activities that were developed at Rose-Hulman and Bucknell. After a brief introduction, attendees will be given an opportunity to try these activities using the equipment and discuss their experiences. Attendees will be invited to a more extensive workshop to be held at Rose-Hulman during the summer of 2014. Qualifications of Facilitators Mario Simoni is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has been teaching for 12 years including the introductory CTSS course and analog circuits. He developed an analog circuit platform that facilitates hands-on activities in the CTSS course and the activities that go with it. He has been using these activities for the past three years. Dr. Maurice Aburdene is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Bucknell University for over 30 years, including courses on linear systems and signal processing. Workshop Agenda I.Introduction to the problem: Why is CTSS such a difficult subject for students? (15 mintes) II.Discussion of the problem statement and collected data.(30 minutes) III.Introduction to hands-on activities being done at Rose-Hulman and Bucknell (15 minutes) IV.Opportunity to perform an activity using the same equipment (15 minutes) V.Discussion of hands-on activities with regard to the problem statement. (15 minutes) Number of Attendees We expect this workshop to be of interest to engineering and science faculty. We would expect to have approximately 10-15 attendees. Take-Away Skills that attendees will hare are a greater appreciation for the sources of difficulty in CTSS courses and some ideas of simple hands-on activities that can be used to help make the material more approachable to the students. They will have some experience with these activities and knowledge about how to acquire the equipment so that they could begin using these activities at their own institution. They will also be invited to attend a more in-depth summer workshop at Rose-Hulman during the summer of 2014 and to participate in an ongoing discussion of the issues.
W1E: Pre-Conference Workshop: Using Problets for Problem-Solving Exercises in Introductory C++/Java/C# Courses
- Using Problets for Problem-Solving Exercises in Introductory C++/Java/C# Courses
- This workshop will help participants introduce problem-solving exercises into their introductory C++/Java/C# programming courses. The purpose of problem-solving exercises is two-fold: they supplement classroom instruction and complement the programming projects traditionally assigned in the course. The benefits of problem-solving exercises are many: they improve students' comprehension of programming constructs, their self-confidence, especially that of female students, and their coding skills. In this workshop, problets (www.problets.org) will be introduced as a tool for problem-solving exercises. They parameterize problems to deter plagiarism; provide step-by-step explanation of the correct solution to each problem, which helps students learn; and adapt to the learner's needs. They are a web-based service freely available for educational use. Problets have been rigorously evaluated, and have been adopted and used by dozens of instructors every semester since 2004. The workshop is appropriate for instructors of introductory C++/Java/C# programming courses in Computer Science or engineering. Participants are asked to bring a WiFi-enabled laptop to the workshop for hands-on experience.
Wednesday, October 23, 17:30 - 20:30
W2A: Pre-Conference Workshop: Inspiring Inventive Genius in Middle and High School Students with Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines™
- Inspiring Inventive Genius in Middle and High School Students with Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines™
- A STEAM Machine™ is a Rube Goldberg®-style chain reaction contraption that completes a simple task in an overly complex way. This hands-on workshop introduces participants to the project-based STEAM Machines™ program, where middle or high school students brainstorm ideas, design, and build creative inventions that solve everyday problems - like sending a text message - using chain-reaction machines. Students are challenged with learning and applying the Boston Museum of Science Engineering is Elementary® engineering design process and integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math concepts together in the design and construction of their machines. In addition, the program embeds students in local or geographically-distributed teams to expose them to other cultures, improve the quality and quantity of their design communication, and simulate a trans-national engineering and manufacturing environment by having students swap designs with peers. Machines designed by geographically-distributed teams have the added constraint that their parts must connect together across camp sites using communication technology, resulting in machines that start at one site, progress through a number of challenging intermediate steps, and culminate by completing the simple task such as popping a balloon at the final site. This hands-on workshop will begin with a description of the STEAM Machines™ program, and a video of a chain-reaction machine from a recent camp offering. Examples of how science, technology, engineering, arts, and math learning objectives are addressed by the curriculum (including 21st century skills) will be presented, along with the pedagogical techniques employed. Opportunities for assessment of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of students will be discussed. Then, results of current design-based research on the STEAM Machines™ program will be presented including a discussion of its effectiveness and impact. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage in a hands-on STEAM Machine™ design activity, followed by discussion and reflection on how the program could be adapted for implementation at other sites. Student pathways for participation in other engineering outreach programs will be presented, including the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest®. Finally, participants will receive sample curriculum resources for use in their programs.
W2B: Pre-Conference Workshop: The Erlang Approach to Concurrent System Development
- The Erlang Approach to Concurrent System Development
- CONTACT Michael J. Lutz Software Engineering Department Rochester Institute of Technology Phone: 585-475-2472 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org WORKSHOP GOALS AND FORMAT The goal of this workshop is to introduce Erlang - a functional language designed for use in developing concurrent and distributed system - to computer scientists interested in the language as well as computer scientists and software engineers whose focus is software design. Participants will install the Erlang system on their notebooks, and will engage in activities along with the organizer. Both sequential and concurrent systems - small though they may be - will be developed in conjunction with the presentation. WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION Until quite recently, dealing with concurrency was the domain of specialists in operating systems and transaction processing. Today, the prevalence of multi-core processers means these issues can no longer be ignored by application developers. What is more, concurrency highlights the problems of extending imperative, mutable state languages such as Java and C into this arena: synchronization and controlled access to shared, mutable state via locks and condition variables are notoriously error-prone. Functional ("single assignment") languages have been proposed as tools to mitigate some of these problems. In particular, Erlang, a functional language with roots in Prolog, has been used by Erickson, Ltd., to develop robust, fault-tolerant, distributed communications switches. More recently, the symmetric multiprocessing capabilities inherent in the language have been fully incorporated into Erlang's interpretive virtual machine. THE WORKSHOP ORGANIZER Professor Lutz has extensive industrial and academic experience in designing, implementing, and teaching concurrent systems design. Most recently he has worked on Erlang-based projects with several independent study students. As part of RIT's transition from quarters to semesters, he is incorporating Erlang as part of a concurrent and distributed systems course now focused purely on Java and mutable state concurrency. REFERENCES  The Erlang Programming Language. www.erlang.org. Accessed 31 January 2013.  Programming Erlang: Software for a Concurrent World. Joe Armstrong. The Pragmatic Programmers, 2007.  Erlang Programming: A Concurrent Approach to Software Development. Francesco Cesarini and Simon Thompson. O'Reilly Media, 2009. WORKSHOP AGENDA WITH APPROXIMATE TIMES (80 min) Erlang the Language Erlang shell; expressions; variables & single assignment. Atoms, numbers, tuples, lists. Assignment as pattern matching. Modules and functions; pattern matched arguments. Clauses; selection via case statement. Recursive definitions; accumulators; tail-recursive functions. Process spawning; sending and receiving messages. (80 min) Concurrent System Development with Erlang Processes, actors, and controlled state mutation. Erlang: concurrency problem mitigation, not cure. Process design heuristics and patterns. Fault-tolerance and "fail fast". Monitors and fault recovery. Overview of the Open Telecomm Platform (OTP). (20 min) Advice on teaching courses with Erlang. Projects based on Erlang. Open discussion. AUDIENCE (16 max) Computer science, software engineering and computer engineering faculty interested in functional languages and their application to concurrency. Participants should bring a notebook computer (Mac / Linux / Windows) with a USB port for installation of the software. TAKEAWAY Participants will have running versions of the Erlang system and accompanying documentation. The will have basic knowledge of Erlang syntax and semantics, coupled with an understanding of how Erlang addresses classic concurrency issues. Participants will also have experience in developing concurrent systems in Erlang, and how the Erlang approach differs from that found in imperative languages. Finally, examples and the discussion will illuminate the advantages and disadvantages of using Erlang in class. REQUIREMENTS Computer video projector system (screen or large monitor). FEES Duplication of handouts approximately $5.00 per participant.
W2C: Pre-Conference Workshop: An Online Revolution in Learning and Teaching: from e-books to MOOCs
- An Online Revolution in Learning and Teaching
- College-level online learning took off in a big way in 2012, and is likely to impact every department and teacher in some manner. This workshop will highlight major developments in online education technology in engineering and computer science. The workshop will highlight recent online trends like flipped classrooms and MOOCs, will survey various authoring and delivery platforms like EdX and Zyante, summarize some research on online/flipped teaching, discuss methods for instructors to collaborate on delivering instructional experiences, and highlight experiences by teachers of online and hybrid courses.
W2D: Pre-Conference Workshop: Teaching Service-Oriented Programming to CS and SE Undergraduate Students (FREE workshop - costs covered by NSF grant)
- Teaching Service-Oriented Programming to CS and SE Undergraduate Students
- Service-Oriented Programming (SOP) is a relatively new programming paradigm that supports the development of new software applications using existing services as building blocks. SOP has gained significant popularity in industry as it increases software reuse and productivity. As the SOP paradigm can improve modern software development, the presenters have created a course-module based approach for incorporating SOP into Computer Science (CS) and Software Engineering (SE) curricula; a course module is a distinct curricular unit such as a lab or teaching component that an instructor may incorporate into an existing course typically without requiring formal curricular approval. SOP course modules have been developed for inclusion in standard courses in many CS and SE programs; for example, an introductory SOP course module in a CS2 course while advanced modules for courses such as Programming Language Concepts, Software Engineering, or Web Services. This workshop will present basic concepts and techniques of SOP and describe how the course-module approach toward SOP can be adapted for the participants' own teaching. The typical participant would be a faculty member with some background in programming, and is interested in learning more about SOP but does need not to have prior web service programming experience.
W2E: Pre-Conference Workshop: Refining a Taxonomy for Engineering Education Research (FREE workshop - costs covered by NSF grant)
- Refining a Taxonomy for Engineering Education Research
- Engineering education research is a diverse, rapidly-evolving, international field in which scholars apply the methods of educational research to address a variety of issues pertaining to teaching and learning in engineering. As the field has grown, so has the need for a standardized terminology and an updated taxonomy to map and communicate research initiatives. Refining a U.S.-centric taxonomy is the focus of this workshop. Participants will engage in activities to reflect on a draft taxonomy and offer suggestions to refine it. Participants are encouraged to bring a computer, and interested participants at any experience level are encouraged to join this dialogue.
Thursday, October 24
Thursday, October 24, 10:00 - 11:30
Exhibitor Showcase - Texas Instruments - Hands-on Learning in Embedded Systems, From Labs to MOOCs
Dr. John Valvano from UT Austin gives a demonstration of a comprehensive embedded curriculum that turns out industry-ready engineers. UT Austin has developed a course series that covers all four years of the curriculum and has developed a way to make it scalable to any class size. Dr. Valvano will speak about the importance of hands-on hardware in the embedded experience and how low-cost hardware such as TI's TIVA™ Cortex™-M4F LaunchPad enables distance education.
T1A: Mini-Workshop: Exploring Boyer's Scholarship of Application for Submissions to the IEEE Transactions on Education
- Exploring Boyer's Scholarship of Application for Submissions to the IEEE Transactions on Education
- A substantial percentage of the manuscripts submitted to the IEEE Transactions on Education as well as a substantial percentage of the papers that have been published fall within the scholarship of application as described by Boyer. The scholarship of application in electrical and computer engineering education might be briefly described as the scholarship of teaching practice in these disciplines. While this is a critical arena for electrical and computer engineering education, standards and criteria across the scholarly community for this area of scholarship have not been well established. Thus, this workshop at FIE 2013 offers opportunities for dialog about these issues. A starting point for the conversation will be the new review criteria that the Transactions has established for the scholarship of application. The intent of the workshop is to explore how authors interpret the new criteria, how authors might address the new criteria, and how support for authors can be fostered. Small groups will explore in greater depth the meaning of review criteria for the scholarship of application for education in electrical and computer engineering. Then, small groups with share their results with the large group for broader conversations.
T1B: Special Session: Assessing Lifelong Learning: The Role of Information Gathering and Application Skills
- Assessing Lifelong Learning: The Role of Information Gathering and Application Skills
- Title: Assessing Lifelong Learning: The Role of Information Gathering and Application Skills Goals of the Session: This session will provide examples of assessment tools that probe lifelong learning and related information literacy competencies. The special session participants will cooperatively develop criteria for measuring lifelong learning skills, which will be folded into the development of future standardized assessment instruments. Ultimately, this will improve the ability for engineering educators to measure ABET lifelong learning outcomes. Audience: Engineering educators, ABET assessment coordinators, librarians. Outcomes or Future Work as a Result of Session: The results of this session will be folded into further revisions of the instructors' lifelong learning assessment tool. The tool will be made openly available to the education community by depositing it in the STEMEdHub repository. Participants will also be recruited to test the assessment at their institutions and to increase content validity of the instrument. The outcomes of the session may also spark further research into other methods of assessing lifelong learning. How and When Outcomes of Session Reported to Participants and General Community: The outcomes of the session will be summarized and reported in a conference proceeding. It will include a description of the activities and literature review of the topic as well as a summary of responses and reflections of the participants in the session. The results will also be posted in the STEMEdHUB repository, where it will be available to the community at large. Justification of Why This Should Be Considered for a Special Session: Lifelong learning is one of the least understood and studied ABET criteria in terms of measuring student achievement. In a recent study, students rated their performance lowest in lifelong learning, of all the ABET outcomes, and it had the least growth in achievement of any of the criteria. Many assessments of lifelong learning, furthermore, are based on student self-assessments or participation in formal post-graduate educational activities (seminars, workshops, advanced degrees). However, much of lifelong learning takes place independently and through the initiative of the engineer at a point of need, and these qualities are not addressed by simply inventorying educational activities attended. What is needed are assessments that probe the skills students need in order to be successful self-directed learners. This session provides examples of some such assessments and a venue for discussion to increase the educator community engagement with lifelong learning and refine and suggest assessment tools to measure the lifelong learning capacity of our students. Once we can assess those outcomes, we can better measure the effectiveness of instructional interventions and make sure lifelong learning no longer languishes as the lowest of the ABET criteria. Description of Topics/Subject/Content: After asking participants to reflect on their own understanding and experience working with lifelong learning outcomes, the facilitators will briefly review lifelong learning and self-directed learning theories, such as the work of Knowles, Costa and Kallick, and Garrison, and how they have been interpreted by the engineering education community, for example, Litzinger and Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, and McGourty, and the information literacy community (e.g., Kuhlthau). We will review different assessments that have been used to measure self-directed learning (e.g., Guglielmino) and information skills (e.g., iSkills, Project SAILS, ILT) and explore their strengths and weaknesses. The facilitators will then discuss standardized assessments they developed as a result of an institutional seed grant that was recently funded for further development as an NSF/TUES Type I grant. This project was created as a collaboration between engineering educators and librarians, to capture the expertise and perspectives of each field and bridge the gaps in terminology and concepts. Participants will take one of the assessments and reflect on whether they believe it measures skills associated with their perception of lifelong learning. The following discussion will help spark thinking about lifelong learning and how it can be measured, whether through refining existing instruments or the development of new approaches entirely. Session Agenda (90 minutes total): Introductions/Warm-up Activity: 15 minutes -- Instructors will introduce themselves. In small groups, participants will introduce themselves, explain what they think lifelong learning is, and give two or three examples of how they measure lifelong learning at their institutions, including at least one way they measure non-formal lifelong learning (e.g., outside of continuing education courses or advanced degrees). Review of Lifelong Learning Literature: 15 minutes - Provide historic context of how the education community and the engineering community has defined lifelong learning and the characteristics, skills, and abilities of lifelong learners. Review Types of Assessments Used: 15 minutes - Discuss advantages/weaknesses of different kinds of assessments (e.g., multiple choice, performance, self-assessments), with examples of each. Participants Take Sample Assessment: 10 minutes (1st part of CELT, the Critical Engineering Literacy Test, an assessment designed by the facilitators) - This provides a concrete example of one assessment method Small Group Reflect on Assessment: 20 minutes - Gather feedback on whether this assessment is measuring the skills and abilities students need for informal lifelong learning. What challenges did the participants have with the assessment, what did they think the assessment was measuring. Small groups will document their discussions, which will be turned in to the instructors. Entire Group Reflection/Report: 15 minutes - Opportunity for discussion, sharing information between groups. Determination of consensus skills and abilities needed by lifelong learners and appropriate assessment tools to measure them. References: Costa, A L and Kallick, B. (2004) Assessment Strategies for Self-Directed Learning. Sage: New York. Garrison, D.R. (1997). "Self-Directed Learning: Toward a Comprehensive Model" Adult Education Quarterly. 48: 18-33. Guglielmino, L. M. (1978). "Development of the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale." Doctoral Dissertation, University of Georgia. Knowles, M. S. (1975) Self-directed learning: a guide for learners and teachers. Cambridge Adult Education: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Kuhlthau, C. Collier. (2004). Seeking meaning: a process approach to library and information services. 2nd ed. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited. Litzinger, T., Wise, J., Lee, S., and Bjorkland, S. (2003). "Assessing readiness for self-directed learning." Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Session 1330. Shuman, L. J.; Besterfield-Sacre, M.; McGourty, J. (2005) "The ABET 'Professional Skills'--Can they be Taught? Can they be Assessed?" Journal of Engineering Education. 94 (1), 41-55.
T1C: Approaches to Student-Centered Learning I
- Green Construction in Civil Engineering Instruction
- Teaching sustainability in a civil engineering curriculum program fulfills ABET 2000 Outcome 3c as well as the codes of ethics of NSPE and ASCE. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has published the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria since 1998. LEED is an optional criteria in private construction and is mandated or encouraged by many federal, state, and local governments for public construction projects. Learning about the LEED criteria will help to prepare civil engineers to understand how civil systems interact with and operate in a more complementary manner with the natural world as well as to reduce water, energy, and material usage. In this paper, the authors describe the process of learning about the LEED v3 (2009) criteria in order to apply it to two existing buildings to build a scorecard. In the process of building the scorecard (up to 100 points plus up to 10 bonus points), the authors learned about sustainable construction techniques. Future guidance on applications of the LEED criteria across the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum are discussed. Incorporating sustainability into the civil engineering curriculum is consistent with ABET 2000 Outcome 3c as well as ASCE, NSPE, and other similar engineering codes of ethics. The issue is that many of today's current engineering educators have not specifically studied or been trained in sustainable engineering practices. As such, it is with reports such as this that the reader can find the information he or she needs to address sustainability concerns. A great source of information on sustainability in construction is the multidisciplinary US Green Building Council (USGBC). Engineers, architects, contractors, and other stakeholders have come together with the market-driven approach of the USGBC to create the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) family of specifications to incorporate sustainability into construction projects. USGBC has specifications for homes, neighborhoods, new and existing construction, and schools that give guidance on how to make projects more sustainable by reducing environmental degradation, water, energy, and material usage while also making the project more conducive to human health and well-being.
- On-professional competences in engineering education for XL-Classes
- Far reaching changes in university higher education have taken place in the last ten years. Different factors, e.g. necessity of on-professional competences in engineering education, rising or vast student numbers and new technical possibilities, have influenced the academic teaching and learning process. Therefore interdependence between requirements and didactical-educational possibilities is given. Because of changed circumstances an adaption of teaching methods and concepts is required. At the same time Bologna arrogates students to be placed in the centre of the teaching and learning process and claims on-professional competences for today's students. Especially for XL-Classes this is a specific challenge. One of the questions ensuing is how to increase learning success by the use of specific didactical methods? With a research approach connecting different proven didactical concepts and considering the previously shown conditions, the concept of the lecture "communication and organizational development" (KOE) at RWTH Aachen University has been redesigned. This lecture, organized by the Institute Cluster IMA/ZLW & IfU at RWTH Aachen University, is mainly frequented by up to nearly 1.300 students of the faculty of mechanical engineering and inherent part of the bachelor-curriculum. The following practical example prospects the multi-angulation of didactical concepts and shows up innovative educational teaching.
- Incorporating Augmented Reality Content in Engineering Design Graphics
- This paper describes the development and integration of augmented reality content with traditional Engineering Design Graphics materials, and presents the results of a preliminary usability study conducted with Freshman Engineering students. The resources developed combine printed text and images with interactive three-dimensional content with the purpose of enhancing the understanding of technical graphics concepts and improving the students' visualization skills. In general, students had a very positive reaction when first presented with the materials and showed an optimistic attitude while interacting with the content. Additionally, augmented reality materials promote the development of self-directed learning skills and self-assessment.
- Aptitude Digging Education in Project-based Course
- Students from China are always intelligent but lack of creativity. These are somewhat stereotypes. This is partially because of the reserved or implicit culture. In an objective point of view, it is also because of the limited education resources. In the single assessment criterion education circumstance, students chase for the high marks even without knowing their interests or aptitudes. In a 12-week open experimental course, Optoelectronic Instrument Experiments (OIE), we try to encourage the students to dig their aptitudes and bring them into full play to earn more credits for the course. Self-assessment and mutual-evaluation for technical proficiency, communication skills, collaboration and leadership are carried out for the final evaluation. We also communicate with the students the speciality and skill a qualified engineer needs. We hope to help them prepare themselves for engineering-related jobs in the further.
- Redesigning engineering courses by introducing digital ink technology
- We applied the How People Learn framework (HPLf) in two different higher education contexts. On one hand, a first-year core course on Computer Technology, taught at the Computer Engineering Degree Program at Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain. On the other hand, two Food Chemistry related courses, taught at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico, as part of food engineering undergraduate and food science graduate programs. The goal of these works was to redesign studied courses at both universities from a lecture-based format to a "challenge-based" format by using Tablet PCs and digital ink. In order to support the studied approach, different ink-enabled software tools were utilized. Class sessions were enhanced through the usage of Classroom Presenter, a pen-based interaction system that supports the sharing of digital ink on slides between instructors and students. InkSurvey also allowed teachers to pose questions, receive instantly digital ink responses, and provide real-time formative feedback. Some other tools such as PDF Annotator and Ardesia helped instructors to review coursework and assignments and provide formative feedback as well. We studied our approach over the two last academic years by observing classes at both universities, obtaining selected student achievement indicators and conducting surveys with students and instructors.
T1D: Student Beliefs, Motivation & Persistence I
- Understanding Engineering Identity Through Structural Equation Modeling
- Understanding students' self-ascribed engineering identity may be one way to understand engineering choices and to help recruit new students to the engineering pipeline. In our framework, identity is composed of students' perceptions of their performance/competence, recognition, and interest in a domain. This paper outlines the creation of a model of engineering choice based on this framework. The data utilized in this analysis come from the nationally-representative Sustainability and Gender in Engineering (SaGE) survey. Distributed during the fall of 2011, the survey was completed by 6,772 college students across the United States enrolled in first-year English courses. A structural equation model was built using previously validated constructs of mathematics, physics, and general science identities. These three constructs predict an engineering identity which, in turn, influences the choice of engineering in college. The model is a step towards a better understanding of the choice of an engineering major in college.
- Student Demographics and Outcomes in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
- Using longitudinal data from eleven institutions in the U.S., this study explores the persistence of students in the two largest engineering disciplines: Electrical (EE) and Mechanical (ME). These programs have large enrollments of students but small percentages of women. Despite these similarities, enrollment and persistence in these majors is qualitatively different. In this research, we adopt an intersectional framework. Our results show that ME attracts more White students while EE attracts more Black and Asian students. Hispanic men and women are attracted in similar numbers to EE and ME. Overall, ME has higher graduation rates than EE and women have higher rates than men in both disciplines. Transfer students of nearly all race/gender groups are more likely to persist to graduation than starters. Black and Hispanic female transfer students are particularly successful in EE and ME, which suggests enhancing the transfer pathway as a strategy to improve diversity. ME could learn from EE how to diversify its enrollment and EE could learn from ME strategies to retain its diverse students. These findings suggest that program factors affect each race-gender group differently. Therefore, the success of recruitment and retention strategies may depend on considering both the target population and the discipline.
- Student Perceptions of Andragogical Orientation and Student Learning
- According to work by Shuman and others, one of the key types of teacher knowledge is the knowledge of the student. Several authors in engineering education have acknowledged that in order to develop critical thinkers and capable problem solvers it is important to understand the needs of today's engineering student and design instruction to meet those needs. One important component in that discussion is the degree to which students perceive themselves as adults versus child learners. The issue is important for educators, particularly those who teach senior-level courses, because research on adult learners points toward different classroom methods than those used for children. In this paper, we focus on capstone design - a course often structured to simulate a professional work experience to understand student beliefs regarding their self-perceived orientation as an adult learner and how those beliefs are related to a) their self-perceived learning outcomes and b) the value they place on forms and frequency of feedback. To examine this impact, we draw on the concept of "andragogy." Knowles coined the term andragogy, meaning the art and science of helping adults learn, whereas the traditional term of pedagogy is the "art and science of teaching children". Knowles acknowledges that while andragogical approaches can be used for all students, adult learners carry with them a set of assumptions that differentiates them from the child learner: the learner is self-directed, has a substantial life experience, has learning needs closely associated with their social roles, is problem-centered and intrinsically motivated, and has a readiness to learn. We use this framework in the capstone course because these courses are liminal spaces in which the students are at once still undergraduates in a course working for a grade, and practicing engineers addressing pressing, open-ended design challenges in their field. The degree to which student beliefs position them as either an adult or child learner (or both) significantly impacts the value they place on teaching and their learning. Therefore we pose the following research questions: • How do students perceive their andragogical orientation? • How do students andragogical perspective relate to self-perceptions of student learning? • How does students' andragogical perspective relate to their value of feedback and interactions with faculty? • How do student perceptions align with faculty perspectives? This study utilizes student data from a 2011 survey of capstone students. The data includes student beliefs regarding the andragogical assumptions, self-reports of their student learning, and perceptions of the capstone course. Analyses included Exploratory factor analyses to validate the construct of andragogical orientation, descriptive statistics of responses, and group comparisons between high and low andragogical scores and between faculty and student responses. The findings support Knowles' andragogical assumptions and indicate that student learning in project-based courses have the potential to have higher andragogical orientations. These findings provide insight into the characteristics of the capstones student and provide opportunities for faculty to tailor teaching to the student needs.
- Quantitative Assessment of Student Motivation to Characterize Differences Between Engineering Majors
- Student motivation is often undervalued in comparison to academic performance measures for evaluating changes in higher education. There is a need to consider the affective domain in reform, in addition to academic performance. The effect of student motivation toward short- and long-term goals on student actions is not well understood. To assess this need, two research questions are addressed: 1) What elements of a motivation instrument designed for first-year engineering students are valid for upper-level engineering students? 2) How do motivations differ for upper level students in different engineering majors? Students in their major-specific engineering courses were surveyed with the Motivation and Attitudes in Engineering (MAE) instrument, which assesses long-term goal related expectancy, and perceptions of present and future tasks/goals. Short-term task self-efficacy was assessed using items adapted from the Attitudes and Approaches to Problem Solving survey. Results based on comparisons between major, class, and grade point average (GPA) showed: 1) Higher GPA indicates significantly higher expectancies and self-efficacy; 2) Bioengineers have significantly higher expectancies than mechanical engineers;and 3) Juniors have significantly higher GPAs,expectancies, and more positive perceptions of the present than sophomores. Results indicate that students' motivations toward short- and long-term goals may influence actions toward learning.
- Engineering Person-Thing Orientation: Comparisons between first-year students and practicing engineers with implications for retention and professional placement
- Academics, industrial leaders, and policy makers seem to agree that the United States can improve its ability to attract and retain engineering talent. Efforts aimed at addressing this need vary broadly from increasing the public's awareness of the problem, to re-framing the identity of engineering, de-emphasizing its less glamorous aspects, and orienting engineering's future toward solving the world's greatest problems facing humanity. In doing so, it is suggested that engineering would be a more appealing profession to groups that are historically under-represented. The fundamental assumption of these efforts is that an improved image of engineering as a socially engaged helper of humanity will result in greater initial and prolonged interest in engineering. Research investigating engineering as a profession has found few examples of specific engineering disciplines considered socially sensitive. This may suggest engineering is a career choice better aligned with individuals who prefer working with things rather than people. This exploratory study will utilize the Graziano, Habashi, & Woodcock (2011) Person and Thing Orientation Scale to examine how these things versus person tendencies appear in engineering college students and practicing engineers. It aims to identify potential sources of differentiation for these preferences within and across the sample populations.
- Exploring the Student Experience in Low-cost Intrinsic Motivation Course Conversions
- The low-cost intrinsic motivation (IM) course conversion project aims to promote the adoption of education innovations, lowering the costs of these innovations by promoting students' intrinsic motivation to learn and to invest in their own education. We have piloted and scaled the IM course conversion of a large enrollment, sophomore-level engineering course. As part of a broader evaluation, we interviewed 31 students to better understand how the IM course conversion affected students' motivations to learn. During these interviews, students described their experiences in the course as a story from the beginning to the end of the semester. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with an open coding scheme focused on motivational and affective statements. Preliminary analysis indicates that strategic choices, positive team dynamics, and productive failures in the learning process all contribute to promoting students' intrinsic motivation to learn in both pilot and full scale IM course conversions.
T1E: Software Engineering, Computing & Informatics Education I
- Bring Best of Two Worlds in a Software Engineering Class, Student Outcomes of Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and Information Literacy Standards of Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
- In this collaborative project with librarians, the faculty members of Nelson College of Engineering, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) identify the importance of information literacy (IL) in accreditation documents and then leverage accreditation guidelines from Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) student outcomes to integrate IL skills from standards of the Science and Technology Section (STS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) into an existing software engineering course. This project was sponsored by West Virginia University Information Literacy Course Enhancement Grant. We included the full range of the university libraries' resources, expertise, and services in course planning and delivery by incorporating different IL units: an introductory talk, special workshops, library sessions and consultations with the librarian throughout the semester. As conducting researches, designing projects, and writing reports are most effective vehicles for students' learning of strategic and rigorous information retrieval and management, the class includes a group software-development project and an individual paper-writing project. We included different data collection and evaluation methods distributed throughout the semester, including Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS), a web-based tool to document IL skill levels and to pinpoint areas for improvement.
- A taxonomy of exercises to support individual learning paths in initial programming learning
- Initial programming learning is known to be difficult to many students. To improve this situation it is necessary to support students learning effectively. This means that learning activities should be adapted to each student learning pace and specific needs. This is difficult considering that classes often have a large number of students. The definition of individual learning paths adaptable according to the student performance might help to improve the situation. To support the definition of learning paths it is useful to have a large set of exercises, organized according to a taxonomy that includes different dimensions and parameters relevant to the choice of appropriate exercises at any moment. To present this taxonomy is the main objective of this paper.
- An Exploratory Survey on the Use of Computation in Undergraduate Engineering Education
- Advances in computing contribute to science and engineering discovery, innovation, and education by facilitating representations, processing, storage, analysis, simulation, and visualization of unprecedented amounts of experimental and observational data to address problems that affect health, energy, environment, security, and quality of life. In spite of the emerging importance of the role of computing in engineering, a well-recognized shortage of scientists and engineers who are adequately prepared to take advantage of, or contribute to, such highly interdisciplinary, highly computational scientific challenges is evident. This exploratory study identifies how computation is integrated in the engineering disciplines at the undergraduate level. The research question is: How engineering professors integrate computation as part of their disciplinary undergraduate courses? This study reports anonymous survey responses of 41 engineering and engineering technology faculty members who identified themselves as integrating computation as part of their undergraduate courses. Results indicate that most of the faculty members used computation for the solution of complex calculations, for conducting simulations and for design purposes. Further research is required in order to identify and validate appropriated pedagogical practices to integrate computation as part of disciplinary courses.
- An Empirical Study on the Estimation of Software Development Effort with Use Case Points
- Empirical studies are important in software engineering to evaluate new tools, techniques, methods and technologies in a structured way before they are introduced in the industrial (real) software process. Perform empirical studies in a real context is very difficult due to various obstacles, so, we intend to create a stable environment that allows us to perform reliably empirical studies with students. This paper describes a case study with 104 students grouped in seven teams that developed a software system (Web application) for a real costumer. In this study we used a model based on Use Case Points (UCP) to estimate the resources needed to develop a software system.
- Method for Teaching Parallelism on Heterogeneous Many-Core Processors Using Research Projects
- Parallel programming and parallel architectures are necessary to achieve scalability and performance. It is difficult to evaluate when to teach parallelism and how to change the paradigm from serial to parallel algorithm in traditional curricula. Currently, there are efforts to introduce parallel programming since there are multi-core processors. However, there is a new chip generation called many-core processor. For instance, one processor chip can be built with 1,000 processing cores. Moreover, this type of processor is designed to achieve scalability and performance based on heterogeneous cores. How to teach parallelism to undergraduate and graduate students? Human resources are necessary to design and program parallel architectures based on this next generation of many-core processor. Therefore, the main goal of this paper is to show an experience based on research projects. The idea is to join students from different courses and levels, e.g. Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, and Graduate in Informatics. All of them working together in order to understand all characteristics of heterogeneous many-core processors based on integrated environment composed of computer clusters and simulation. The proposed method focuses on projects convergence to teach how to extract characteristics from benchmark traces in order to simulate many-core processors
T1F: Innovation and Entrepreneurship I
- The Value of Entrepreneurship to Recent Engineering Graduates: A Qualitative Perspective
- Engineering students are increasingly exposed to and involved in entrepreneurship education and activities as a part of their academic programs in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills increasingly valued in today's economy and workplaces. Data collected from a large sample of senior-year engineering students as part of the NSF-funded study Entrepreneurship Education and its Impact on Engineering Student Outcomes: The Role of Program Characteristics and Faculty Beliefs suggests that these experiences increase students' perceived self-efficacy for entrepreneurship and their intention to pursue entrepreneurial careers. This study expands on the results of previous research by conducting post-graduation interviews with recent engineering alumni who were and who were not exposed to entrepreneurship education and/or related activities. The purpose of this research is to understand: 1) the professions they have chosen and their responsibilities in these roles; 2) their perceptions of the relative value of specific skills and knowledge acquired during their engineering programs to their jobs/careers; and 3) their perceptions of the value of entrepreneurship skills and knowledge to their current jobs/careers; and 4) how entrepreneurship factors into their future career goals. Research questions and an interview protocol were developed to examine these issues. Telephone interviews will be conducted with engineering alumni who have graduated within the past three years. They will be selected from three large research universities with established entrepreneurship education programs that are offered to engineering students. The sample will be comprised of former students who were involved in a campus-wide entrepreneurship program and/or individual entrepreneurship courses offered within or outside of the engineering college. Qualitative analysis will be used to common themes and trends. The intent is to identify the areas in which engineering graduates perceive value from entrepreneurship education and the degree to which it provides them with opportunities in the workplace that they might not have otherwise.
- Inculcating an Entrepreneurial Mindset in Engineering Education: Project Approach
- In a competitive global economy, it is important for engineering students to develop entrepreneurial skills that include effective collaboration and communication, persisting and learning from failure, management, and solving ambiguous problems. This paper summarizes a project that aims to instill these skills as part of an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students. The project was implemented in an introductory electric circuits class with a mixed representation of students majoring in electrical, computer, civil, and mechanical engineering. Students were organized into groups of two or three to design a temperature sensor using a negative temperature coefficient thermistor. Students groups were provided with customer specifications and were given a month to research the problem and obtain a viable solution. The groups were required to provide evidence compiled into a written product proposal that included a bill of materials, cost analysis, circuit design and simulation, testing plan, layout of the printed circuit board and packaging schematic, delivery time, and the voltage-temperature relationship of the designed circuit. After submitting the written proposal, each group was given five minutes to pitch their proposal using a poster in an effort to convince the customer that their design was the best and most cost-effective solution.
- An Agile Embedded Systems Capstone Course
- The objective of this paper is to present the outcomes of an embedded systems senior design capstone course offered for Computer Engineering Technology students. This course has being taught five times using the presented format. At every offering, slight modifications have been done in an attempt to improve the student's experience and engagement. The most important intended learning outcomes for this course are: to enable team collaboration, to learn project management techniques, to develop a product from idea to implementation, and to make a professional presentation of their work to an audience. The innovative practices included in this course are: use of Agile Project Management methodologies, no paper trail all information is in electronic form, emulation of an entrepreneurial experience.
- Entrepreneurship and ABET Accreditation: How and Where Does it Fit?
- As a result of economic and workforce trends, there is a strong interest among policy makers and educational stakeholders in graduating more engineers with entrepreneurship skills and an entrepreneurial mindset. Despite increased attention being paid to entrepreneurship within engineering education programs, a number of studies have found that delivery to undergraduate engineers is not widespread or institutionalized (Duval-Couetil, Reed-Rhoads, & Haghighi, 2012; Shartrand, Weilerstein, Besterfield-Sacre, & Golding, 2010). A major limiting factor for students in engineering is the space available in academic programs to participate in electives that explicitly teach entrepreneurial thinking and skills (Standish-Kuon & Rice, 2002). Given the role that ABET accreditation takes in shaping the undergraduate engineering curriculum, wide adoption of entrepreneurship education could be driven by demonstrating the manner in which its outcomes align with accreditation mandates. Over the years, changes in standards have emphasized a wider range of skills pertinent to engineers (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty, 2005), many of which are in alignment with the entrepreneurial mindset and skills (Ochs, Lennon, Watkins, & Mitchell, 2006). Better communication of the manner in which entrepreneurship education objectives meet ABET criteria could be a catalyst for programs to adopt more entrepreneurship-related objectives. It may also drive faculty to embed more entrepreneurship-related curriculum and activities into foundational or required courses. The purpose of this work in progress is to describe research supported by the Stanford Epicenter and National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance that is designed to: (1) explore the interface between ABET accreditation and entrepreneurship education; (2) develop a list of entrepreneurship outcomes pertinent to engineers; and (3) develop a rudimentary matrix/model capable of mapping the alignment of entrepreneurship competencies and ABET criteria. The paper will describe the methods used to identify and validate competencies and outcomes and will provide a status report on the development of an online tool that would capable of demonstrating entrepreneurship/ABET alignment and which would link to specific curriculum and learning activities that would meet individual competencies. The study is intended to provide a means for the researchers and the Epicenter to demonstrate and advocate for the integration of more entrepreneurship education in engineering programs.
- Design Wars: Developing Student Creativity Through Competition
- Design Wars was developed as a multi-disciplinary design competition in which teams of students receive the same assignment, materials, technology tools for communication and time to complete the project. The student teams were separated into two groups - the documentation team (in the "design office") and the actualization team (on the "build floor'). They were tasked with designing, constructing, and documenting an engineered solution to a complex problem on site within eight hours, with all design decisions communicated between the two groups via mobile computing. The competition was developed to challenge the students' creativity and communication skills; judging was based on the elements of creativity including originality, flexibility, fluency, elaboration and aesthetics. Additionally, students were judged on their ability to document their team's decisions and alternative solutions. Because creativity in engineering is unsuccessful without functionality, the final projects were penalized if they failed in execution.
T1G: First and Second Year Programs I
- Engineer of 2020 Outcomes and the Student Experience
- An NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) program has provided scholarships for cohorts of undergraduate engineering students since 2009, giving specific attention to the National Academy of Engineering's vision for the engineer of 2020 (E2020). Four E2020 outcomes are emphasized in Iowa State's program: leadership, global awareness and understanding, systems thinking, and innovation and entrepreneurship. These outcomes, or pillars, are being integrated into curricular and co-curricular activities. The four pillar areas are introduced in a one-semester first-year seminar and reinforced in a two-semester second-year seminar. These seminars supplement the regular program of study for engineering students. In this paper, we describe the curriculum and its planned integration beyond the scholarship program. We present student feedback about their experience in the program. We also introduce relevant core competencies associated with the outcomes as judged by faculty and industry representatives.
- Development, implementation and assessment of a common first year end-of-semester engineering design project in an integrated curriculum
- At the newly established University of Maine's Brunswick Engineering Program, an integrated curriculum is under development that covers the equivalent of the first two years of the B.Sc. in Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Computer Engineering. Upon completion of the program, the students finish their degree following the traditional curriculum at the home campus. The program emphasizes a theory-simulation-experimentation approach that during the first semester is reflected in two core courses: IEN110 Integrated Engineering 1, and IEN120 Engineering Studio 1. These courses cover the equivalent of first semester courses in calculus and physics, introduction to engineering and engineering design, and engineering computation, and introduce CAD and a high level programming language (MatLAB). An end-of-semester project suitable for both courses needs to contribute to the individual course outcomes, as well as to the overall semester outcomes. Given the introductory nature of the mathematics and physics, the analytical challenge of the project should not constitute the principal hurdle, yet at the same time be demanding enough to require a systematic approach towards bounding the design problem and simplifying the physical phenomena. The project goal is to challenge the students to, after suitably modeling the physical processes, explore the design space with the aid of the computational tools, and to then develop a design using 3D CAD that best meets the design parameters. The final design is then presented to the "client" (the faculty) both in report and presentation format (introducing the communication outcome), and subsequently is built and tested experimentally. The project chosen at the BEP builds on a previous Rube Goldberg conceptual design exercise by stipulating a series of classical mechanics interactions (projectile motion, collisions, conservation of energy and momentum) that need to be optimized (by selecting the appropriate apparatus geometry) based on a "performance equation" developed by the faculty. This performance equation is designed to balance the effect on the overall score of the different physical phenomena, and thus create a real-life design situation that requires the exploration of the design space to find a compromise between competing design factors. Each student carries out the project individually, albeit with a number of teamwork components regarding initial performance data collection of the hardware. The project assessment is carried out in four phases (project planning, critical design review, build and test day, and post test evaluation), with separate grade components at each assessment point for each of the courses. Assessment results indicate a high level of perceived learning and satisfaction from the students, and strong alignment with the overarching project goals of understanding the engineering design process, developing the capability to represent real-world engineering problems mathematically by applying appropriate simplifications, and to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Implementation of Just in Time and Revamped Engineering Math Courses to Improve Retention and Graduation Rates
- We have incorporated the ideas from the newly developed course, known as EGR 101 "Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications" at the Wright State University by Professor Klingbeil to create a Just in Time Math (JITM) for freshmen engineering students who show deficiency in math. The WSU model concludes with the development of a revised engineering math sequence, to be taught by the math department later in the curriculum, in concert with College and ABET requirements. The result has shifted the traditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineering motivation for math, with a "just-in-time" structuring of the new math sequence. At the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the changes in the engineering courses are not as drastic as WSU. Students at UTSA still have to follow the traditional math sequences (Calculus I, Calculus II, etc.). However, the pre-requisites for some of the core engineering courses have changed from Calculus I to the newly developed Math classes. We have established the laboratory and developed the course materials and changed the curriculum. Since 2009, we have been offering cohorts of about 25 engineering freshmen every fall on a voluntary basis. Although majority of these students had passed calculus while in high school, but typically, about 60% of them failed the placement test and was not be ready to register in the calculus I course. The three dependent variables that measure quality (GPA), system reliability (Retention - RET), and time (Progress Toward Degree - PTD) are used for the assessment purposes for two groups of students: Pilot and Traditional groups. Retention is defined as the ratio of those cohorts in engineering versus the total number that began. PTD is especially important given the impetus placed on 6 year graduation rates by the State. Loosely defined, it is quantified as the ratio of number of degree catalog hours earned to the targeted number of degree hours at any point in time. The pilot program should be in place for the duration of the grant; thereafter, based on the assessment (as predicated by UTSA COE ABET processes), a full implementation can be undertaken; that is, all entering students would go through the new process.
- A Web-Based Interactive Intelligent Tutoring System for Undergraduate Engineering Dynamics
- A web-based interactive intelligent tutoring system was developed and assessed in an engineering dynamics course. The system consists of two learning modules to help students learn how to apply the Principle of Work and Energy to solve particle and rigid-body dynamics problems. Student learning gains were compared using a quasi-experimental research design that involved pretests and posttests in both a control semester (n = 62) and a treatment semester (n = 44). It is shown that the ITS modules increased student learning gains by 37-43%.
- Testing the Flipped Classroom with Model-Eliciting Activities and Video Lectures in a Mid-Level Undergraduate Engineering Course
- This paper outlines an ongoing study of the flipped classroom with second and third-year undergraduate engineering students in a numerical methods course. The flipped classroom is a new pedagogical method, which employs asynchronous video lectures and practice problems as homework, and active, group-based problem-solving activities in the classroom. It represents the combination of learning theories once thought to be incompatible---active, problem-based learning activities founded upon constructivist ideals and instructional lectures derived from direct instruction methods founded upon behaviorist principles. Using a controlled quasi-experimental research design, we conduct a study with a full 15-week numerical methods course at Utah State University during the spring semester of 2013. Students in the experimental section completed model-eliciting activities inside the classroom and video lectures and homework outside the classroom. Students in the control section completed homework outside the classroom and group lectures inside the classroom. The two groups will be compared using scores from homework, examinations, and a sixteen-question numerical methods conceptual pre- post- test pair. The three main features that distinguish this study from previous research are: 1) This is a controlled study; 2) This study examines student performance on objective measures; 3) This study uses model-eliciting activities in the experimental classroom.
T1H: Assessment I
- OpenAnswer, a framework to support teacher's management of open answers through peer assessment
- Open-ended questions are an important means to support analysis and assessment of students; they can be of extraordinary effectiveness for the assessment of higher cognitive levels of the Bloom's Taxonomy. On the other hand, assessing open answers (textual, freely shaped, answers to a question) is a hard task. In this paper we describe an approach to open answers evaluation based on the use of peer-assessment: in a social-collaborative e-learning setting implemented by the OpenAnswer web system, the students answer questions and rate others' (and may be own) answers, while the teacher marks a subset of the answers so to allow the system inferring the rest of the marks. The aim of our system is to ease the teacher's marking burden and allow for a more extensive use of open ended questionnaires in her/his teaching activity.
- A new approach to analyze the curriculum structure using the Students' Evaluation of Education Quality instrument
- There is a considerable number of engineering courses in the world that suffer high withdrawal and failure rates of students in their early years, especially in fundamental discipline areas like mathematics and science. Moreover, during the formation of a basic engineering course, in general, it is necessary that the student in the first year obtain knowledge and skills in core content basic scientific areas like Physics, Calculus, Algebra, Chemistry and, sometimes, also in introductory technological areas. In order to detect possible indicators in the quality of education as well as explaining the factors such as evasion, failure rates and to promote possible suggestions for restructuring the TIE course curriculum, a study was conducted in order to validate the application of Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) instrument in an engineering course, using factor analysis. Factor Analysis (FA) is a statistical method commonly used during instrument development to cluster items into common factors, interpret each factor according to the items having a high loading on it, and summarize the items into a small number of factors. The choice of FA to validate the instrument is that this method has been used to validate the SEEQ instrument from the students' point of view but using this structure does not allowed us analyze the disciplines in focus, then we need to validate this same instrument into our research context according to a latent structure performed by the disciplines. The research on which this study is based was administered with students in the 3rd and 4th years of the teleinformatics engineering course. During the implementation of SEEQ some characteristics of the instrument has been clarified to the participants, and also a process of awareness to the participants was done, highlighting the importance and necessity of the questionnaires to be answered in the most faithful and true way to the reality of events during classes taught in the disciplines investigated in the first year. We validate the application of the factor analysis by the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) and Barletts' tests that investigate the sample adequacy. The Cronbach's alpha was computed to examine the internal consistency of the dataset. After the application of the KMO and Barletts' tests, the factor analysis and the Cronbach's alpha-coeficient, we can state that the SEEQ instrument is valid for application in a teleinformatics engineering context to analyze the disciplines. As a final result of this procedure, we guarantee the consistency of the instrument for the application to analyze different disciplines under different criterions that can possibility a restructuring of the curriculum.
- Analyzing the quality of the engineering course's management using information processing based on multivariate statistics: A case study under the professors' perspectives
- Processes and evaluation methods are gaining prominence in the social and educational contexts, they provide elements for research and reflection in several human activities. In this context, it is proposed to contribute to the improvement of the higher education quality, through the analysis of information obtained in six engineering courses offered by the Federal University of Ceará. The study seeks to strengthen the interface among data analysis methods typically used of engineering contexts, particularly regarding to the application of advanced mathematical tools, in order to allow the analysis of the relationship between academic management processes of engineering courses and outcomes from external evaluations. This discussion aims to propose a mathematical model to support the academic management, based on multivariate analysis (MVA) and data processing, such as Factor Analysis (FA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The survey aims to identify professors' point of view about the management practices developed in their academic courses where they work. To obtaining the data, has been made the use of an online questionnaire, composed of fifteen statements followed by Likert type-scale with six response choices: 1 - Totally Disagree 2 - Strongly Disagree 3 - Disagree, 4 - Agree, 5 - Strongly Agree, and 6 - Totally Agree, and this instrument has been performed in Portuguese. Then, the data collected has been subjected to the information processing based on multivariate analysis through the application of PCA and FA, using the Matlab and SPSS softwares. The application of the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett Sphericity tests revealed the suitability of the sample for the application of multivariate analysis methods, since they showed the value of 0.846 (p <0.001) for the KMO and the null hypothesis rejection by the Bartlett's test. The FA highlighted a representativeness of data in its first two latent components (62.6% of total variance explained). As regards application of PCA, we observed the formation of three responses' clustering, these has been well characterized by the similarity of their factor loadings. The first cluster was made up of four questions, indicating characteristics related to students' academic education. The second cluster was composed of six questions, pointing to the latency emerging that has been linked to the course's administration leadership as the assessment and the management of academic formation processes. In relation to the third cluster, consisting of three questions, presents the institutional characteristics related to its climate facing the students' formation, ie, seems to describe the ambience learning in the course. This work showed that, in general, teachers assess positively the methods of managing of their coordinators. It should stand out even that the application of MVA showed strong evidence for a relationship among the methods of management in higher education, through the manifestation of latent variables in order to define a mathematical model based on MVA academic management support.
- Peer Evaluation in an Undergraduate Database Management Class: A Quasi-experimental Study
- This study is to evaluate whether peer evaluation increases student participation and thus improves learning achievement in an e-learning 2.0 environment. We first implemented an e-learning 2.0 platform and then collected data from student participants, including RSS, blogs, Wiki, and other online forums. A quasi-experimental design was used in the study. The student participants were divided into an experimental group (N=52) and a control group (N=60). The results indicated that the e-learning 2.0 platform had a positive effect on student learning process. When comparing the academic performances of the control group and the experimental group after using e-learning 2.0 for a period of time, students in the experimental group had significantly better academic results than those in the control group.
- A longitudinal study of the effects of a high school robotics and computational thinking class on academic achievement
- While there has been a rising interest in computational thinking (CT) and a push to include it into the K- 12 curriculum, there is little empirical evidence that a class that teaches CT will have any measurable long-term effects on student performance. Using robotics as an example of CT instruction, I propose to examine a high school that has had a large number of robotics students over the past six years to find evidence for the long-term benefits of CT. I will analyze school records (e.g. STEM class enrollment, STEM test scores, SAT scores) for differences between robotics and non-robotics students and compare interviews with selected students.
T1I: Mobile and Online Learning I
- Web-based Collaboration System to Improve the Interactivity for Mobile Education through Smart Devices
- Mobile education is a term that describes a relatively new way of education. Generally speaking, mobile education is aimed to facilitate teachers, students, and parents to interact with each other through mobile devices. This term gains much popularity especially in recent years with the smart devices coming into vogue. With the development of broadband networks as well as the evolution of smart devices, more and more people have come to realize that smart devices can become an effective medium for mobile education. This paper proposes an innovative approach to implement a mobile education system through web technology, which is regarded as an effective mean of overcoming cross-platform obstacles caused by the diversity of smart devices. Considering the constraints of web technology, research and development are undertaken to enhance the stability of the connection as well as the instantaneity of communication. Also, an awareness component is designed for detecting the user's environment such as location, network condition, and hardware specification in order to provide appropriate services. Our research and development lead to significant improvement in the interactivity and the usability of a web-based system.
- Interactive Sketching in Multi-Touch Digital Books. A Prototype for Technical Graphics
- In this paper, we present a functional prototype of an interactive multi-touch book with drawing capabilities, intended to enhance the understanding of engineering graphics concepts and improve visualization skills. Our multi-touch book combines textual elements with rich media content and interactive exercises to allow students to practice technical sketching in an environment that simulates traditional paper based drawings and tools. Additionally, finished drawings can be submitted to the instructor via email directly from the digital book, which facilitates management tasks. A comparative study of traditional and digital sketching using our prototype was conducted with a small group of participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool. Preliminary results show positive reactions and acceptance.
- A Multi-Touch Application for the Automatic Evaluation of Dimensions in Hand-Drawn Sketches
- Dimensioning plays an important role in the product development process. It is usually learned through sketching exercises where students add the corresponding dimensions to different parts of an engineering drawing. Nevertheless, being able to self-learn proper dimensioning methods is challenging, as a geometric figure requires a specific number of dimensions to be correctly defined. This paper presents an educational software application for multi-touch tablet devices to support dimensioning activities. Our application uses a multi-touch interface where students can create 2D parametric drawings with dimensions using freehand sketches and receive feedback from the system about the quality of their dimensioning exercises. When a student finishes a sketch, the system reports back the correct and incorrect dimensions. Multitouch gestures are also used for basic sketch manipulation (panning, zooming, and rotating), similar to the standard functionality found in modern smart phones and tablets. Preliminary experiences show that multi-touch interfaces provide an effective way to capture students' attention. Students found the system very natural, and the time required to learn how to use the application is short. They enjoyed the simplicity of the interface and valued the powerful control of the geometry.
- Low-Cost and Portable Labware for Computing Curriculum Using Scalable Mobile Sensory Platform
- Mobile embedded system is an excellent candidate to provides depth, breadth, and rigorousness for meeting the emerging workforce and education needs in science, technology, and engineering. However, the high requirements of investment in resources and instructors make the mobile embedded system education impractical for universities and colleges that lack the resources and build-ups. This work-in-progress paper presents a novel low-cost and portable labware for hands-on labs and projects using Android smartphones and scalable sensory platform. It is easy-to-adopt, promotes students with authentic and creative learning, and supports wide dissemination.
- Significant Predictors of Learning from Student Interactions with Online Learning Objects
- Learning objects (LOs) are self-contained, re-usable units of learning. Previous research has shown that using LOs to supplement traditional lecture increases achievement and promotes success for college students in the disciplines of engineering and computer science. The computer-based nature for LOs allows for sophisticated tracking that can collect metadata about the individual learners. This tends to result in a tremendous amount of metadata collected on LOs. The challenge be-comes identifying the predictors of learning. Previous research tends to be focused on a single area of metadata such as the learning strategies or demographic variables. Here we report on a comprehensive regression analysis conducted on variables in four widely different areas including LO interaction data, MSLQ survey responses (that measure learning strategies), demographic information, and LO evaluation survey data. Our analysis found that a subset of the variables in each area were actually significant predictors of learning. We also found that several static variables that appeared to be significant predictors in their own right were simply reflecting the results from student motivation. These results provide valuable insights into which variables are significant predictors. Further, they also help improve LO tracking systems allowing for the design of better online learning technologies.
Thursday, October 24, 13:30 - 15:00
Exhibitor Showcase - Zyante
Topic: Animated Interactive Learning of Programming Languages Speakers: Smita Bakshi and Frank Vahid Description: Zyante develops web-based animated interactive learning material for lower division computer science and engineering. These offerings enable students to "learn by doing" as they engage with animations, interactive tools, embedded coding environments, games and self-assessment questions. Available for $35, students can also download them for later use. 4000+ students at over 40 universities are using Zyante's current offerings: C, C++, Java, Python, MATLAB, Embedded Systems, Data Structures & Discrete Math.
Join the founders, Smita Bakshi and Frank Vahid, at the Showcase to learn more about the material and the teaching tools. We'll provide you with a hands-on opportunity to evaluate the material and teaching tools, including the ability to view student activity data, and to rearrange and customize the material.
T2A: Mini-Workshop: New National Science Foundation Opportunities for Improving Undergraduate Engineering Education
- New National Science Foundation Opportunities for Improving Undergraduate Engineering Education
- The goal of this mini-workshop is to increase the participants' knowledge of current opportunities at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support excellence in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. In particular, the discussion focuses on new and current opportunities in the Division of Undergraduate Education as well as highlight examples of project activities that support these opportunities. The mini-workshop uses a highly interactive format, using team-based games and discussion, to engage the participants and to foster the sharing of ideas, to clarify misconceptions, and to potentially initiate new ideas in engineering education innovations and research. This mini-workshop closely encourages the sharing of ideas and interaction amongst peers, and also informs participants about current NSF funding opportunities in STEM education.
T2B: Panel: Model Collaboration for Advancing Student-Centered Engineering Education
- Model Collaboration for Advancing Student-Centered Engineering Education
- The College of Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is partnering with the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin) to establish a student-centered hands-on interactive approach to engineering education (similar to Olin's) at UTEP. The characteristics of Olin's approach to curriculum design most relevant to the UTEP BSLE Program are: 1) Frameworks and approaches for student-centered curriculum design. 2) Development of intrinsic motivation, self-direction, and autonomy through authentic project and leadership experiences. 3) Culturally and socially responsive curricula, where students creatively investigate and solve social problems through innovative technological design. The goal of the proposed collaboration is to catalyze Olin's educational innovation through a cross-campus collaboration between the two institutions by incorporating the Olin model into the first offerings of the BSLE program. Specifically, the collaboration includes faculty exchanges between the two institutions; a series of retreats for planning and assessment; curriculum development; and student recruitment practices. Through the Olin-UTEP partnership a new undergraduate degree in Leadership Engineering is being developed, advancing through an Argosy Foundation Collaborative Faculty Exchange Program and with support from Bob and Diane Malone and the Halliburton Foundation.
T2C: Approaches to Student-Centered Learning II
- Assessment of a Sustainability Program in Graduate Civil and Environmental Engineering Education
- The engineering professions are becoming increasingly international and oriented towards a sustainability mindset. To enable graduate students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Michigan Technological University to prepare to meet these demands, the National Science Foundation awarded the University a "Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)" grant that enabled 45 students in six CEE degree programs to receive $5,000-$10,000 scholarships in 2008-12. The Michigan Tech S-STEM Program was designed to advance a global outlook of economic and social prosperity that protects the environment through various means. A complementary goal was to advance intercultural competency. The S-STEM scholars' knowledge of and attitudes toward sustainability and intercultural competency was assessed during the grant period. Pre-/post-intercultural competence assessment results were similar, however, through coursework, one sub-group of scholars displayed increased intercultural competence in pre/post assessment. Emergent content analysis of scholar written materials suggests that maturation in scholar perspectives, balancing engineering with community, economic, and environmental realities, occurred during the scholarship periods.
- Engineers Transforming the Environment for Betterment of Life
- Knowledge in Basic Sciences, Basic Sciences of Engineering and Specifics of Engineering are fundamental for the education of an engineer. However the insertion in labor market demands sometimes some practice or experience that should also be provided by the engineering schools. Taking this into account, the Engineering Education Research Team of COPEC - Science and Education Research Council has designed a program for an engineering school which main goal is to prepare engineers for the future work market, the engineer for the future. It is an interdisciplinary environmental engineering program that intends to offer students an exciting opportunity to focus their technical capabilities on evolving science that affects human quality of life in an international scale and can simultaneously help preserve and restore areas in which they work. Emerging issues challenge environmental engineers in public health, conservation and restoration of natural systems, water and wastewater treatment, pollution prevention, and more.
- Monitoring F2F Interactions through Attendance Control
- This work explores the use of interactions between teachers and students as a basis to infer the students' learning status and generate suitable feedback for them. We propose a system that lets teachers and students register the interactions face to face, so they can be capitalized for improving traditional teaching/learning. The recorded interactions will be exploited in a similar way to how teachers infer the knowledge status of their students from their interventions. In order to discover the teachers' strategies and, specially, their necessities regarding the interactions with their students, we have run a questionnaire and verified some previously stated hypotheses. The design of the PresenceClick system is a first result. It has a double aim: to show teachers the knowledge status of their students, so that they can adapt their teaching; and to show students their progresses and the one of the overall class so they can compare them. PresenceClick incorporates an Attendance module, which automatically collects the list of students attending the class with no effort from the teacher. This paper presents the results of this study, the PresenceClick architecture and the Attendance module, as an essential component to help and complete traditional F2F, blended or e-learning scenarios.
- The Appalachian Cohort for Engineering: An Evaluation of S-STEM Strategies for Success
- The Appalachian Cohort for Engineering (ACE) at Ohio University is an NSF S-STEM funded scholarship program for students in Engineering and Computer Science that combines intensive early intervention approaches (i.e., learning communities, peer-led team learning, midterm progress reports, and purposeful selection of academic advisors) with peer advising and cohort building. The intent of this program is to help academically capable, but financially insecure students from the economically disadvantaged Appalachian counties of Ohio and surrounding states to complete important early milestones in their academic careers. The ultimate goal of this project is to build evidence-based approaches for encouraging retention and early academic milestone completion for a broad range of undergraduate students in the STEM disciplines. The research component of this project seeks to determine which services are most effective at encouraging and supporting these students to reach early academic milestones to promote long-term retention and degree completion. This component involves substantial data collection that includes observational field notes and one-on-one contact records, along with other more traditional data sources. Much of the data collection is provided by trained peer advisors through one-on-one contact records. These records capture the following elements: personal/transitional, social, academic, financial, health and stress-coping, study sessions and tutoring, goal setting, follow up data, and academic reviews by course. In addition, field notes are collected that describe the setting, attendees, acts, and reflections on specific events that happen throughout the year. This project is in its first year of implementation. In this work-in-progress paper, we report on the design of the project, early successes and challenges, the data collection strategy, and the preliminary results of this project. In this first year, early observational results indicated that this body of students needed both social and academic support; with both being equal emphasis. Furthermore, this body of students indicated that one-on-one support and goal setting were important components of their early success.
- The Nature of Learning in a Guided Inquiry Classroom
- Active learning approaches are becoming of increasing importance within engineering education, and it has been established that an active learning environment leads to improved student outcomes. What is less known is the ways in which these classes support student learning. Our study takes place in the context of a Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) classroom. We use grounded theory to answer the research question: How do students construct knowledge in a POGIL classroom? Constructivist grounded theory was used to code student interview data and develop a theory of how student learning occurs. The resulting theory shows that the use of POGIL results in a concept-focused class, as opposed to focusing on discrete aspects of knowledge (facts). This concept-focused class provides for both conceptual understanding and improved retention of information. The findings illustrate one way to design a class for deep conceptual understanding and suggest broader implications for curriculum design.
T2D: Teaming and Engagement
- Development of a Reliable, Valid, Multi-Dimensional Measure of Student Engagement in Group Projects
- Student engagement is widely explored, but there is no specific measure of student engagement in group projects. This paper presents a Student Group Project Engagement Questionnaire (SGPEQ) instrument and discussed its reliability analysis, validity exploration, and further validity verification. Explanatory factor analysis revealed four dimensions of student engagement in group projects that were distinct and reliable: effort, teamwork, motivation, and organization. Relationships were found between these factors and self-reported engagement and endorsement of self-theories.
- The Impact of Project-Based Service Learning in a Native American Community on Student Performance in Civil Engineering Capstone Design
- Three educational institutions in South Dakota are collaborating to develop pre-engineering courses to increase the enrollment and success of students transferring from Oglala Lakota College (OLC) to 4-year bachelor degree programs in science and engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) and South Dakota State University through a grant from the National Science Foundation Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP). Activities of this grant have led to a partnership with the native-led Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) and have provided significant opportunities for students at OLC and SDSMT in the areas of civil engineering and sustainability. The most recent opportunity includes incorporating TVCDC's plans for an 800-person net-zero regenerative community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation into the Capstone Design course at SDSMT. The project includes sustainable design objectives in wastewater treatment, rainwater harvesting, and the use of straw bale and compressed earth walls as renewable building materials for phase I of the planned community. Four teams of students working on the regenerative community and four teams of students working on a more traditional capstone design project completed proposals and their first progress reports during the Fall 2012 semester. The Comprehensive Assessment of Team-Member Effectiveness (CATME) instrument was administered twice during the semester to evaluate teaming. A comparison of the data for the two capstone projects is presented. Results from these surveys indicate students working on the regenerative community project were more positive and consistent with the behavioral and satisfaction categories within the peer evaluation survey.
- Student Beliefs about Learning Communication Skills
- Communication and teamwork remain essential for engineering graduates in both academic and industry settings. Despite recognition of the importance of these skills, however, gaps in teaching them persist. With respect to communication, despite numerous studies of effective teaching approaches, few engineering courses apply those approaches. Teamwork suffers from both a dearth of research on effective pedagogies and limited integration in courses. To close the critical gaps between belief and practice, our three-year mixed methods study seeks to explore faculty and student beliefs about teamwork and communication. The overall project goals are to 1) understand faculty and student beliefs about effective practice and learning outcomes related to communication and teamwork, 2) articulate how well student and faculty beliefs align and how well beliefs and practices align, and 3) identify and test interventions to enhance the teaching and learning of communication and teamwork skills in engineering courses. This paper focuses on outcomes relative to student beliefs about the teaching and learning of teamwork and communication skills. Specifically, we analyzed five focus groups conducted with engineering students at four partner schools. The purpose of the focus groups was to uncover student beliefs about where and how they learned teamwork and communication skills within their engineering education. The focus group protocol was exploratory in nature; it was developed to mirror the types of questions being asked separately of faculty about the teaching and learning of communication and teamwork skills. Asking parallel questions of students and faculty enables us to explore the areas of alignment and divergence between the two groups; we have reported on faculty beliefs elsewhere. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim. We used situated learning as a lens to examine the five focus groups. We used an open coding approach and MAXQDA software to code the focus group transcriptions. Consistent with the situated learning theoretical framework, three ideas were salient across all five focus groups (and school setting); modeling (or peripheral), interdependence (success requires communication with community of practice), and access (learning through participation in social networks). Interdependence, by far, was the most frequently used code for the data set and, interestingly, heavily influenced both teamwork and communication based on the student responses. As a sample of our results, we found that students desired more modeling for teamwork skills and direct instruction for communication skills. For example one student stated "like, here's how to write an abstract or this is what an abstract is… and its like I'm looking for a paper and found the abstract, and was like, um, abstract, that's a weird concept like what is this. No one had ever explained it to me. So, I had to figure it out on my own." Another student stated, "We did presentations, but how to set them up is something that we never learned." Identifying pedagogical gaps between faculty practice and student experiences, as suggested by the quotes, can help us develop targeted strategies to help creatively integrate these critical skills into an already packed engineering curriculum.
- Professional communication skills for engineering professionals
- Verbal and written communication proficiency is an important professional skill for engineering graduates. However, developing these skills is often poorly integrated into the engineering curriculum. We present a three year integrated approach to developing professional competence in verbal and written communication which has been implemented in the IT engineering programme at a Swedish research university. In the paper we describe the educational approach, the nature of assessment items and grading rubrics that are applied in order to ensure that graduates emerge with fully fledged communications skills. An important component of the programme is the compilation of a student portfolio, in which students gather material that demonstrates progressive skills development. Associated with this portfolio is a series of student reflections, which help learners to appreciate their developing skill in professional communication. The goal of the paper is to describe a successful model for professional skills development, and to encourage a continuing dialogue on how to best equip students with communication skills for professional practice.
- Correlation of Learning Styles with Team Performance and Perception in a Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Course
- Teamwork is emphasized in high-level engineering courses to help prepare students for their chosen career. When left to self-select, students often form homogenous groups with respect to several indicators, including learning style. While homogeneous groups may occasionally be preferred for specific tasks, heterogeneous groups have shown better performance over a wider range of tasks. Qualitative data (interviews) suggest that students grasp the value of heterogeneous groups and are able to recognize the gains of such diversity. We are interested in the relationship between learning styles and team dynamics in advanced chemical engineering students taking the team-based unit operations course. We are looking to correlate team composition with respect to learning styles preferences with team performance and student perceptions of team efficacy. Students are given a learning styles questionnaire to determine preferences in the course's lecture portion. These are used to identify potential correlations between team make-up, team performance and student perceptions during the subsequent laboratory portion. Understanding variability in performance based on team composition can help elucidate the complex nature of team dynamics. Armed with such information, instructors can create the most educationally efficient teams, and students will have a better understanding of teams as they enter the workforce.
T2E: Computing I
- PBL in Teaching Computing: An overview of the Last 15 Years
- In computing courses, the teaching and learning approach normally emphasizes theoretical knowledge at the expense of practical knowledge. The major disadvantage of this approach is the lack of motivation of learners during class and their quickly forgetting the knowledge they have acquired. With a view to overcoming these difficulties, Problem Based Learning (PBL), an institutional method of teaching, has been applied to teaching computing disciplines. Despite the growth of the practice of PBL in various disciplines of Computing, there is little evidence of its specific characteristics in this area,the effectiveness of different PBL methodological approaches, or of benefits and challenges encountered. In this context, this paper presents a systematic mapping study in order to identify studies which involve best practices when using the PBL method in Computing between 1997 and 2011, answering five research questions: "What are the main characteristics of PBL that support teaching in Computing?"; "What are the criteria for applying PBL effectively in this area?"; "How is the PBL methodology applied?", "What are the advantages and benefits of applying PBL in Computing? "and, finally, " What are the main challenges about learning in PBL in Computing?".
- Women's Ways of Knowing in Information Technology Specialties at a Community College
- Historically, very limited studies have focused on information technology (IT) programs in community colleges, let alone of women's participation in them. In light of the growing national debate on the need to increase female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), this study closely examines women's involvement in IT in higher education. This study builds on Belenky et al's study of women's five ways of knowing (silent knowing, subjective knowing, received knowing, procedural knowing, and constructed knowing) in the social sciences and humanities. Through analysis of women's IT pursuits at a community college, this study provides evidence not only for the five existing ways of knowing found in Belenky et al's study but also for a new way of knowing exclusive to IT: logistical knowing.
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Using Videos to Reverse Systems Analysis and Design Instruction
- Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) is a second-year subject offered within the Information Technology (IT) course at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University in South Africa. The diverse environment of this campus includes students representing most ethnic groups in South Africa, adding to the complexity of classroom interaction. This is further complicated by the fact that students find the subject difficult, mostly because it includes many new concepts used in different contexts. SAD students also grapple with fuzzy issues such as fact-finding from system users and representing information obtained from models that are designed for feedback. SAD is therefore far removed from the more exact subjects like programming and mathematics that many IT students excel in. Videos explaining difficult SAD concepts were produced and made available to students on a Learning Management System (LMS). The students were motivated to come to classes prepared. During the first semester concepts were explained during formal class times. Formal explanations were not given during the second semester because students were expected to build on the knowledge that they had gained during the first semester. The success of implementing reverse instruction in the second semester is evaluated through an interpretive lens.
- Commercial Competency and Computing Students: Using the Skills Framework for the Information Age in Higher Education
- of employability which employers expect from computing graduates, in addition to technical capability and "soft skills" (or similar terms like transferable skills). Our experience has been that viewing commercial acumen (or even commercial awareness) as simply one of the soft skills, has failed to meet the needs of local employers, who tell us they seek innovation skills and entrepreneurship. A case study illustrates a structured approach to adding commercial awareness to the computing curriculum, and, more generally, tying the learning experience more closely to the achievement of standardized competency statements. Changes to future provision are discussed following workshop discussion of a draft of this case study. This paper will be of interest to computing and engineering academics who seek to increase the commercial awareness of their students, and to those who seek to align their courses with commercial definitions of competency
- iQuiz: integrated assessment environment to improve Moodle Quiz
- Moodle is a well-known open source system to support teaching and learning through the web. It provides Quiz, a tool for learning assessment, which is also adopted by a large community along the world. Another tool that allows automatic assessment within Moodle is the iAssign package. iAssign provides means for integrating interactive Learning Modules (iLM) to Moodle, empowering it with interactive intense activities concerning specific issues implemented in iLM. However, such tools present some limitations that prevent their users to take more benefit of the question types and iLM such as (i) authoring is not a simple task; (ii) iAssign integrates iLM to Moodle without incorporating Moodle questionnaires; (iii) Quiz database for questions and questionnaires is not integrated to a repository with search and retrieving tools; (iv) in the current version of Moodle, Quiz did not allows the incorporation or exportation of assessment content that follows the IMS-QTI 2.1 (Question and Test Interoperability) specification. In this paper we address such limitations proposing a generic model and its implementation for the Moodle system.
T2F: ECE I
- Teaching strategy focused on sensory perception, students' interest and enjoyment: Successful application in Electrical Engineering (EE) lab for non-EE majors
- We report the development and successful teaching of new laboratory experiments for a large introductory course in Electrical Engineering (EE) for non-EE majors. Our goal is to create the learning environment that would engage students' senses; provide hands-on experience, to which they can easily relate; stimulate intuitive understanding of EE concepts; foster enjoyment of learning, and eventually, help them succeed in their own fields. The first experiment focuses on applications of Fourier series to the spectra of sounds of music played on a Virtual Keyboard®. In the second experiment, students solder their own filter circuit to serve has low-pass/high-pass audio filters, and then they apply their filters to an excerpt of music, with the goal of understanding effects of the filter transfer function on the audio signal through listening. Both experiments expand the conventional range of application of theory and circuits in introductory courses (usually, only standard waveforms are used, e.g. sinusoidal and square). In the scheme of the entire course, all lab projects aim to introduce realistic, practical applications that pique student interest, show students the relevance of electrical engineering, and help them transfer their newly learned skills and experience to their own fields of work and future studies.
- N-FUELS and SOPRANO: Educational Tools for Simulation, Analysis and Processing of Satellite Navigation Signals
- In recent years, research activities in the field of Satellite Navigation have boosted worldwide. At the same time, it has become evident that few educational opportunities in the field were available for students and there was a need to develop dedicated tools for hands-on sessions. To partially answer this need, the NavSAS Group has developed N-FUELS and SOPRANO. N-FUELS, a MATLAB-based signal simulator, allows students to understand the physical layer of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals and to learn how to manipulate them via software. SOPRANO, a collection of ANSI C language routines, implements the whole chain of GNSS signal elaboration in post-processing and enables testing and validation of new GNSS signal processing algorithms and architectures. Both tools are used in post-graduate courses at Politecnico di Torino with a high degree of internationalization, which opens interesting points of discussion concerning the introduction of novel educational tools able to meet the demand and the learning styles of students with different educational backgrounds and cultures.
- Teaching Electric Circuits Using a Modified Flipped Classroom Approach
- This paper describes our initial effort to implement a flipped classroom approach to teach an Electric Circuits course. Prior to each scheduled class meeting, students are required to watch a recorded short lecture, which covers the topics in details and includes simple worked out problems. We have used Tablet PC in combination with PowerPoint, OneNote, and Camtasia as the capturing software, to produce the short-recorded lectures. We have also produced a set of narrated dynamically worked-out problems, with different difficulty levels that students are encouraged to watch. These recorded worked-out problems will complement the recorded lectures and help students with their problem solving skills. A typical lecture consists of a quick review of the concepts followed by solving more challenging problems, related to the lecture material. A more detailed discussion of this approach and the advantages and disadvantages of such a scheme are presented. The preliminary evaluations of the proposed approach by a group of students have been encouraging.
- Embedded Systems Design Curriculum Conversion from Quarters to Semesters
- In this paper we present a vision of how a sequence of three embedded systems design courses currently being taught for computer engineering technology students will be adapted from a quarter based delivery to a semester based delivery. The conversion brings the opportunity to revise the course contents, platforms used and make changes that will prepare students with a more up-to-date skill set and a robust industrial training. In this work in progress we will present some of the new ideas that will be implemented in our semester courses. After offering these courses multiple times, feedback will be gathered from students and industry, and a future study will be presented outlining the achieved outcomes as compared to our intended outcomes for curriculum continuous improvement.
- Computer-Aided Instruction for Introductory Linear Circuit Analysis
- Linear circuit analysis is very widely taught, both as a foundational course for electrical engineers and as a course in electrical engineering for students in many other engineering majors. Students frequently struggle to gain proficiency, due to lack of sufficient interactive activities, delayed and/or inaccurate feedback on their work, failures to address typical misconceptions, and other factors. Most available software products to assist in teaching such courses are answer-based tutors, that mainly check numerical answers. Such products may provide some help, but are typically not nearly effective as step-based tutors, in which the various steps and processes in student work are individually input and analyzed. Here, we describe our progress in developing a step-based tutoring system for linear circuit analysis, which can accept a rich variety of student inputs, such as re-drawn circuit diagrams, "hand"-drawn waveform sketches, algebraic and matrix equations (using a special template interface for the algebraic equations), lists of circuit element names, as well as conventional multiple-choice and numerical inputs. The system generates circuit problems of specified complexity and characteristics in real time, varying both circuit topology and element values, using specially designed algorithms for that purpose, and also generates fully-worked, error-free solutions for them. The solutions are not performed using modified nodal analysis, as in PSPICE, but instead by using the analytical methods typically taught in introductory circuit courses, such as node and mesh analysis, voltage and current division, superposition, source transformation, and so forth. A randomized, controlled laboratory-based trial was conducted in December, 2012, in which 33 paid student volunteers (currently or recently enrolled in the relevant course) used either two of our software tutorials (on identifying series and parallel circuit elements and on writing node equations for a DC resistive circuit) for one hour, or else worked conventional textbook problems of similar types for the same time (all students having full access to all material in the textbook). Learning was assessed for both groups using pre- and post-tests over these topics (with two different forms, randomly assigned to balance out any difference in difficulty). The results showed average scores rising only from 59 to 62% for the textbook users, but from 58 to 86% for the software users, a roughly 10X improvement in learning. The effect size (Cohen d-value) was 0.98 standard deviations of the control group, a very large effect, with high statistical significance, t(31) = 5.07. Full-scale class usage of these materials began in Spring 2013 in five sections of our course EEE 202, Circuits I, where to date over 260 students have used these tutorials. A total of 98.5% of the students rated the tutorials favorably this semester (i.e., said they were "very useful" or "somewhat useful," as opposed to "not very useful" or "a waste of time.") Over 74% rated them as "very useful," and many gave very positive feedback. The effect on student learning will be evaluated by a quasi-experimental comparison of student performance to prior semesters taught by the same instructors. Additional results and progress will be reported.
T2G: First and Second Year Programs II
- First-Year Students' Understanding of Direct User in Open-Ended Problem Solving Activities
- This paper presents an investigation into First-Year Engineering (FYE) students' ability to identify the direct user in open-ended client-driven problem solving activities. To guide FYE students in formulating an open-ended problem, students are asked a series of questions about the stakeholders, the direct user of the solution, and its needs. The purpose of these questions is to help students think about the problem individually by listing stakeholders including the direct user and the stakeholders' relationships to the problem and its solution prior starting to solve the problem in teams. One hundred (out of ~1600) students' responses to three open-ended problem solving activities during two successive semesters were randomly selected and analyzed. Results showed improvement in students' ability to identify the direct user over time. The majority of students' responses shifted from identifying non-users instead of direct user in the first MEA, to identifying indirect-users in the second MEA, and to identifying direct user correctly in the third MEA. This shows a clear improvement in students' ability to understand these problems over time. However, even for the third MEA, only 60% of students identified the direct user correctly, raising concerns about comprehension of the problem by about 40% of the students.
- Case Studies: First-Year Engineering Nanotechnology-based Design Projects
- Nanotechnology as a research field presents many new opportunities and challenges for educating the next generation of engineers. In this paper, we attempt to understand the impact of this research team's initiatives to increase engineering students' awareness and understanding of nanotechnology. This is a case study of how four student teams changed their iteratively-developed design solutions for a nanotechnology-based design project. The goal is to investigate how first-year engineering (FYE) students developed their demonstrated knowledge of nanotechnology. We found that all four teams discussed nanotechnology concepts from the beginning of their solutions. Although they had difficulty relating their nanotechnology applications to science and mathematics concepts, they had consistent ideas for the nanotechnology-specific content they wanted to focus on throughout their project. The results show that all four project cases have a clear potential connection to a field of engineering. Connecting nanotechnology to potential engineering fields may present a better content focus than science and mathematics concepts.
- Community Learning Component in First Year Seminar
- This Work in Progress paper describes current efforts to engage Liberal Art College freshman to the Engineering discipline and its impact to the broader community, through a topic-based, writing-intensive seminar course. In this particular seminar developed by the author, we aim to discuss the role of engineers in tackling challenges in the Community around the Hartford area and beyond. While students enrolled in the seminar course in this paper are mainly "undecided" students, we believe by emphasizing technologies applied to the immediate community around our students and humanitarian applications, we can inspire students' interest in Engineering and show students how the skills they will be learning can have a positive impact on the quality of life for the surrounding community. The seminar was assessed by gathering student comments concerning each major course components.
- Development of a Multiple-Choice MATLAB Theory and Syntax Exam
- Examinations in programming courses that require students to write code to solve a problem are an excellent method for testing how well a student has mastered language syntax, programming theory, and problem solving technique. However, if a student struggles with problem solving, it is often difficult for students to demonstrate any understanding of syntax or theory. To address this situation, faculty for a freshman engineering MATLAB-focused introductory programming course at a private southeastern STEM+Business-only university have been giving exams that are a combination of practical programming problems and multiple-choice questions. This research is focused on performing an item analysis of the questions appearing on those exams with the immediate goal being a multiple-choice exam with both topic coverage and documentation of it's ability to properly discriminate knowledge.
- Engaging Early Engineering Students (EEES)
- Undergraduate STEM student enrollment has declined substantially over the last decade. Specifically there has been a steady decline in retention of early engineering students working through the first half of their degree programs. Student "leavers" typically fall into two categories (i) those facing academic difficulties and (ii) those that perceive the education environment of early engineering as hostile and not engaging. The Engaging Early Engineering Students Project (EEES) is a collaborative effort between Michigan State University (MSU) and Lansing Community College (LCC). EEES functions through the integration of four component programs designed to ease the transition of high school students into engineering undergraduate programs, and, by making the transition smoother, to increase retention at the College of Engineering (COE). The programs are: (a) Peer-Assisted Learning, (b) Connector Faculty, (c) Diagnostic-driven Early Intervention and (d) Cross Course linkages.
T2H: Experiential Learning I
- Real-World Problem Solving in Entry-level Programming Courses: A Case Study on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
- The use of real-world projects in teaching STEM classes is not new. Research in education has shown the benefits on student comprehension and retention of projects that solve real-world problems. Furthermore, student's ability to see engineering's potential social contributions can stimulate female's interest in the STEM. But, real-world problems have seldom been brought in courses for incoming freshmen in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and non-STEM undergraduates who are interested in computing. In this paper, we develop a team-based, 6-week long project to teach students problem solving using computers. In designing the project, we prepared ocean color satellite images of BP oil spill and gathered multi-media about the incident. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico between 21 April and 31 July 2010 was the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. To deal with this unprecedented disaster, researchers and environment protection agencies have used satellite images to identify oil contaminated areas. The objective of student project is to design image processing algorithm(s) to outline oil spills on satellite images and develop computer software for it. In teaching introductory software development courses, software life cycle is an important topic being introduced, and algorithm design is essential to this cycle. Working on the project, students will learn to analyze the problem, inspect sample images and identify patterns. Later, they will design algorithm(s) and carry out validation(s). As an open-ended problem-solving project, it allows students to discover key concepts about computing science including user interface, array, decision-making and repetition in a hands-on way. It demonstrates how program is designed, rather than simply providing a solution. News media is played in the beginning as an introductory to the problem; a video titled "Hindsight and Foresight: 20 Years after the Exxon Valdez Spill" is used to emphasize the project's societal impact and help students to understand how their own work might help others. This student project was initially developed for teaching introductory programming courses in Java, it is later extended to use Visual Basic for general education course in computing and use Matlab for digital image processing class.
- "We Weren't Intentionally Excluding Them…Just Old Habits": Women, (Lack of) Interest and an Engineering Student Competition Team
- Student, experiential-learning, engineering, competition teams (SELECT) provide an opportunity for engineering students to practice engineering technical and professional skills. The low representation of women in SELECT is often rationalized as a lack of interest by individual women rather than systemic processes that discourage or exclude women. We employ a qualitative-interpretive design and a cultural constructionist lens to bring into focus the interplay of individual interests, understandings of appropriate gender roles, and structural elements that contribute to a culture of inclusion or exclusion. Primary data consist of 90-minute semi-structured interviews of eight team members and one non-member. By interpreting the narrative portraits of two female students, we show the construction of a team culture where in general women are discouraged from participation based on stereotyped gender roles, by night campus attitudes, and by peers who challenge or ignore their skills, contributions, and interests. One woman persevered through the male-dominated culture because she received the encouragement and support of male peers who engaged as comrades and champions. This paper offers recommendations for institutions to demonstrate commitment to equitable access to experiential learning and to nurture student peer cultures that challenge historic gendered ideologies and rhetoric.
- Convergence of Evolutionary Biology and Software Engineering: Putting Practice in Action
- This paper presents a project in experiential learning where students put knowledge of software engineering processes into action in a multidisciplinary project combining computer science and biology. Visualization serves as a primary element to bind the concepts of the two disciplines. Students seeking to further their experience and strengthen their skills in software engineering may choose to complete their senior capstone course working on an ongoing project to construct a toolkit for visualization of phylogenies generated from Avida experimental data. Avida provides a complex computational environment in which the evolution of digital organisms is tracked and analyzed to help find answers to a wide range of research questions. Student projects involve extensions of existing analytic and visualization techniques, as well as the addition of new, often novel, techniques. Importantly, to be successful a visualization technique must be appropriate for the domain in which it is to be used, requiring students to also understand elements of biology. It is our premise that exposing computer science students to the convergence of these two disciplines will strengthen their ability to work at different levels of abstraction and develop new conceptual frameworks to address current and future challenges in hardware and software.
- Using Different Methodologies and Technologies to Training Spatial Skill in Engineering Graphic Subjects
- Most papers about spatial skills and their components refer to the fact that engineering, architectural and scientific jobs require a good level of spatial ability. Spatial ability has an impact on every scientific and technical field, so it's still undergoing strong development when it comes to engineering, technology, art and many other aspects of life. In the academic environment, Graphic Design teachers usually see students who have difficulties solving tasks requiring spatial reasoning and viewing abilities. The main aim of this work is the development of didactic material based on several virtual and augmented reality formats, knowing how students behave while using them, and checking if they are useful materials to improve their spatial abilities. This work present Three different technologies: virtual reality, augmented reality and portable document format to find out if they are suitable technologies together suitable methodologies to improve spatial ability and from the student's perspective, their opinion of the tool and their motivation to learn more about the aspects of 3D reality. We present a pilot study that compared the results of improvement in spatial ability acquired by freshman engineering students also a survey of satisfaction and motivation of the methodology and technology used.
- Enhancing Engineering Mechanics Statics Instruction Using Manipulative Truss Models
- Enhancing a student's ability to mentally visualize and intuitively assess foundational concepts in engineering mechanics - statics can create a significant advantage for students in their pre-professional engineering courses. Concepts such as forces and moments often prove to be challenging for students lacking hands-on mechanical experience or those who are visual and kinesthetic learners. Showing students these "intangible" mechanics principles is not an easy task and usually requires proactive measures to improve learning. In an effort to improve visualization and tactile learning in a college mechanics - statics course, hands-on and visual truss models were developed based on the concept of physical manipulatives. Mathematics instructors use manipulative models to help students identify different mathematical concepts. These models not only allow the students to see and feel different objects but also to manipulate the objects to form a concrete representation of the concept. Furthermore, manipulative models help students visualize, feel, and analyze the behavior of the material being manipulated. This study examines the relationship between the use of a physical model of a truss and the students' framing of information during task interpretation to successfully attain conceptual understanding about truss analysis.
T2I: Mobile and Online Learning II
- The City as a Learning Gamified Platform
- The area of mobile city guides has grown really fast in the last years based on new mobile capabilities. This growth has been fostered by the evolution of ubiquitous systems and the great penetration of smartphones in the society. In this paper we propose a generic model to support a new way of visiting the city: instead of as a place for tourism, we see it as a place for learning in which located educational resources are available for end users. The model has been conceived as a way to encourage them to create their own educational tours, in which Learning Points Of Interest are set up to be discovered. Two main use cases are supported by the model: formal (conducted by a teacher) and informal (no educator is related to the learning experience) outdoor mobile learning. Details about the impact of the conjunction of tourism, learning and gamification dimensions in the model design, as well as about the model itself are provided. Finally, a mobile application prototype developed in the context of the FI-CONTENT European project is presented as a proof of concept of the model.
- A Contribution to the Quality Evaluation of Mobile Learning Environments
- In recent years, issues related to teaching and learning have been more and more discussed and investigated by the scientific community. Mobile learning (m-learning) environments, despite the benefits provided, are still considered as new and incipient products. Among the limitations observed in the construction and adoption of such environments, we highlight the lack of specific quality guidelines to allow an adequate evaluation of them. In short, the planning and execution of a systematic evaluation among m-learning environments can ease their selection and adoption by apprentices, tutors and educational organizations. Motivated by this scenario, in this paper we propose a process for the quality evaluation of mobile learning environments. To validate our ideas, we have applied the proposed process in the quality evaluation of a set of m-learning environments. The promising results achieved suggest the feasibility of adopting the process for quality evaluation purposes in the m-learning domain.
- A model for integrating learning object repository resources into web videoconference services
- Reusing Learning Objects saves time and reduces development costs. Hence, achieving their interoperability in multiple contexts is essential when creating a Learning Object Repository. On the other hand, novel web videoconference services are available due to technological advancements. Several benefits can be gained by integrating Learning Objects into these services. For instance, they can allow sharing, co-viewing and synchronized co-browsing of these resources at the same time that provide real time communication. However, several efforts need to be undertaken to achieve the interoperability with these systems. In this paper, we propose a model to integrate the resources of the Learning Object Repositories into web videoconference services. The experience of applying this model in a real e-Learning scenario achieving interoperability with a web videoconference service is also described.
- The Use of Text Mining to Build a Pedagogical Agent Capable of Mediating Synchronous Online Discussions in the Context of Foreign Language Learning
- The present paper discusses the use of text mining to support the design of a pedagogical agent that mediates synchronous online discussions of academic texts by undergraduate students of English as a foreign language. The pedagogical agent proposed here has the instructional role of a tutor collaborator that participates in the chat discussion following mediation strategies grounded on sociocultural theory to assist the collective writing. Furthermore, we propose a pedagogical agent model that uses text mining techniques to identify when students deviate from the main topics that should be addressed in their discussions in a real time chat. Another important function enabled by the use of the text mining tool involves the assessment of the discussion relevance in relation to the base text, which supports the pedagogical agent decision towards a more adequate intervention. The conception of using text mining to guide the pedagogical agent in the mediation of the students' discussions has been based on previous research that has already shown how this particular mining tool could support educators' work in the evaluation of essays and of students' contributions in discussion forums. Preliminary results of this study are also presented showing the agent's potential to foster students' online conversations.
- Towards an Understanding of ECE Students' Use of Online Homework Help Forums
- Online discussion forums have emerged as a popular Web application to build and support online communities for numerous engineering interest areas and practice. However, a review of engineering education literature reveals scant research on the use of online discussion forums for engineering learning beyond the classroom. This study addresses this gap in knowledge through a study of the "Homework Help" section on AllAboutCircuits.com to examine what students sought help for and for what purpose. We downloaded over 6,000 discussion messages spanning over 8 years and extracted the textual data with a Python program. Instead of analyzing the data through manual means, we utilized the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) to capture textual patterns and leverage a topic modeling approach, Latent Dirichlet Allocation, to identify connected clusters of words. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) analysis was also used to determine how often students use words associated with cognitive processes. We found that the homework help section of informal online discussion forums cater to students seeking help on fundamental ECE topics. Our findings also suggest that online discussion forums are supportive learning environments, as students freely engage in meaningful inquiries and social interactions with other learners.
Thursday, October 24, 16:00 - 17:30
T3A: Mini-Workshop: Catching the Wave: Big Data in the Classroom
- Catching the Wave: Big Data in the Classroom
- Many diverse domains—in the sciences, engineering, healthcare, and homeland security—have been grappling with the analysis of "Big Data," which has become shorthand to represent extremely large amounts of diverse types of data. A recent Gartner report predicts that around 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created by 2015 to support Big Data, with 1.9 million of those jobs in the United States. Therefore, understanding approaches and techniques for handling and analyzing Big Data from diverse domains has become crucial for not only in computing but also engineering students. The mini-workshop will make use of active and collaborative learning exercises to introduce faculty in computer science, software engineering, and other disciplines to concepts and techniques involved in managing and analyzing Big Data. Approaches for incorporating Big Data into the engineering and computing curricula will also be presented.
T3B: Special Session: DiSrUpTiOn
- During the last decade STEM education has been portrayed as a crisis, opportunity, and national priority due to its importance in a changing economy, upskilling of the workforce, effect of technology, globalization, and other forces. While engineers have been partly responsible for releasing these forces into the world, we currently stand accused of not being able to adapt our education system to the inevitable disruptions caused by the changing context of education. This special session asks participants to explore the effects of disruption across the range of scales that make up the engineering education system. The goal of the special session is not maintain the current fear dynamic, but rather to focus on new opportunities that can arise from shifts in how engineering education is provided, paid for, and accessed by students. Small groups will explore hypotheses about possible disruptions to educational structures, explore the consequences that arise, and begin a dialogue on change and what the research community can do to take advantage of new opportunities.
T3C: Innovative Computing Practice I
- A Teaching Method for Using Metaphors in Interaction Design
- The consistent use of metaphors in the context of Human Computer Iteration (HCI) helps to reduce the cognitive load necessary for understanding the functionality of a computational interface. Students´ understanding about a good usage of metaphors in HCI improves their ability to properly critique and design computer interfaces. However, is not simple to students to learn how to use metaphors in interaction design. To teach students to develop interactive experiences by means of metaphors is not an easy task. This work proposes a teaching method for using metaphors during the design of website, desktop, mobile or tablet interfaces and present results of a successful case study concerning the proposed teaching method. The teaching method developed is a model of collaborative learning based on King's questioning model and Ferreira's creative dimensions, that consists in creative tasks allied to questionnaires with structured questions and are designed to encourage interaction, group learning and to foment creativity in students.
- Computer Science Education as Part of an Undergraduate Program in Community Information Systems
- Social information systems have recently emerged as an empowering force for communities, organizations, and businesses. Consequently, new academic programs have been proposed around the globe, aiming at establishing a framework within which students gain experience in the socio-technical process of designing information systems in business, libraries, health, government, education and beyond. These new interdisciplinary programs often regard computer science (CS) as one of their supporting pillars and therefore include some core CS courses, aiming at educating broad-minded practitioners rather than expert programmers in the field of information systems. This paper presents some thoughts on incorporating CS education in academic programs intended for non-CS majors and proposes an approach called 'Program by Design' for the first CS course in a new undergraduate program in community information systems.
- Assessing the Effectiveness of Video Feedback in the Computing Field
- Engineering students exhibit a wide array of learning styles across the perception, input, organization, processing, and understanding dimensions. To improve students performance in the classroom, many techniques have been developed to address these variances. The computer fields, however, tend to have a large percentage of students who are visual learners. These students learn best by seeing, and they can do very well in the classroom with the appropriate usage of teaching styles. However, when it comes to providing feedback to students on submitted assignments, the main method employed is the written comment, which is not conducive to visual learners. This method is most prevalent in the academic community because overall, it is the simplest form of feedback that a faculty member can provide to students. However, written feedback is often highly ineffective at improving student performance, as many students simply do not read the comments because the students feel they are not relevant to their performance. This paper presents an assessment of an alternative method for providing feedback to students: video feedback. In lieu of written feedback, students are provided feedback for software engineering exercises through the use of a short video made via video capture. The video captures in multimedia format the instructors perceptions and actions when grading a given assignment. The video includes both aural commentary as the assignment is assessed, as well as dynamic visuals of the grading process, demonstrating failures and improvements that can be made in the submitted assignment. The article describes the pedagogical foundation for the technique, specifics of the technique used, student perceptions of the technique, and an assessment of the learning gains from using such a method in a junior level class. In general, students are show to prefer the technique versus traditional grading, and an improvement in overall outcomes for the course is shown to exist as well.
- Portable Lab Modules on Cloud Computing
- Cloud computing is a highly scalable model for delivering information technology resources and applications, on demand, as a service, to end users throughout the network. In recent years, cloud computing has been adopted rapidly and widely in industry. Notable cloud services include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Google App Engine, among others. There is a fast growing demand for professionals with cloud computing skills. However, the demand is not being fulfilled, partially due to the inability of educational institutions to keep up with technological advancements, as well as a lack of hands-on educational material. We have been developing portable lab modules which can be deployed in multiple courses to teach basic cloud computing concepts and skills early and often. The labs run on virtual machines and can be ported between different courses and to different institutions. Our purpose is to introduce basic cloud computing concepts to students early and often. The virtual labs can be performed in centralized or decentralized ways. To meet the learning outcomes, the students are expected to: 1) comprehend the fundamental concepts of cloud computing; 2) identify the building blocks of cloud computing systems; 3) understand the basic operation of open source cloud infrastructures; and 4) recognize commonly used, commercial cloud computing services and applications. We believe this approach serves the students well because 1) it provides students with multiple opportunities to learn cloud computing; 2) it does not require major changes to the curriculum and 3) it can be deployed and adjusted quickly. The tentative lab modules are as follows: 1) Open Source Cloud I: Container-based Cloud; 2) Open Source Cloud II: Xen Cloud Platform; 3) Open Source Cloud III: Virtual Computing Lab; 4) Cloud Management using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV); 5) Exploring Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud; 6) Google Cloud Connect; 7) Microsoft Windows Azure and Hyper-V; and 8) Distributed Cloud Storage.
- Functional Approaches to Teaching Concurrency
- Traditional approaches to addressing issues of concurrencyrely on mechanisms added to standard state based languages such as Java and C. In the former case, the language supports synchronization and access to shared state via "synchronized" methods and blocks, combined with a "wait/notify" mechanism used to block and awaken processes when a shared resource is not in an acceptable state. In C it is common to use the "pthreads" library to achieve the same purpose. The problem with this approach, however, is that mutable state is potentially accessible via many paths, and each such path must be analyzed for possible race conditions, deadlocks, and safety invariant violations. What is more, the non-determinancy inherent in these systems, coupled with rare, timing dependent failures, makes post-failure analysis and repair particularly challenging. Traditionally the headaches associated with concurrency have been the province of operating systems and database specialists. Today, however, with multicore systems becoming widely available, concurrent execution is the bane of application developers as well. Many trace the root cause of concurrency problems to shared, mutable state. If this is so, then two approaches to alleviating the problems are immutable variables and state isolation within distinct concurrent activities. Erlang, a language developed at Ericsson for distributed, fault-tolerant switches, is one such language. This paper reports on our attempt to include Erlang as part of our existing course on concurrent systems design. Doing so brings two significant risks. First, students may spend so much time mastering Erlang as a technology that they have no time left to understand how to apply it effectively. Second, unless we are careful, students may fail to understand how Erlang's philosophy differs from that of Java (with which they are most familiar). We believe the first problem can be alleviated by intelligent use of on-line materials and exercises; for the second, we plan to assign problems where the solutions in Java and Erlang are significantly different. The course offering where we will introduce Erlang will begin in our Spring quarter. Results from the approach will be ready well before the conference, and should serve as an inspiration or warning to those considering such a change themselves.
T3D: Real World Influences in Experiential Learning
- Using an Embroidery Machine to Achieve a Deeper Understanding of Electromechanical Applications
- Understanding the functionality of real-world machines and thinking about their improvements is a method to deepen the acquired knowledge of electrical and mechanical engineering students. The Department of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technical Journalism of the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in Germany provides a project-based learning environment in the so-called "project weeks". Three weeks of a term are available to do some real-world projects besides the regular courses . This provides a "project-based" learning environment that enables the students to connect theory and practice and to apply knowledge and skills to solve practical problems. In the winter term 2012/13 an unusual open-defined project was offered for the first time to third-semester students showing high potentials. The students were presented with an unknown embroidery machine and their task was to improve it, depending on their knowledge and abilities. This article describes a project in which an embroidery machine was used as a basis for developing better understanding of many aspects of electrical and mechanical engineering.
- Pedagogical Analysis and Multifaceted Evaluation of an Engineering Co-op Program
- The ever-increasing complexity and challenges of the higher education coupled with more public scrutiny for its efficacy necessitate more in depth analysis and evaluation of the educational best practices. One such practice is the cooperative (co-op) education. While co-op education has been around for more than a century, its implementation is still barely more than nominal in higher education. Even though there are studies published to demonstrate its effectiveness, more in depth studies, both spatial and temporal, seem to be warranted to narrow the widening gap between students' jobs-first and institutions' intellectual-experience-first expectations. In this paper, we summarize the first and highly successful co-op program in Turkey at TOBB University of Economics and Technology (ETU). Our analysis include a taxonomy of different co-op programs to contextualize TOBB ETU's. Further, we touch upon the theoretical underpinnings from a variety of generally accepted foundational work. As part of the evaluation of the program, we provide a preliminary assessment of a longitudinal study as the first from Turkey and one of a very few from the non-US, international institutions. We believe that ours is the first to report an evaluation of co-op programs in terms of pre-co-op, post-co-op and graduated students separately.
- Software for Senior Citizens: An Experiential Learning Course in Gerontology, Software Usability and Digital Literacy
- As our society adapts to new uses and forms of computing, many of our elderly citizens are being left out. The movement toward digital technology has much to offer the elderly: a wealth of news and health information and the ability to stay in touch with distant friends and family, to name a few. But with digital literacy moving from an attractive option to a necessity, many seniors - especially those on fixed incomes and with limited access to current technology - are experiencing frustration and helplessness. It is not only a valuable opportunity but a moral imperative for students in computing disciplines to be aware of the challenges facing this important but overlooked constituency. We have piloted a course that combines research in usability and digital literacy for the elderly with a community outreach program at the local public library. Our multidisciplinary graduate-level course investigates aspects of software design for an aging population. In their new role as tutors for the elderly, our students are placed in a position to question their implicit assumptions about use of technology. This paper discusses our goals and motivations for the course, our experiences to date, and our plans for future iterations and opportunities for expansion. In the classroom, students study the effects of aging, the lag in technology use by senior citizens, and the design and use of technology for the elderly. The topics in the reading list span usability, cognitive science, ethnography, and literacy studies. Students in the course discuss the cognitive, social and physical consequences of aging, and they experience a simulation of old age by wearing a "Third Age Suit" from Ford Motor Company. Students learn to use methods like participant observation, interviews, and user task analysis, to understand how elders use computers and how they think and feel about technology. In the experiential component of the course, students help community members with real computing needs. In conjunction with the public library, we offer weekly computer help sessions open to anyone in the community. Students in our class act as individual tutors, teaching elders how to use the internet to keep in touch with people, share pictures and letters, find information, and much more. Our students reflect on each week's tutoring session through a class blog. The tutoring experience at the library forms the basis for student-conducted research addressing technical, and social issues connected to the digital divide. In their projects, students have investigated a range of topics: receptiveness to Twitter, patterns of communication between tutor and student in the help sessions, use of user interface gestures by the elderly between different device platforms. These projects offer students the opportunity to pursue their interest in this area beyond the bounds of our course.
- Internal Combustion Engine's Throttle Control as a Motivational Theme for Teaching Microprocessors Systems Lab Classes
- The increased fuel economy and driveability of modern internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) are the result of the application of advanced digital electronics to control the operation of the internal combustion engine (ICE). Microprocessors (and microcontrollers) play a key role in the engine control, by precisely controlling the amount of both air and fuel admitted into the cylinders. Air intake is controlled by utilizing a throttle valve equipped with a motor and gear mechanism as actuator, and a sensor enabling the measurement of the angular position of the blades. This paperwork presents a lab setup that allows students to control the throttle position using a microcontroller that runs a program developed by them. A commercial throttle body has been employed, whereas a power amplifier and a microcontroller board have been hand assembled to complete the experimental setup. This setup, while based in a high-tech, microprocessor-based solution for a real-world, engine operation optimization problem, has the potential to engage students around a hands-on multidisciplinary lab activity and ignite their interest in learning fundamental and advanced topics of microprocessors systems.
- Using Scrum to Teach Software Engineering: a case study
- The diffusion of agile methodologies in software development makes them more mature for corporative environment. However, teaching agile methodologies on the academic environment poses many difficulties and limitations. This paper describes a case study where an innovative approach for teaching software development technologies was adopted. In this approach, the entire course was designed to fit Scrum's principles, so that the students could apply them as they were learning it. Also, the course's main project was to be developed in sprints, as proposed in Scrum. After almost two years using this approach, in this paper we describe our experience and provide a critical analysis. We observed some positive points, such as the practical nature of learning by example, and a better preparation of the students regarding agile methodologies. As negative points, we highlight the impossibility of delivering complete products in earlier sprints, and some interaction and collaboration difficulties. The main conclusion of this study is that a modified version of the Scrum methodology was necessary for the approach to work in our academic scenario.
T3E: Energy Engineering Education I
- A retrospective study of a personal energy audit assignment in a renewable energy sources course
- A retrospective study was conducted on analyzing student performances on the personal energy audit assignment in the renewable energy sources course. We analyzed student scores from 2006, 2009, and 2012 years respectively and categorized them by declared major. In this assignment, we asked our students to calculate the amount of energy that they consume in one week of their life in college and identify the activities that consumed the largest amount of energy. We also asked them if they would consider any habit changes after completing this assignment. The goal of this assignment was to introduce non-science and engineering students to the concepts of energy, power, electricity, heat, temperature, first and second laws of thermodynamics, embedded energy and would energy consumption. In total, the scores of more than 500 students were evaluated. We found that the average of the scores increased by 19% between 2006 and 2012, and by 14% between 2009 and 2012. The paper provides analysis of the student performances on this assignment and the overall effectiveness of this assignment.
- A hands-on laboratory experiment on concentrating solar power in a renewable energy sources course
- At Hartnell Community College in Salinas, California, a renewable energy and energy efficiency course is a theory based course with several hands-on laboratory experiments. The course is designed for engineering and non-engineering students who are looking to transfer to a 4 year institution. This course does not require any advanced mathematics or physics background. In order to enhance student learning in this course, we offered an additional hands-on laboratory experiment on concentrating solar power. The laboratory kit consisted of affordable and widely available materials that included 24 telescoping mirrors, stands, steel cup, thermometer, timer, and a cup of water. We asked the students to design, assemble, and test a central receiver concentrator with the goal to boil water contained in a steel cup. Upon achieving this goal, students were then asked to calculate the efficiency, define losses, and recommend ways of increasing efficiency and therefore improving their systems through. In order to record the level of improvement, each student was given the same questionnaire before and after completing the laboratory experiment. This paper presents the results of our findings on performance improvements in further detail.
- Design, Construction, and Testing of an Electric Machine Testbed for Use in Laboratory and Research Education
- Energy demands are growing every day and the need to improve energy efficiency in electrical devices has become very important. Research into various methods of improving efficiency for all electrical components is a key educational area required to meet future energy needs. Because of this need, an electrical machine testbed was designed and built in collaboration with a senior design team for the purpose of furthering research and education in the area of power electronics and motor drives. Both the engineering education and research capabilities aspects of this testbed have an important role in educating engineers with skills to quickly contribute to the power and energy related industry. This paper will discuss the design, construction, and testing of a research quality electric machine dynamometer and testbed for use in undergraduate and graduate (UG/Grad) education. The testbed was designed and built with the forethought to enable a wide variety of electric machine configurations and applications, as it provides a platform for testing of innumerous projects. The current configuration of the testbed features two identical 20 HP ABB induction machines in a back-to-back testing configuration. The "dynamometer" is controlled via an ABB (4-quadrant) variable frequency drive. The "prime mover" machine is driven from a custom IGBT inverter controlled via a dSPACE embedded controller. Both shaft torque and speed can be measured via a compact digital torque meter. The power wiring of the testbed is controlled by a Motor Controller and Safety System Enclosure (MCSSE). The MCSSE includes a standalone PLC system controlling the power flow throughout the system. The testbed machine mounting tables were built in modular fashion to accommodate various machine types and size The testbed system will be integrated into UG/Grad laboratory classes in the power electronics and motor drives areas. This will solidify the conceptual ideas presented in course lectures and will also serve to provide students with exposure to a typical testbed system at power levels that are greater than that of the current low voltage system academic setup (~200 kW). The testbed design will be discussed focusing on its impact on research and education. The individual components will be discussed on how they relate to modularity and operation of the testbed. This system level analysis is highly beneficial for students from a practical standpoint because highlights the inter-relation of different components, energy domains/levels, and system behavior. The testbed system was also constructed as a research platform. The research topics include electric drives systems, electric vehicle propulsion systems, power electronic converters, load/source element in an AC Microgrid, among others.
- Using Matlab's Simscape Modeling Environment as a Simulation Tool in Power Electronics and Electrical Machines Courses
- Electrical energy conversion has become ubiquitous in modern electronic devices, and in turn, creates a need to educate electrical engineering students in the power electronics and motor drives field. To meet this demand, newer and more effective techniques are required to educate engineering students. This paper will discuss the use of MATLAB, and in particular Simscape, as a simulation tool that is used to model multi-domain physical systems. Including Simscape in curriculum reinforces conceptual ideas presented in lectures. The overall system response (both static and dynamic) of power electronics and electrical machine circuits are demonstrated and emphasized using the Simscape language. The two major benefits to using the Simscape simulation package are increasing students' focus on conceptual material and their familiarity to modeling using MATLAB/Simulink. The first major advantage is that the core concepts can be demonstrated using a dynamic and visual approach. The second advantage of using Simscape is that the modeling domain is a physical environment i.e., it is develop by "drawing" the simulation circuit like the actual physical circuit. Therefore, incorporating a simulation package into traditional lecture material has proven to enhance educational learning objectives. Traditional lecture material usually does not include a simulation component and is primarily static in nature, where often system dynamics are minimally discussed at the undergraduate level. This new approach includes the traditional simplified static relationship and dynamic simulations in lecture, where system behavior can be visualization and discussion in greater detail. Working simulation examples are discussed in lectures and the code is provided to the students for them to modify and complete homework problems. Students are asked to work on the homework problems both in the traditional way (with a hand calculation to find a numeric static solution), and to execute a simulation of the system based on the provided lecture examples. The simulation is intended to confirm their traditional handwork solution. The second major benefit to students is a greater familiarity with a modeling environment, specifically MATLAB/Simulink. The use and knowledge of this common engineering simulation package is very useful for emerging engineers with the need to model and predict system behavior. When compared to other simulation based approaches (Java/Spice/Open), the Simscape has several advantages. These advantages include MATLAB's immense web-based information and examples, the versatility to work in many different domains (electrical, thermal, mechanical, magnetic, etc… ) in the same model, and familiarity with a widely used industry tool. The paper will include typical lecture examples and homework problems with simulations. It will also include student assessment data of a course taught with and without this simulation based approach. Student survey data will also be presented discussing their views on the effectiveness of this approach.
- Energy Efficiency: Teaching for Accreditation, Ethics, and Technology
- Increased energy demand in IT is growing rapidly as the world becomes more industrialized. Projections show that IT growth will continue to increase, with annual network growth at 45%. Increasing worldwide energy demands results in an increase in both costs and climate change. Using the energy efficiency topic, we address 5+ ABET learning outcomes, including ethics and local/global impact. One learning goal of this section is for students to learn what constitutes sound ethical reasoning and what does not (e.g. egoism). Another goal is to categorize the social implications of the technology into spheres of concern (local/national/global) and basic ethical theories (virtue/deontology/consequentialism). One of the best ways to teach ethics is to engage the students in identifying the ethical perspectives in use. We have created a table of justifications for energy efficiency and categorized them by ethical theory. Our main source for these reasons is Hot, Flat, and Crowded, by Thomas L. Friedman. For homework, students write a paper that includes both a technical and societal/ethical component to it.
T3F: Experiential Learning II
- The Use of a Classroom Response System to More Effectively Flip the Classroom
- This case study explores the use of a new, low-cost, state-of-the-art CRS (Top Hat Monocle) which allows students to use their mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) to respond to a variety of numerical, multiple-choice, short-answer and open-ended discussion questions posed during face-to-face workshops. In order to allow sufficient time to fully engage with the workshop activities traditional lectures were revised and the classroom lecture was flipped. Students worked through narrated lecture material (hand-e-lectures) online, prior to attending the workshops. CRS was included as part of the e-lecture content and feedback from this was incorporated into the workshops. Workshops extended the e-lecture content by including a variety of carefully designed, engaging activities (many were group activities) that used CRS questions to facilitate discussions, problem solving and case study analysis to enhance student cognition. Overall, the new flipped lecture and CRS teaching format demonstrated a substantial increase in the level of student engagement, motivation and attendance compared to previous cohorts.
- Development of an Automated Manufacturing Course with Lab for Undergraduates
- Many engineering programs at universities across the country have dropped machine shop and manufacturing courses from their curriculum due to budget constraints, accreditation requirements, and concerns about student safety. At the University of Portland, we have resurrected and enhanced a hands-on advanced CAD and automated manufacturing course that introduces students to advanced solid modeling techniques in CAD, such as sweeps, lofts, and surfacing methods. In addition, students learn manual machining and vacuum forming in our machine shop, along with learning how to create tool paths for CNC machining their designed CAD parts out of wax on various three axis endmills, a 3D printer, and a 3D laser scanner. The endmills were all refurbished and/or repaired over a period of four years to get this course up and running. A commercial software package, MasterCAM, was used in conjunction with SolidWorks as the platform from which to learn about automated manufacturing. In addition, a MakerBot 3D printer was built from a kit to give students experience with future manufacturing techniques. The 3D laser scanner was student designed and built and creates CAD surface models of parts, useful for learning about reverse engineering. The machinable wax used for machining is recycled, melted down, and formed into blocks again for reuse. This saves considerable money. Our goal has been to enhance design quality in our curriculum through experiential learning. Prior to taking this course, all mechanical engineering students are required to take a solid modeling CAD course to learn the basics. However, our experience has been that students do not conceptually understand the importance of designing for manufacture. Although emphasized in all courses, without the hands-on experience, it is difficult for students to remember to apply fillet radii to the bottom of pockets, for example. When faced with having to fit a block with sharp corners into a machined pocket with its default small corner radii, however, learning is instantaneous. The early outcomes of this course show students have learned a great deal about design for manufacturing, dimensioning, tolerancing, and manufacturing techniques from taking this course.
- Virtual Learning Environments in Engineering and STEM Education
- This paper discusses an innovative approach to teach engineering concepts using Virtual Reality based Learning Environments (VLEs). New learning modules have been created using Virtual Reality technology and introduced in interdisciplinary senior level and graduate level courses targeting mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering students. These Virtual Reality based learning environments have been used to teach micro systems related topics as part of overall efforts to enhance the learning experiences of students. The learning outcomes including student performance are discussed. The process undertaken to design and develop these VLEs are elaborated along with the technologies used to develop such environments. A brief discussion of next generation Internet technologies which hold the potential to impact engineering and K-12 education is also provided.
- Teaching computer programming: a practical review
- Much has been argued, both for and against the use of computers in Education. Those who argue for their use have claimed that computers may cut down school drop-out rates, improve low performance indexes in several subjects, for instance. On the other hand, critics have emphasized that both educators and students still lack capacity for the massive insertion of technology in the classroom. Training students to face several everyday situations and also those inherent to the job market means a challenge to modern school that intends to offer conditions so that a student is inserted in a society which ever more entails information and communication technologies. In Brazil, Basic Education curriculum does not include the teaching of algorithms and computer programming subjects. The purpose of this study is to report on the qualitative and quantitative results from teaching said subjects in a research conducted with low social and economic level students, in the age range from 11 to 13 years old, from state public schools, in the city of Assis. The guideline of the study was based on the principle that the adoption of a computational tool for teaching algorithms and computer programming may help improve the capacity to solve problems and the mathematical logical thinking of youngsters and teenagers. The computational resources used by teachers as pedagogic support may be classified as educational ones and as applications. In this study, we will approach the first classification. The purpose of educational software is to make teaching-learning processes easy, and this study is based on this point of view. Scratch was adopted as educational support for conducting this study. Scratch is a programming environment that seeks to make teaching and learning algorithms and programming easy. It has chart interface resources and commands in building blocks format that do not require students to understand a complicated set of theoretical rules. At the outset, 10 students were selected at random. The study was divided into three stages. The first stage involved giving a pre-test for the purpose of checking the knowledge level of the content to be studied. In the second stage, students took a 30-hour weekly course for three months. In this period, students worked with basic principles of information processing, logic, storing and retrieving data, comparisons, conditional and repetition commands, as a background for the performance of playful projects. Finally, the 3rd stage had students answer a test about the covered contents. This was an important test, since it helped us understand which concepts and skills were well taught in the 2nd stage and which would further require additional time to be taught. During the conduction of this research, it was noted that students were motivated at all times to learn the content and they cooperated in the good progress of the offered activities. The prepared projects as well as the positive answers given in the after-test are reasons for the future use of this approach with students enrolled in the 1st grade of the Computer Science course.
- Models of Adoption and Best Practices for Mobile Hands-On Learning in Electrical Engineering
- Pedagogical practices in electrical engineering education have been shifting away from teacher-centered learning during the past decade. An innovation that has enabled the adoption of inquiry-based and problem-based learning into the curriculum using experimentation coupled with simulation and analysis has been the development of portable oscilloscopes and other instruments that rely on tablet or laptop computers to perform some of the data processing and to act as the display. Faculty members at six institutions of higher learning have incorporated hands-on experimental activities into existing courses and/or developed new courses that take advantage of these new tools. Assessment data collected by these faculty members have demonstrated that the change towards student-centered learning facilitated by portable electronics increased student interest in electrical engineering, built student confidence in their ability to design circuits and systems, and supported the development of a deeper understanding of the theories that the students investigate or apply in the hands-on activities. A summary of the challenges that are faced in the different implementation models and a discussion of best practices are presented.
T3G: Game-Based Learning I
- Playing Online Games on Facebook: The Conscious and Unconscious Learning in Database Design
- This study intends to examine how conscious and unconscious learning in game-based learning (GBL) enhance student's understanding in database design. Conscious learning refers to intentional learning whereas unconscious learning indicates unintentional learning. Using Facebook's online games, this study evaluates the effectiveness of GBL in enabling students to grasp the normalization concept and Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD). Additionally, this study adopts content analysis of the semiotics approach for data analysis. The preliminary findings reveal that unconscious learning encompasses student's realization in that a purportedly simple online game is built on a complex, highly functional database. The preliminary results also uncover that conscious learning constitutes (1) student's cognitive reflection on normalization concepts during database design and (2) a better understanding of ERD resulted from the collaborative effort of database design. Drawing on these findings, this study infers that the aforementioned outcomes of unconscious learning lead to student's appreciation of conscious learning.
- TEST: Serious Game for Radio Communications Learning
- The game industry has suffered an impressive explosion of popularity, becoming the largest entertainment industry in the world. Games have become a sophisticated extension of the reality and an interesting way for complementing human mind utopias. Training software allows the trainee to immerse in quasi-real controlled situations that could be measured by trainers. In this work we discuss the duality existing between the training based on a serious game and a simple game, based on state of the art technologies. Then we show a training system for telecommunications technicians based on a combination between serious games and "traditional" e-learning platform. We show results for a trial made with a group of students from different disciplines (not only engineering) in order to evaluate learning outcomes using serious games versus other learning approaches. In this paper we discuss such results and make an statistical analysis of the results. In this paper we discuss about the characteristics of a serious game, show a serious game for learning telecommunications and an evolution of such game that was developed as a training tool used for training technicians in Radio Frequency related activities in the field and for learning in undergraduate courses. With this software, we conduct a trial with undergraduate students in order to compare learning outcomes between "traditional" learning activities like reading notes, learning activities using multimedia content and the game. The main contribution of this paper are the results of our trial, using descriptive statistics, to show the relationship between learning activities like reading, multimedia (video) watching and playing and the learning outcomes derived from each activity. For this purpose we apply a test to 66 undergraduate students from different disciplines after they have done some of the mentioned learning activities with different combinations: one activity and two (i.e. read and play). In this initial study, we have found some evidence of a bigger dispersion of results. Also, we found that the scores associated with the game activity are more disperse than those associated with traditional activities. A similar result is obtained for those students that play the game and read.
- Introducing Programming Concepts through Video Game Creation
- This paper presents adaptable materials that teach programming fundamentals via game programming with Greenfoot, a free Java based game development platform. The materials consist of five independent modules, each of which focuses on a group of related computing fundamentals. Each module includes the shell of a game, lessons that teach programming fundamentals, hands-on exercises that apply the fundamentals to add functionality to the game, and questionnaires and content-based quizzes that can be used to assess the effectiveness of the lessons. An instructor's guide is also included. These materials were used to teach computing concepts to high school students in two different venues in summer 2011 and 2012. Formal assessments found that the students experienced a significant increase in knowledge in computing and an increased interest in computing and likelihood of taking computing courses in the future. The paper describes the motivation for this work, how it relates to other works, the teaching and assessment materials, the key concepts covered in each module, the venues in which the materials were tested, and the results. It also discusses how the instructional materials can be used in other venues and provides a link to the materials so that others may use them.
- Assessing the Impact of Video Game Based Design Projects in a First Year Engineering Design Course
- Introductory engineering design courses are an opportunity to engage and encourage first-year engineering students. In one such course, we implemented a novel student design project using a commercial video game. The game, Kerbal Space Program, is a simulation of rocket travel and provides a reasonably realistic representation of rocket propulsion and orbital mechanics. Teams of students were tasked with designing a rocket that could fly to the home planet's moon and return safely. The efficacy of the project was assessed using a pre- and post-activity survey, and results are compared with those from a larger-focus research project on the effectiveness of toys in the classroom.
- Education for Energy Efficiency through an Educational Game
- This paper presents an evaluation of a educational game for teaching the efficient use of electricity. Developed with Adobe Flash, the game is a virtual board where participants choose a car, that start the path from the same point and should reach the same final goal, from the displacement of homes defined in terms of a dice that each player plays. The car moves if the participant is able to correctly answer a question that is randomly generated by the software. The objective of the game is to answer questions related to the energy efficiency topic promoting a healthy and attractive learning from participants on the concepts related to energy efficiency such as: rational use of energy, basic concepts of form of energy generation, among others. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the impact of the application of this virtual game in the teaching and learning of high school students. Therefore, the game was applied in the discipline of physics in a class of first year high school public school in the state of São Paulo. Initially, the class that had 43 students, was divided into 10 groups of 4 students and 1 group of 3 students. Each student group competed among themselves. The idea was that each of them could indicate a student who was the representative of this group on other until only 4 students were selected for the finals. At this stage, each student could interact with a group of up to ten students that acted as advisers. The evaluation process adopted is based on the model proposed by Savi. Then, at the end of the game the students answered a questionnaire prepared based in the model proposed by Savi. According Savi, although there are significant studies that show the importance of educational games for the process of cognitive development and for learning concepts of students, there are few papers that present forms of evaluation the potential of these resources. Thus, the evaluation criteria proposed by Savi are based on the model of training evaluation Kirkpatrick, taken as a reference to measure the efficiency of processes of continuing education courses for professionals. The authors assert that the metric of evaluation proposed to evaluate the game is based on the first level the model proposed by Kirkpatrick.
T3H: Open Educational Resources and Practices I
- Towards the Establishment of an Agile Method for OERs Development and Delivery
- Open Educational Resources (OERs) have been emerged as an important mechanism for democratization of access to education. In fact, the free and open distribution of these resources contributes with the dissemination of knowledge and facilitates the access to information, benefiting the society as a whole. Similar to software, the development of OERs requires the application of appropriate methods and practices to ensure the productivity and quality of the resulting products. Agile methods seem to be an interesting approach in this perspective. However, initiatives to foster the development and delivery of quality and reliable OERs, according to agile principles and with reduced costs, are still incipient. In our work we discuss the establishment of an agile method for the development and delivery of OERs. The proposed method is based on the main characteristics, practices and principles of well-known agile methods for software. To illustrate our ideas, the method is discussed in terms of its application in the development of an OER in the FLOSS (Free / Libre and Open Source Software) domain.
- A Model to support a Learning Object Repository for Web-based Courses
- The demand for digital learning content has been increasing in the last years and the advent of the Learning Objects (LO) concept has the goal of mitigating some of the difficulties related to authoring such kind of digital content, by proposing a reusable model and an open metadata standard classifications for them. Nevertheless, digital learning content authoring is often an expensive and time-consuming task that requires many distinct professional skills. One attempt to overcome it is the adoption of Learning Object Repositories (LOR), in order to smooth LO manipulation experiences for teachers and content authors. Some of its keys characteristics are: to promote LO dissemination and reuse to users in a unified spot; and, to serve LO through flexible searches and enforce a metadata standard classification. This paper proposes an innovative repository model to support LOR and their use in web-based courses in the context of an specific LMS, the Moodle environment. The model is flexible, enhances digital content searches and can be fully integrated with an institutional LMS. Moreover, it offers a social environment for peer evaluation and, more important, information about the student performance, resulting in an efficient evaluation of the available contents.
- Development of Educational Techniques for Computational-Experimental Analysis
- A curriculum wide initiative to enrich course content and increase student engagement in experiential learning through the adoption of new learning modalities is underway in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Miami University, OH. The projects entail the development of online learning modules which interweave experimental and computational analysis. The modules incorporate multimedia content which has been prepared with undergraduate and graduate student participation. The ComEx website has been designed to enable easy uploading/updating of material. The distinctive feature of the ComEx studios is the thematic linking of the content which allows them to be used for multiple classes with a progressive advancement in technical content. This paper presents details of the studio model: motivation, methodology, implementation and assessment. The learning modules can utilized by faculty to introduce new lab derived content, which may be related to their research, into a traditional class only course format. Additional benefits of the modules include the ability to independently review specific topics in preparation of advanced courses or for a research project. Assessment of the efficacy of the modules is being performed by students surveys completed online, and by four external (faculty) reviewers. Continuous improvement of the modules is underway.
- Using linked open data to improve the search of open educational resources for engineering students
- In this paper, authors apply the Linked Data Design Issues to describe and retrieve information that is semantically related to open educational resources related to the Engineering Education, that are accessible via the OCW Higher Institutions. Linked data have the potential of create bridges between OCW data silos. To assess the impact of Linked Data in OCW, the authors present an interface of faceted search for open educational content. The authors demonstrate that OCW resource metadata related to engineering open courses can be consumed and enriched using datasets hosted by the LinkedOpenData cloud
T3I: Inclusivity and Diversity I
- Latinos and Latinas in the Borderlands of Education: Researching Minority Populations in Engineering
- We use the "borderlands of education" as a metaphor for studying processes of educational exclusion in engineering and the social forces that create them. Latinas in engineering education occupy intersecting borderlands. On the path to higher education, they face numerous societal obstacles resulting from a legacy of racism. As women, they are on the margins of the masculine space of engineering. Though Latinas in engineering comprise a very small group, through their voices and experiences, we illuminate broader structural problems within engineering education.
- Minority Student Informed Retention Strategies
- Diversifying engineering programs is a major goal for almost all universities because expanding the diversity of students will broaden and enrich the knowledge and experience associated with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics community. This study looked to explore those factors that contribute to minority students' success and more precisely what contributed to their success the most so that recommendations could be made on how universities can improve their minority student retention. In order to do this, African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American undergraduate engineering students of various disciplines were interviewed using theoretically grounded qualitative methods. The transcripts were coded for patterns using NVivo qualitative analysis software and the patterns found are described in detail within this paper. These patterns gave us insight into the factors that contribute to minority students' success and therefore lead to recommendations on ways for college campuses to encourage and foster their minority students' success. The insights reported in this paper will hopefully help universities make changes that will greatly improve the success of their minority students in engineering majors.
- The Elephant in the Room: First-year Engineering Students Discuss Diversity
- This work in progress shares a developmental model for cultural humility, the understanding of our cultural selves in relation to cultural others within situated, geopolitical contexts, and locates first year engineering students within this model. The engineering education literature on the attributes that students need to develop in order to participate in the multicultural, global workforce has grown exponentially over the last 15 years. Engineering educators have recognized this need and are striving to meet ABET's general criteria 3, student outcome h, "the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context". While there has been a proliferation in the literature about curricular, pedagogical and assessment practices, the theoretical models used to understand this attribute have largely been classification models focusing on knowledge, skills and attitudes alone. While these models offer simplicity for assessment, they do not provide information about where engineering students are starting in terms of their understandings of and reactions to cultural differences. Engineering educators need to understand where first-year engineering students are starting in terms of their ability to discuss and negotiate socio-cultural differences. Locating students within a developmental continuum provides insight for creating and assessing developmentally appropriate curricular activities and pedagogical approaches. This relevantial, developmental model of cultural humility not only considers a progression of ethnocentric to ethnorelative worldviews but also considers the geopolitical context of situated actions and the actor's ability to negotiate mutually beneficial understandings. This research indicates that engineering students fall primarily within the first half of this developmental continuum which indicates they need structured, active learning activities as engineering educators encourage students to approach and explore both their own cultures (self-knowledge) and other cultures (perceived through the student's own cultural lenses). This paper focuses upon first-year engineering students' interview and focus group discussions probing their experiences with cultural differences at a large Midwestern public university and a similar large public university in Australia. The findings demonstrate that in order for students to be able to acknowledge and express their understanding of differences, they need and want models, tools and techniques to be able to communicate their thoughts about cultural differences and negotiate bridges of mutual understanding.
- Common Configurations for Engineering Student Support Centers
- In response to the persistent issues of retention and diversity, many colleges offer Engineering Student Support Centers (ESSCs). However, little is known about ESSC design or how these centers function alongside the engineering curriculum and within the larger systems of engineering education. Based on the current literature, there is a need to better understand ESSC design and how such centers influence the institutional experience of undergraduate engineering students. Our research seeks to address this gap by examining ESSCs of varying structure and configuration at multiple institutions. The overall study will use a multi-case study approach, which includes interviews and open-ended surveys with center administrators and engineering students. Preliminary results from the first phase of the project reveal a variety of ESSC structures and will assist us in representing the assortment of centers in the later phases of the study.
- Engineering Culture and LGBTQ Engineers' use of Social Change Strategies
- In this paper, I describe the theoretical framework for an investigation of the ways that engineers who identify as LGBTQ navigate engineering cultures. Previous work by Cech and Waidzunas, Bilimoria and Sewart, and Riley describe strategies that LGBTQ engineers use within highly heteronormative engineering cultures. The strategies described in the previous work fall into what Cox and Gallois refer to as social mobility strategies. Because Cox and Gallois assert that these strategies ultimately prove inadequate, I call for investigation of the use of social change strategies within the context of engineering.
Friday, October 25
Friday, October 25, 08:30 - 10:00
F1A: Mini-Workshop: Tools to Facilitate Development of Conceptual Understanding in the First and Second Year of Engineering
- Tools to Facilitate Development of Conceptual Understanding in the First and Second Year of Engineering
- We want our students to understand and apply key concepts in each course. However, evaluation of conceptual understanding as well other learning goals often occurs simultaneously through use of traditional problem-solving tests. Seldom do we measure pre-to-post learning gains. Creation, development, and use of instruments to evaluate conceptual understanding and facilitate pre-post assessment would likely promote constructive conversations among both engineering students and faculty members. Such instruments are often referred to as concept inventories, following a convention established by the Force Concept Inventory. What distinguishes concept inventories from typical engineering course assessment methods is focus on a small set of key constructs, focus on a specific domain of academic content, and focus on conceptual understanding or qualitative reasoning, as opposed to computational problem solving. Workshop participants will be able to (i) provide an overview of research on conceptual understanding, (ii) provide an overview of historical development of concept inventories, (iii) describe effective uses and some misuses of concept inventories, (iv) access existing concept inventories via the developing ciHUB.org platform, (v) discuss psychometric properties of existing instruments, (vi) describe how psychometric analysis can aid development of concept inventories, and (vii) become active members in a growing community of users.
F1B: Panel: Building an Inclusive REU Program: A Model for Engineering Education
- Building an Inclusive REU Program: A Model for Engineering Education
- Faculty, staff, and students from Colorado School of Mines' Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC) will discuss several strategies that have allowed REMRSEC to host a successful Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program over the past five years for more than 100 students. The REU has consistently attracted highly qualified, diverse applicants and participants from a broad range of educational institutions that include Doctoral/Research Universities, four-year liberal arts colleges, historically black colleges and universities, Ivy League schools, tribal colleges, and two-year colleges. The program has received a significant amount of national recognition and international visibility due to its strong mentoring component that spans a variety of engineering and science disciplines while engaging students in authentic research tasks. Audience members attending this panel discussion will learn how our REU has successfully connected faculty mentors and undergraduate student researchers together in experiential education activities outside the students' primary research endeavors that include extracurricular activities, field trips, hands-on laboratory investigations, interactions with other REUs, professional development opportunities, student-driven "snapshots" sessions, and weekly technical seminars.
F1C: Faculty Development I
- Improving STEM Classroom Culture: Discourse Analysis
- Every classroom constructs its own culture through the interactions of all participants, students and instructors. This culture, often covert or invisible, has a direct impact on students' opportunities to learn. Therefore, it is critical that instructors understand their classrooms' interaction patterns and their effect on student learning. We suggest that discourse analysis may serve as a tool to enhance instructors' understanding of their classrooms and to serve as an intervention particularly useful for junior faculty as they are beginning their teaching career. To this end, this paper (1) describes the theoretical foundation of discourse analysis and (2) demonstrates its application, effectiveness, and applicability in STEM classrooms, particularly at the introductory level, the time when students make their first steps in negotiating 'academic literacies'.
- PBL-Test: a Model to Evaluate the Maturity of Teaching Processes in a PBL Approach
- The increasing application of student-centered teaching approaches to solve real problems, driven by the market´s demand for professionals with better skills, has prompted the use of PBL in different areas, including in Computing. However, since this represents a paradigm shift in education, its implementation is not always well understood, which adversely affects its effectiveness. Within this context, this paper puts forward a model for assessing the maturity of teaching processes under the PBL approach, the PBL-Test, with a view to identifying points for improvement. The concept of maturity is defined in terms of teaching processes adhering to PBL principles, taken from an analysis of the following authors: Savery & Duffy (1995), Barrows (2001) Peterson (1997) and Alessio (2004). With a view to validating the applicability of the model, an empirical study was conducted by applying the PBL-Test to three skills in the Computing area. Results showed that although the model has shown it needs further enhancement, it has already been possible to identify improvements in PBL teaching processes that clearly affect the effectiveness of the approach.
- An Online Training Course for Instructors Wishing to Implement Team-Based Learning (TBL)
- Due to success at adapting and implementing team-based learning (TBL) for use in sophomore-level electric circuit theory courses, an initiative is underway to encourage other faculty to use TBL in their courses, and instruct them in how to do so. The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to describe an online training course that is being developed to assist engineering instructors in learning to use TBL as well as other forms of group-based student-centered active learning in the classroom. Currently, the course consists of five units, each of which culminates in a quiz that must be taken successfully before moving on to the next section. The content sections consist of Powerpoint slides plus detailed instructor commentary for further explanation. Also included are selected illustrative video clips taken during an exemplary classroom session.
- The Practical Applications of Understanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Motivation and Identity Development
- As the field of Engineering Education continues to grow so does the number of research studies. In this ever developing field, it is important to understand the practical applications and implications of this growing body of work. This paper discusses the initial practical applications of one study designed to examine the motivation and identity development of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). Our hope is that by sharing the initial practical applications of our work in the work-in-progress format, we can better define the appropriate applications of this particular study but also contribute to the conversation of research to practice in Engineering Education.
- Institutional Benefits Policies and Family Formation among Engineering Faculty
- This work in progress examines family-related benefits policies across doctoral institutions and the family formation patterns of engineering faculty. The nationally representative data come from the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty surveys of institutions and faculty. Data show that a little over half of engineering faculty members provide financial support to one or more dependents. Yet, many doctoral institutions do not provide childcare benefits or parental leave for full-time faculty and instructional staff, highlighting the need to examine the role of institutional structures and benefits policies in the career progression of engineering faculty with dependents.
F1D: Teams, Communication & Profession
- Innovative Practices for Engineering Professional Development Courses
- Many universities require engineering majors to take some form of a professional development course. Generally, the goal of these courses is to prepare students for their engineering profession. Another important aspect of these courses is to provide a mechanism to satisfy accreditation criteria on student outcomes that are difficult to implement in other technical courses. At the University of Oklahoma, most engineering disciplines take the professional development course titled ENGR 2002 - Professional Development. Historically, this course did an excellent job of satisfying accreditation requirements on student outcomes, but was not well received by the students. Details of the reasons for this dissatisfaction and changes made to address them are discussed in this paper. In order to provide the students with a better educational experience, a task force consisting of faculty members from different engineering disciplines was assembled to investigate methods of improving this course. The primary source of data used by the task force was ENGR 2002 student feedback. Additionally, industrial partners provided input on what their newly hired engineers were most often lacking. In May 2012, the task force completed their final report, which proposed several innovative ideas. Using the task force report as a guide, faculty with significant industry experience were selected to comprehensively redesign ENGR 2002 and teach the four sections of the course in fall 2012. Many of the innovative practices that were implemented are described in the paper. The principal change in the course was a complete shift to team-based learning. During the first class meeting, students took a personality test to categorize their leadership style. Later in the first meeting, nine teams, each consisting of four to five students, were formed. A LabView program was created to optimize the diversity of the leadership styles and engineering disciplines of the students in each team. In order to effectively explain the method in which teams would be formed throughout the course, the program's results were displayed to the students in real-time so they could see the algorithms working and which team the program picked for them. The teams then elected one of their members as the leader and started working on their first project. Over the 16 week semester, the students worked in four entirely different teams to complete projects focused on the following topics: Great Engineering Achievements, Designing Experiments, Ethical Disasters, and conceptualizing their own "Great Idea" to solve a market problem. The students were overwhelmingly satisfied with the new version of ENGR 2002. 86% of the students stated that the course added value to their curriculum. The course evaluations between the previous and new versions of the course were also dramatically improved. Survey and evaluation data from approximately 320 students are used to assess the effectiveness of different practices that were implemented. After the fall semester, the course was refined based upon lessons learned from the instructors and student feedback. Many of the logistical and instructional challenges that were overcome between the two offerings of ENGR 2002 are also explained in the paper.
- Professional Development for Mid-Career Women in Computer Science and Engineering
- This paper reports on self-rated career management knowledge, use, and confidence for women in computer science and engineering before and after participating in a CRA-W Cohort of Associate Professors Project (CAPP) professional development workshop. We find that months after their workshop, three years worth of participating women gave higher ratings for their knowledge and use of skills such as time management, networking, and productive mentoring relationships, as well as confidence in their promotability. These findings suggest that professional development interventions can have long lasting positive effects on mid-career women in computing, and that the type of group mentoring, role models, and community offered by CAPP can help compensate for women's reduced access to career mentoring.
- Planning Teamwork Teaching Based on Students' Feedback in Engineering Education of China
- Teamwork has been considered as one of the important learning outcomes for engineering graduates. Industry sees higher education as being where graduates should be prepared with these professional skills. Every year, a lot of engineering students graduate in China and how best to train these students to be good team players is an urgent and important need. This paper describes a planned, improved mechanism for teamwork teaching on a joint degree programme between a top Chinese university and a key British university. A previous experiment about teamwork teaching to Chinese engineering students was conducted in a Personal Development Plan (PDP) module that takes professional skills as its main objectives. This work describes an improved approach to teamwork teaching based on the experience derived from the previous practice and a summary of students' feedback about PDP that was collected from several questionnaire-based semi-structured interviews. The improved approach will be conducted in both the PDP module and a technical module - Software Engineering.
- Improving Student Writing Through Multiple Peer Feedback
- It is widely recognized that effective written communication skills are essential for engineers. However, many engineering instructors are reluctant to integrate writing assignments into their curricula and writing instruction is often relegated to a technical writing service course rather than in the context of engineering courses. One way to address these concerns is to use peer feedback. Recent research by Cho & MacArthur (2010) showed that feedback from multiple peers in a psychology research methods class was more effective in improving students' writing than feedback from a single expert—typically the instructor—or a single peer reviewer. When compared with single-expert and single-peer feedback contexts, multiple-peer feedback revealed improved students' understanding of comments, included non-directive recommendations for revisions—which resulted in made more complex repair decisions (global issues like organization and focus vs. local issues like sentence structure and grammar) and new content revisions as well as improved paper quality overall. The purpose of this study is an attempt to reproduce the results from Cho & MacArthur's study in the context of a first-year engineering course. Research questions include: 1. How do different forms of feedback affect improvement in students' writing quality in an engineering course? 2. How does the form of feedback impact student perceptions of the assignment? 3. Does training on feedback best practices for writing peer review affect the quality of peer review comments? This article will outline the project and address our theoretical framework and methods. Results of the research will be presented in a future article.
- An Empirical Study: Team Charters and Viability in Freshmen Engineering Design
- While the concept of teams has been diffused into engineering education as an instructional activity for nearly two decades, questions remain about how best to provide instruction so that it supports student teams' effectiveness without compromising technical content. Additionally, employers in industry, government, and higher education have an insatiable need for engineers proficient in work that requires multi-disciplinary teams. The issue is further compounded by the sky-rocketing cost of education—students and families want an acceptable rate of return on their tuition. Administrators must determine how to increase value-adding coursework. Engineering education and team literature is replete with theoretical and descriptive studies focused on adding separate team-building courses to the already full and expensive mandatory class lists. Students and their families do not want to pay for more credits; they want more for their investment. To this end the current study looks at one facet of planning, team charter enactment, in relation to team effectiveness—operationalized as team viability within an existing freshmen design engineering course at a large Mid- Atlantic university.
F1E: Philosophy of Engineering and Engineering Education I
- Drafting Program Educational Objectives for Undergraduate Engineering Degree Programs
- This paper outlines the process to draft Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) appropriate for undergraduate engineering degree programs at ABET-accredited institutions of higher education. In the ECE department at our University, the existing PEOs were deemed to have language that was very similar to that used in the ABET student outcomes. Therefore, it was imperative to distinguish the PEOs from the ABET student outcomes since the PEOs must quantify the expected attainments of graduates a few years after graduation. First, PEOs must reflect the Mission Statement of the institution and serve as a yardstick of student achievement three to five years following graduation. The objectives represent the expectations of the department from its graduates. Active participation by the faculty in defining the PEOs yield clear and concise objectives and promotes ownership of the goals of the Department and ABET process. However, not all faculty members are necessarily familiar with the assessment language and the process to evaluate the PEOs. In order to ensure a meaningful contribution from all faculty members involved in defining the PEOs, this paper presents a framework to define the PEOs that (1) adhere to the Mission of the University (2) achieve consistent and measurable expectations.
- From Global to Local: Investigation of Necessary Engineering Skills for KBE Transformation in Qatar in the Context of Global Engineering Attributes
- Engineering in particular and other relevant STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) fields in general are the most critical areas for a nation to consider while seeking for- or maintaining a knowledge based economy status (National Academy of Engineering, 2004 & 2005; NRC, 2007; Pinelli and Haynie, 2010). Increasing complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the engineering profession requires equipping engineering graduates with a set of non-technical skills such as communication, decision making, problem solving, management, leadership, emotional intelligence, cultural awareness, and social ethics. A global literature review of skills outcomes of engineering degrees in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific showed that students lack in these soft skills (Patil and Codner, 2007). Certain core engineering competencies such as problem solving, design, and analytical thinking became essential in the 21st century work force even for those who would study and work in non-engineering disciplines (Educate to Innovate, 2009). Qatar government has set a strategic vision to transform its economy from hydrocarbon based into a knowledge based by 2030; Engineering and technology are at the core of realizing this aim. A number of key thematic areas for an engineering education that is fitting with a KBE requirements are identified and explained in further details: 1- Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2- Engineering Leadership (technical and societal), 3- Engineering Design, 4- Engineering Creativity and Innovation. Focusing specifically on futuristic characteristics of next generation of engineering graduates, a list of 20 attributes of future engineers has been identified in the literature in support of the four engineering KBE themes identified earlier; 10 attributes belong to technical aspects, and 10 attributes belong to non-technical aspects. These attributes were derived from global studies on future engineers in USA, UK, Europe, and Australia, such as the UK study: "Educating Engineers for the 21st Century: The Industry View" and the US study: "The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century". For assessing the current status of Qatari engineering graduates attributes, an instrument in a form of Questionnaire has been implemented. The core part of the instrument was utilized to collect data from four different samples: 1- Senior engineers in the local industry, 2- engineering academics from Qatar, 3- undergraduate engineering students in Qatar, and 4- postgraduate engineering students in Qatar (mainly professional working engineers). While data analysis have shown satisfactory evaluation of the awareness level of aforementioned groups in both technical and non-technical attributes, significant gap in the perception level between groups has been detected in two of the identified attributes which are mainly communication and practical skills. . The paper will present major findings in the international studies relevant to global engineers for KBE, as well as display the localized gap in awareness and readiness of multi-tier engineering population. Main findings generated from statistical data analysis are highlighted and utilized in a way that emphasizes the role of engineering education in building up future human force to support KBE development.
- Sustainability and the Engineering Worldview
- This paper explores what is included in the worldview of the modern engineer and how this compares to the concept of sustainability. Worldviews are important to humanity because they are interwoven throughout civilizations. Societies do not contain but one homogenous worldview, however, they do essentially contain a dominant worldview characterized by the collection of values, beliefs, habits, and norms. This dominant worldview forms the frame of reference for a collectivity of people, such as a nation or culture. In this paper, we attempt to articulate modern worldviews, the contemporary engineering worldview, and the sustainability worldview. We use the concept of worldviews to address the compatibility of sustainability and engineering. Our synthesis suggests that the two ideologies are misaligned and incompatible in many respects. We suggest that for sustainability to gain prominence within an engineering context, engineers and engineering educators must first become conscious of these inconsistencies. Through the philosophical synthesis presented in this paper, it is our goal to begin rethinking how we educate engineering students about engineering and sustainability.
- Urban Sustainability - an Engineering Course for General Education - Making the Case for Engineering to be Active in General Education
- This paper will address two closely related topics. The first is the design and successful delivery of an engineering course for General Education at the university level. The focus of the course is how the built environment influences the social, economic, and natural environment. Engineering decisions about the materials used to create the built environment affect structural integrity, energy performance, and the sense of place in cities. These factors, in turn, affect the quality of life for all citizens - so the topic of this course is of interest to students of all disciplines. As such it offers an opportunity to introduce non-engineering students to the way that engineers think and make decisions. The second topic is an exploration of why engineering departments are not typically major players in General Education. We in engineering have often secluded ourselves from the rest of the university. The effect of this is that students outside of engineering view the subject matter as out of reach when many of the main ideas are really central to the shared life of our nation. One way to overcome this barrier is to offer engineering courses meant for students of all academic disciplines.
- Recommendations for Engineering Doctoral Education: Design of an Instrument to Evaluate Change
- In recent years, many studies and reports have highlighted concerns and problems with engineering doctoral degree recipients. Criticisms have come from professionals in both industry and academia, as well as from current and former Ph.D. students. Given the dissatisfaction of a variety of stakeholders, there have been calls from professional societies, disciplinary bodies and federal agencies to improve doctoral granting programs across the U.S. and to educate Ph.Ds. who are equipped with skills and attributes necessary to meet the highly-competitive and rapidly changing 21st century workforce [1, 2]. Within this context, this study focuses on the perspectives of working professionals from both academia and industry. Preliminary findings were obtained from one-on-one interviews with forty engineering Ph.D. holders who are from industry and/or academia. They recommended practical measures for engineering doctoral students to obtain desired characteristics upon graduation. Using the preliminary results, the work in progress precludes the design of an instrument to evaluate on-going changes to different aspects of doctoral education. The instrument will serve as a useful tool to understand the degree and scope of changes in engineering doctoral program. Portions of the instrument informed from these recommendations are provided.
F1F: ECE II
- Physics of Computing as an Introduction to Computer Engineering
- This paper describes a new required course in the Georgia Tech computer engineering curriculum, ECE 3030, Physical Foundations of Computer Systems. This course, which is recommended for the junior year but is early in the prerequisite chain, provides a very non-traditional introduction to computer engineering. Traditional introductory courses take a constructive approach to logic design and computer organization. 3030, in contrast, introduces the major physical concepts underlying computation. It shows how they determine basic properties of computers such as speed and energy consumption. It also explores design trade-offs by showing how changes that improve one type of property inevitably, due to physics, cause another useful property to degrade. The course emphasizes CMOS but many of its principles apply to other logic technologies as well. The course uses basic device physics to understand the delay and energy consumption of logic gates and logic networks; it demonstrates the inherent trade-offs between performance and leakage current; it studies basic problems in sequential system design including clock distribution and metastability; it describes various forms of memory, the causes of the memory wall and remedies for it; it analyzes heat transfer in server farms; and it considers the technologies behind batteries, semiconductor manufacturing, and other important topics. Students do not directly design logic or learn assembly language---for example, delay and energy consumption are studied for inverter chains. However, they have time in the course to study in detail the basic physical phenomena that underlie design choices in digital systems. Those principles help students absorb material in later classes such as VLSI design. 3030 introduces certain topics to students much earlier in the curriculum than is traditional. We believe that an early introduction to principles is important not just for students who become logic designers but for all computer engineers. Computer architects need to understand the rationale behind the limitations of memory and leakage current. Embedded software designers need to understand the physical costs in time and energy for programs.
- Automatic Generation of Characterization Circuits - An Application in Academia
- Standard cells include basic digital circuits that are used to build larger circuits. Examples of the cells in a standard cell library are inverters, NAND gates, NOR gates, flip-flops, etc. Circuit (cell) characterization is an important topic in many digital circuit design courses in the electrical and/or computer engineering curriculum. Different aspects of the characterization are: performance, power consumption, and reliability. Although the teaching of circuit design has been addressed by many researchers, we have not come across a mechanism for creation of characterization-oriented circuits for educational use. Here, we present such a tool named SpiceGen in the online format for use in the academia. The circuits (represented by Spice netlists) are generated by SpiceGen depend on several variables, namely: (1) cell type; (2) technology node (i.e., 16 nm or 22 nm); (c) supply voltage (VDD) and operating frequency (f); (d) transistor dimensions; and (e) variations in transistor dimensions and threshold voltages (VTH). The netlists (including the testbenches) are customized based on the type of characterization being done; currently, the types are: (1) measurement of gate (cell) rise and fall times and noise margin (NM) (using voltage transfer curves/VTCs); (2) delay and power measurement; and (3) maximum frequency (fmax) measurement. SpiceGen automatically includes in the netlists, the required waveform-shaping and load gates. Customized stimuli that depend on VDD and fmax are also added. Depending on both the cell-type and the characterization-type, tailor-made measurement commands are inserted in the netlist, as well. As an example of SpiceGen usage, the students in a low-power digital design course are asked to measure the failure rate of a 22 nm inverter-gate when subject to VTH variations at (1) nominal VDD = 0.8 V; and (2) near-threshold VDD = 0.5 V. pMOS and nMOS transistor dimensions are set to 4:1 and 2:1, respectively. For the given problem, SpiceGen quickly and accurately produces a netlist. The dimension-dependent random variations in the transistor VTH are also incorporated into the netlist. 1000 Monte Carlo simulations are then performed using a Spice simulator. Finally, a Matlab script is used to calculate the static NMs (SNMs). We encounter 7 instances of inverter failures as a result of VTH variations, i.e., the failure rate is 0.7% at VDD = 0.8 V. (A failure occurs when SNM < 0.2xVDD). The failure rate is higher with a value of 2.8% at VDD = 0.5 V, alluding to the greater susceptibility of the circuit to random variations at lower VDD. During the current year, we are planning to introduce SpiceGen in at least two courses on digital design and computer architecture. In other universities, SpiceGen is expected to a be a valuable addition to the tools used in electrical/computer engineering's design courses on low-power digital design, very large-scale integrated circuit design, nano-circuit reliability etc.
- Issues of Recruitment and Retention for a New Engineering Provider
- As a new provider of engineering, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) faces a significant number of challenges in attracting and retaining quality students. As the primary funder of Universities, the New Zealand Government is providing conflicting funding directives, desiring an increase in student numbers, but penalizing poor course completion rates and banning funding on foundation or bridging courses. This paper details the development of a successful engineering programme, focusing on the modern "digital" aspects of engineering, in the face of these challenges.
- Integration of Funded Faculty Research, Capstone Experiences and Industry Requirements
- This paper presents a senior design strategy integrating funded faculty research and industry requirements. Students participating in this type of senior design are directly involved with all the aspects of a complete system development cycle focusing on user needs and requirements. All the aspects of the project represents higher quality and larger scale than typical senior design projects, and in this way better resemble industry projects. The case study presented herein is a practical industrial project sponsored by a faculty member ‒ the construction of a research quality electric machine dynamometer and test-bed.
- A Builder and Simulator Program with Interactive Virtual Environments for the Discovery and Design of Logic Digital Circuits
- This paper describes the features and applications of a computer program for building and simulating digital circuits with standard and custom integrated circuits, virtual environments and other useful and practical elements such as interactive tutorials and schematic circuits. By using virtual logic modules users can insert integrated circuits into breadboards, trace wires, change switches and check outputs in displays, almost like in a real life laboratory. Also students can use virtual environments to test circuits as if they were in the real world. Users can design digital applications with more components and reuse their designs to show additional examples and study more applications while saving time and money. This program supports several instructional methods. In inquiry-based learning students can be guided to experiment with integrated circuits and logic symbols in order to discover truth tables for basic logic functions and then search for patterns, principles, abstractions and applications. In project-based learning students can try solutions for virtual environments such as traffic light controller, water tanks, kinematics experiments and elevators, and then build solutions in the real world with more confidence. Earlier versions of this software have been used on many high schools and universities in Europe and Latin America.
F1G: Game-Based Learning II
- Integration of SCORM packages into web games
- This paper presents a model that enables the integration of SCORM packages into web games. It is based on the fact that SCORM packages are prepared to be integrated into Learning Management Systems and to communicate with them. Hence in a similar way they can also be integrated into web games. The application of this model results in the linkage between the Learning Objects inside the package and specific actions or conditions in the game. The educational content will be shown to the players when they perform these actions or the conditions are met. For example, when they need a special weapon they will have to consume the Learning Object to get it. Based on this model we have developed an open source web platform which main aim is to facilitate teachers the creation of educational games. They can select existing SCORM packages or upload their own ones and then select a game template in which the Learning Objects will be integrated. The resulting educational game will be available online. Details about the model and the developed platform are explained in this paper. Also links to the platform and an example of a generated game will be provided.
- An Educational Simulation Model Derived from Academic and Industrial Experiences
- Simulation games are gaining increased interest among academic researchers and practitioners where conventional teaching approaches are not adequate. In the Software Engineering field, simulation games are commonly used for enhancing the learning and understanding of complex themes such as software processes. This complexity is represented by intrinsic software development characteristics such as multiple feedback loops and the cause-effect delays. One fundamental aspect for the development of a simulation game is the definition of its simulation model. A simulation model contains some dynamic features and phenomena of the system it represents. It typically involves a set of assumptions concerning the system operation and it is used to translate the underlying system model, with given inputs, producing its behavior pattern. In this work, we describe an approach to create an educational simulation model derived from academic and industrial experiences. We focus on the systematic activities executed during its development. The created model was applied in a Software Process Improvement simulation game, named SPIAL (Software Process Improvement Animated Learning Environment). A set of important issues were identified. Our work can help developers during the creation of simulation games for educational purposes.
- Adding Social Elements to Game-Based Learning - An Exploration
- Game-based learning is to present the instruction by games in learning, with the main purpose of triggering learners' motives instead of instructing the courses. Thus, increasing learning motive by game-based learning becomes a common instructional strategy to enhance learning achievement. For example, in the engineering field, the first person shooting game "The Monkey Wrench Conspiracy" was developed to help engineers understand how to use 3D design software. In the medical field, "Re-Mission" was developed in medical field to help patients understand cancer. Moreover, "Virtual leader" was developed to help players learn to play the role as a leader in a team. However, it is not easy to design interesting games combined with courses. In 2011, Echeverria proposed a design to combine characteristics of games with elements of courses by matching the virtual scenarios in games with proper courses. However, in the past game-based learning, students were gathered in regular places for several times of game-based learning. Students' learning was limited by time and space. Therefore, for students' game-based learning at any time and in any places, based on theories of design elements of online community game Aki Järvinen, this study treats Facebook as the platform of games. The development by online community game is easier, faster and cheaper than traditional video games. In 2006, Facebook allowed API program of the third party. Therefore, by Facebook, this study provides the platform for students to learn in social lives to explore students' activities in online community games. Questionnaire survey is conducted to find out if the design of non-single user game is attractive for students to participate in game-based learning. In order to make sure that the questionnaires can be the criteria to investigate students' intention to play games, by statistical program of social science; this study validates reliability and validity of items of questionnaire to effectively control the effect of online community games on students' learning intention.
- Using Game-Based Learning and Simulations to Enhance Engineering and Management Education
- It is often difficult in a business setting to provide a "learn by doing" atmosphere where finances are involved. Most businesses allow their employee leeway in making decisions, but not enough so that balance sheets and future business opportunities are affected. Simulations allow students in an educational environment to experience tasks and the results of their decisions, which they will be asked to perform upon graduation. In the construction industry, many employees are hired that do not have the training or coursework at the university level that provides them access to such simulations. New employees are often placed in a position, trained to do the daily tasks, but not enough time is available to provide them with the opportunity to experience the entire operation of the business. Simulations and learning games use technology to create real-world experiences to provide an opportunity to engage, enjoy, and learn. Many simulations have been designed to meet specific learning goals, i.e. sharing case studies to demonstrating very complex situations. Simulation and gaming is not new to higher education but in the past was done in a very narrow vein and because of the complexity and development time required to produce them. Most have not been robust enough to engage students. Managing engineering and construction involves being able to make decisions that involve balancing time, cost, quality, resources, and identifying and solving a variety of issues related to the selection of equipment, labor, and tools. The skills required of today's construction engineering and management professionals are a combination of management skills and technical knowledge. The simulation, Construction Industry Simulation (COINS), has many of the decision and overview tools but in the Heavy Civil construction sector, a major area key to successful management is equipment management. This paper describes the development and implementation of a COINS designed and developed at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) to prepare construction engineering and management students for the real world.
- Making In-Class Competitions Desirable For Marginalized Groups
- Inspired by research that indicates that direct competition is not always comfortable for female students, we redesigned an existing class competition to permit students to choose whether they wished to participate in either direct or indirect competition. We pilot tested it in the Spring of 2013 in a undergraduate/graduate class on introductory artificial intelligence at the University of Oklahoma. Although the results for female students are inconclusive due to their small number, we observed that international students embraced the indirect competitions. This suggests that allowing the option of indirect competition may also appeal other groups of students who can be marginalized in engineering. Our results indicate the international students prefer the less risky option of indirect competition.
F1H: Learning Theories
- Evaluation of Computer Modules to Teach Metacognition and Motivation Strategies
- Two e-learning modules are being developed to improve self-regulation and lifelong learning readiness. More than 150 mechanical engineering students completed first versions of the two modules in 2012. An evaluation of the module results suggests that students are learning the module content and tend to enjoy taking the modules. The modules were also tested as an intervention for improving lifelong readiness as measured by the SDLRS. Comparing scores of the SDLRS taken before and after the modules showed a statistically significant gain (p<0.1). Comparisons were also made between the 2nd and 3rd year classes and between women and men. Suggestions for improvements to the modules have been identified.
- On Mentoring Relationships: How to Become a Good Mentor
- Mentoring is not a new concept. Many of us have benefited from a trusted mentor. Perhaps we called them a friend, family member, or an advisor, whose opinions and experiences we trusted. They created an intangible bond with us through their experiences, opinions, and the time they took to give us advice and counsel. As professional engineers, many of us have the same opportunity—by getting involved in two aspects that are vitally important to the engineering profession. The first is to make an incredibly positive impact on the life of a young, aspiring professional or student. The second is to help solidify the role of engineering in a fast paced, diverse landscape. How best to start? Begin by assessing what we have to offer as mentors. The main role of a mentor is to stimulate students or young professionals to think in new and creative ways. One of the biggest values to bring to mentoring is a broad perspective—and how that perspective can be of value to students. From author's experiences, a key issue in "starting where they are" relates to our own preconceived notions about students and their abilities to evolve into the field of engineering. It is all too easy to consider general educational trends that indicate a woeful lack of most students' preparation in math and science. The logical extension of such thinking is: they don't have what it takes to succeed in engineering. Let us not waste our time and resources. In light of this, do we simply give up? Or do we rally our resources to help students do better? There is only one real option - how do we meet students where they are in their educational preparation, and how do we help them develop their core competencies so they could one day become engineers? The proposed paper takes a practical look at the challenges and rewards of experienced engineering educators becoming mentors for students or young practicing engineers. The author recommends an approach to mentoring that is deep in self-evaluation, one that considers the intellectual, social, and professional development needs of students and young professionals, and the need for taking little steps—one step at a time—that makes a big difference. Such an approach to mentoring will help encourage students, particularly underrepresented groups, to pursue careers in engineering. The relationship between the mentor and the student may last for many years after student's graduation. Often it is difficult to define, in a clear manner, what mentoring is and how a professor can become a good mentor. The proposed paper describes some attributes of mentoring and sketches out how a faculty member might become a good mentor to students.
- The Effects of Teaching Material Remediation with ARCS-Strategies for Programming Education
- In this paper, a method for improving the teaching materials of programming education is introduced, and the evaluation of the effects of using the strategy is presented. By using this method, the teachers of programming education will be able to assess and improve their teaching materials irrespective of their knowledge and experience of their teaching materials already used. In this method, the teaching materials were improved based on the statistical analysis of the motivation of students. Specifically, the motivation of students was measured for each lower category of ARCS motivation model with the authors' original questionnaire. The lower category in a particular lesson that showed a statistically significant decrease from the previous lesson was identified, and the improvement strategies for the lower category were selected from the list of motivation strategies in the ARCS model. The teaching materials of programming education were then improved based on the strategy. In this research, five lower categories of particular lessons in a programming course were identified, and the teaching materials were improved. The improved teaching materials were used in the following programming course, and the effects of the improvements were seen in three lower categories out of the identified five lower categories.
- A Framework to Examine Fidelity of Implementation of a Hybrid Instructional Model for Computer Engineering Courses
- Engineering education plays a key role in preparing students for challenges in an increasingly globalized technological world. Empowered by continued technological advances, many institutions have introduced innovative instructional models to improve teaching. For years, instructors struggled to deliver the mandatory amount of content at a manageable pace for students until recent years when online virtual lectures became available. Online lectures now are utilized to convey the required content without overwhelming students, allowing them to study and review lecture materials at their own pace. Despite the evident benefit in applying online lectures, many students did not adequately use these online lectures as expected. Disparities between the intended curriculum and the learned curriculum have led to concerns regarding the effectiveness of new approaches. Our current study addresses the emerging issues that instructors encounter while implementing innovative teaching models. We develop a framework to examine the fidelity of the implementation of a hybrid instructional model applied to an undergraduate upper-division computer engineering course. We analyze the data collected from in-class surveys to examine what impacts, if any, the developed instructional model has on student learning. Our hybrid model includes online lectures through streaming videos that deliver the majority of the course content. Online quizzes were administered to assess students' understanding after they watched these lectures. The course had an exceptional schedule arrangement due to the instructor's limited availability. The class met for 4 hours every other week while the online lectures were delivered weekly. During the in-classroom lecture, the instructor clarified important concepts and answered students' questions. The instructor also spent about an hour introducing new materials that were not covered by online lectures. Students spent the majority of in-class time solving problems and doing hands-on lab activities. The course included an important Team Project component. Students were divided into small groups of 2 or 3 to complete the one semester-long Team Project assignment. We used the experimental design method to adjust instructional techniques based on the results of research questions and assessed the effects of the adjustments. The course instructor and the researcher communicated frequently and applied feedback from student survey responses to improve teaching and learning throughout the semester. Thirteen students enrolled in the course and participated in the study. They responded to three surveys conducted at the beginning, the midterm, and the end of the semester. Other artifacts, such as team project and exam papers were analyzed as part of the learning outcome assessment. We find the level of fidelity for the intended, implemented, and learned curriculum differs and identify causes leading to these differences. We apply the developed framework that categorizes factors under the three groups of curriculum to depict their relationships. We believe instructors' content and pedagogical knowledge and their perceived students' needs have shaped the pedagogies that have impacts on student learning. Students' prior knowledge, motivation, and effort are also influential. We focus on the effectiveness of the Team Project, which successfully engaged and facilitated learning, and discuss its pedagogical implications from a "Models and Modeling" perspective.
- Studying Metacognition in Natural Settings
- The purpose of this paper is to provide significant evidence from the literature for the use of emerging methods to study engineering students' use of metacognitive strategies when studying. We will review current research methods used to study metacognition and provide evidence that observational methods are an appropriate methodological choice when attempting to study the actual metacognitive strategies students engage in when in naturalistic settings.
F1I: Approaches to Student-Centered Learning IV
- Evaluating the Effectiveness of Flipped Classrooms for Teaching CS1
- An alternative to the traditional classroom structure that has seen increased use in higher education is the flipped classroom. Flipping the classroom switches when assignments (e.g. homework) and knowledge transfer (e.g. lecture) occur. Flipped classrooms are getting popular in secondary and post-secondary teaching institutions as evidenced by the marked increase in the study, use, and application of the flipped pedagogy as it applies to learning and retention. The majority of the courses that have undergone this change use applied learning strategies and include a significant "learning-by-doing" component. The research in this area is skewed towards such courses and in general there are many considerations that educators ought to account for if they were to move to this form of teaching. Introductory courses in computer programming can appear to have all the elements needed to move to a flipped environment; however, initial observations from our research identify possible pitfalls with the assumption. In this work in progress the authors discuss early results and observations of implementing a flipped classroom to teach an introductory programming course (CS1) to engineering, engineering technology, and software engineering undergraduates.
- Improving Student Learning Using an In-Class Material Processing Design Project
- At Marquette University, hybrid project-based learning has been implemented in an undergraduate mechanical engineering course on materials processing and forming using a team-based approach. The goals of the project are to 1) introduce more active and student-centered activities to improve student engagement and mastery of core concepts, 2) increase students' confidence in their ability to apply what they learned in the course to solving real-world problems, 3) enable students to gain experience using engineering software as part of the learning process and in applications contexts. While use of process modeling software in materials processing and manufacturing courses is not entirely new, the project has students actively developing a model around a realistic process, rather than passive users running "canned" models and reviewing the output. This paper presents details of the project and discusses preliminary results regarding its impact on student learning and confidence related to application of the course concepts. Recommendations for improving and expanding this in-class project are presented, along with a description of the assessment methods used to measure the impact on students.
- A PBL Approach to Process Management Applied to Software Engineering Education
- Given the demand in the area of Software Engineering for solutions that actually contribute to modern organizations, the search for qualified professionals who have considerable practical experience has been growing day-by-day. Set against this background is the learning process of traditional teaching, in which the student is largely a mere recipient of information, including concepts and theoretical foundations, and is seldom given practice in problem solving. Therefore with a view to minimizing this problem, teaching and learning methods such as the Problem Based Learning (PBL) have emerged in higher education as an approach to foster changes in teaching and learning processes, which are aligned to the new requirements of the labor market and redefine the roles of those involved in educational processes. To evaluate these processes, a case study on skills training to teach Usability Testing is discussed, and important results presented that show the applicability of the proposed approach for teaching Software Engineering.
- Should the first course in computational problem solving and programming be Student-Centered or Teacher-Centered?
- Computational problem solving and programming are foundational skills for engineers. The first undergraduate level course that covers these topics is critical to laying these foundations. As instructors strive to incorporate the spirit of inquiry in their courses, an important question that comes forth is whether the teaching methodology should be student-centered or teacher-centered. This paper adds helpful information in the ongoing debate on this question. The paper reports on the student performance results obtained by teaching two sections (cohorts) of an introductory Computation Lab course sequence. This course sequence aims to teach new engineering students MATLAB scripting and programming in the context of technical problem-solving using mathematical models. Cohort A was taught using a traditional teacher-centered approach, while Cohort B employed an open-ended student-centered approach. Our results indicate that the teacher-centered approach has the potential of creating polarized grade distributions with relatively more A grades in the class compared to the student centered approach. On the other hand, the student-centered approach provided a smoother grade distribution, indicating that a higher number of students demonstrate noticeable progress as compared to the teacher-centered approach.
- Developing Modules for an Inverted Classroom Project in Cost Estimating
- The need to serve increasingly diverse learning communities requires a curriculum that not only recognizes alternative modes of thinking but also helps students develop the complex thinking skills required by industry. Classroom inversion or "flipping" can provide a useful framework for this new paradigm by pre-engaging students with the material. The classroom lecture can then be replaced with collaborative problem solving exercises or model eliciting activities. While the most common methods used for pre-engagement include streamed lectures or podcasts, these techniques are subject to some of the same concerns associated with passive lectures or assigned readings. In this paper we present an approach for classroom inversion that is based on three premises: pre-engagement occurs through online interactive modules, classroom lectures are replaced with group problem solving activities, and homework assignments incorporate open ended problems or model eliciting activities. Examples of online interactive modules in accounting and cost estimating are presented. We follow with a discussion of the resultant transformation of the classroom learning environment along with some samples incorporating open-ended problem solving exercises. Preliminary assessments indicating gains in student learning along with future directions and implications for a broader approach to innovation and entrepreneurship is discussed.
Friday, October 25, 10:30 - 12:00
Exhibitor Showcase - ABET
Topic: Future Directions for the Computing Accreditation Criteria - A Discussion with the Computing Community Speaker: Mark Stockman, University of Cincinnati Description: The computing disciplines continue to undergo rapid change, as evidenced in part by the current cycle of model curricula efforts in the various disciplines. Driven by the same challenges, the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) in cooperation with the ACM and IEEE Computer Society are currently considering revisions to the ABET Computing Accreditation Criteria. For ABET to be responsive to its constituencies, criteria changes must be driven by the community. As a result, CAC, ACM and the IEEE-CS are engaged in a variety of activities designed to obtain input from the community at large so as to effect appropriate evolution within the criteria. In this session, we present an update regarding some of the proposed changes to the Computing Criteria and provide an opportunity for review, comment and general input by the session participants. The results of this session will be used as an important input to the criteria change process.
F2A: Mini-Workshop: Why are continuous-time signals and systems courses so difficult? How can we make them more accessible?
- Why are continuous-time signals and systems courses so difficult? How can we make them more accessible?
- Goals of the workshop This NSF sponsored workshop offers engineering and science faculty an engaging opportunity to explore how to improve learning in introductory continuous-time signals and systems (CTSS) courses. The two primary goals of the workshop are to provide: •an interactive discussion of the sources of difficulty in CTSS courses in order to define the "problem", and •a hands-on experience with laboratories that have been used at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Bucknell University to improve learning in CTSS courses Purpose of the Workshop The introductory CTSS course is one of the most difficult courses that students encounter in an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum, as evidenced by well-above-average drop/failure rates. We have received NSF funding to explore why students find these courses so difficult and to determine effective methods for helping students grasp the concepts. To help explore the problem, we will spark discussion by presenting data from surveys, focus groups, historical data, the CTSS concept inventory, and the Index of Learning Styles. To demonstrate methods for engaging students, we present hands-on activities that were developed at Rose-Hulman and Bucknell. After a brief introduction, attendees will be given an opportunity to try these activities using the equipment and discuss their experiences. Attendees will be invited to a more extensive workshop to be held at Rose-Hulman during the summer of 2014. Qualifications of Facilitators Dr. Mario Simoni is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has been teaching for 12 years including the introductory CTSS course and analog circuits. He developed an analog circuit platform that facilitates hands-on activities in the CTSS course and the activities that go with it. He has been using these activities for the past three years. Dr. Maurice Aburdene is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Bucknell University for over 30 years, including courses on linear systems and signal processing. Workshop Agenda I.Introduction to the problem: Why is CTSS such a difficult subject for students? (15 mintes) II.Discussion of the problem statement and collected data.(30 minutes) III.Introduction to hands-on activities being done at Rose-Hulman and Bucknell (15 minutes) IV.Opportunity to perform an activity using the same equipment (15 minutes) V.Discussion of hands-on activities with regard to the problem statement. (15 minutes) Number of Attendees We expect this workshop to be of interest to engineering and science faculty. We would expect to have approximately 10-15 attendees. Take-Away Skills that attendees will leave the workshop with are a greater appreciation for the sources of difficulty in CTSS courses and some ideas of simple hands-on activities that can be used to help make the material more approachable to the students. They will have some experience with these activities and knowledge about how to acquire the equipment so that they could begin using these activities at their own institution. They will also be invited to attend a more in-depth summer workshop at Rose-Hulman during the summer of 2014 and to participate in an ongoing discussion of the issues.
F2B: Special Session: True Grit: Toward a Culture of Psychological Preparedness in Engineering Education
- True Grit: Toward a Culture of Psychological Preparedness in Engineering Education
- SPECIAL SESSION PROPOSAL - FIE 2013 True Grit: Toward a Culture of Psychological Preparedness in Engineering Education Contact Information Jesse Pappas, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Ph.D in Social Psychology from University of Virginia), Department of Engineering, James Madison University, (540) 560-3113, email@example.com Olga Pierrakos, Associate Professor, Department of Engineering, James Madison University, (540) 568-3293, firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Pappas, Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University, (540) 434-2713, email@example.com Kurt Paterson, Associate Professor, Michigan Tech (current), Head, Department of Engineering, James Madison University (as of July 1, 2013), (906) 487-3495, firstname.lastname@example.org SESSION GOALS The four primary goals for this session are as follows: 1. Discuss the possibility that the following "preparation gap" exists in engineering education: To be successful, students must be both academically and psychologically prepared for the rigors of a university engineering program, but most existing interventional efforts are focused specifically on academic preparedness, potentially leaving some students psychologically vulnerable and ultimately unable to maintain the motivation necessary to persist until graduation. 2. Describe the ongoing development of an innovative psychological preparedness program in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. 3. Generate a nucleus of peer-developed ideas to stimulate the future development of psychological preparedness strategies/activities/interventions aimed at increasing engineering students' self-awareness, resilience, and motivation. 4. Provide session attendees and other interested individuals with resources to develop psychological awareness and preparedness activities in their own courses and programs. DESCRIPTION OF THE SESSION "All the Sputnik-like urgency has put classrooms…under a microscope. And there are encouraging signs, with surveys showing the number of college freshmen interested in majoring in a STEM field on the rise. But, it turns out, middle and high school students are having most of the fun, building their erector sets and dropping eggs into water to test the first law of motion. The excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg, an emeritus engineering professor, calls "the math-science death march." Freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students. And then many wash out." - from Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It's Just So Darn Hard), The New York Times, 11/04/11 Being an engineering student can be tough. Pursuing an engineering degree usually means facing greater academic challenges compared to those in most other disciplines [1,2]. But, as the passage above demonstrates, these challenges also have psychological components. The classes are often harder, the programs are often longer, the grades are often lower, and the commitment and self-discipline required are often greater. To give their students the best chance of succeeding, engineering educators have implemented a variety of preparedness activities in high schools, summer institutes, and their own programs [3,4]. While often successful, most of these interventional strategies have focused on academic preparedness, while few have sought to prepare students mentally or psychologically. In fact, "in spite of considerable research about the poor retention rate of undergraduate engineering students, we still have an inadequate understanding of the factors that affect students' decisions to remain in engineering programs and their ability to perform well enough to be retained" . Common sense and educational research [5-7] indicate that an inability to cope with the psychological demands of engineering education contributes significantly to student demotivation and attrition. This session will explore possible strategies for implementing a more holistic approach to student preparedness and success - one that acknowledges both academic and psychological needs. During this session, the facilitators will begin by providing an overview of common psychological challenges faced by engineering students and briefly highlight plans for the development of a new psychological preparedness program in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University (JMU). Next, through semi-structured team brainstorming and discussion sessions, we will generate ideas for developing and implementing psychological preparedness activities in various engineering education contexts. Finally, we will collaborate as a group to revise and synthesize our ideas into actionable concepts. SESSION AGENDA The session will be primarily learner-based with much of the time spent in group work and discussion. Two short presentations will help guide the group discussions. The agenda is as follows: 1. Welcome, introductions, and a brief presentation on the "preparation gap" that may exist between efforts to improve the academic and psychological strength of engineering students, and how students might benefit from being better prepared to meet the characteristic psychological challenges of an engineering education. [10 min] 2. Focused, large group brainstorming session to generate a list of common psychological challenges and preparedness needs of engineering students. [15 min] 3. Brief presentation on psychological preparedness strategies/interventions that have been effectively applied in domains such as athletics, business, and the military to increase motivation, grit, and resilience. [10 min] 4. Team activity (5-8 people per team, including one session facilitator) during which groups generate potential psychological preparedness strategies/activities/interventions that address common challenges faced by engineering students. The spokesperson / note taker for each team will present team findings to the large group. [35 min] 5. Large group synthesis of implications and potential future directions in the study of psychological awareness and preparedness in STEM education. [10 min] 6. Short introduction to a new psychological preparedness initiative underway at JMU. [5 min] 7. Wrap-up summary and Q&A. [5 min] SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PAPERS BY PRESENTERS Pappas, J. Multisource feedback for STEM students increases engagement and academic performance. Paper to be presented at the American Society for Engineering Education National Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, Scheduled for June, 2013. Casto K., Pierrakos O., Anderson R.D., Watson H., June 2012, "An Investigation of Engineering Students' Achievement Goal Orientation in Relation to Gender, Academic Level, Grades, Self-Efficacy, and Desire to Pursue a Career in Engineering," Proceedings of the 2012 Annual WEPAN (Women in Engineering ProActive Network) Conference, Columbus, OH. Pierrakos O., Beam T.K., Constantz J., Johri A., Anderson R., October 2009, "On the Development of a Professional Identity: Engineering Persisters vs Engineering Switchers," The 39th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, San Antonio, TX. Pappas E. & Pappas J. (2011) "A Dispositional Behavioral Approach to Teaching Cognitive Processes that Support Effective Thought and Action." Innovative Higher Education, 36(5). Britz J. & Pappas E. (2010) "Sources and Outlets of Stress among University Students: Correlations between Stress and Unhealthy Habits." Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences, 9(1), 32-47. Pappas E. "Cognitive Processes Instruction in an Undergraduate Engineering Design Course Sequence." Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, June 2009. DESCRIPTION OF THE ANTICIPATED AUDIENCE We expect this session to be attractive to a diverse group of engineering educators who are interested in student preparedness and well-being and/or in increasing retention rates across engineering disciplines. A major goal of this session is to provide participants with potential strategies to help their students sustain the psychological challenges of engineering education and become productive professionals. EXPECTED OUTCOMES/FUTURE WORK One expected outcome of this session is a nucleus of innovative work on the emerging domain of psychological preparedness for engineering students, which will be disseminated to participants and other interested colleagues. In addition, participants are expected to gain insight into the psychological challenges faced by their students, potentially leading to more effective teaching and advising strategies. If this session does impact the future work of engineering educators, it may have transformative implications for students' well-being and perseverance. Further, this work will inform on-going research and publications emerging from James Madison University. DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS Since we do not anticipate having time to fully discuss and share the results of the group work during the special session, we plan to collect the results of the group work, organize them, and send them to session attendees and other interested colleagues after the conference. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation Awards #EEC-0846468 (NSF CAREER - "Characterizing, Understanding, and Integrating Complex Problem Solving in Engineering Education") PI: O Pierrakos, and #EEC-1158728 ("Research into Instructional Content and Methodologies for Teaching Sustainability") PI: E Pappas. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the National Science Foundation. JUSTIFICATION FOR SPECIAL SESSION The stated purpose of special sessions at FIE is to "give session leaders an opportunity to take risks and try something that may be unproven in content and/or format," something that is "at the frontiers." We believe that ideas for promoting a culture of psychological preparedness in engineering education are a risky-but-promising proposition in mostly uncharted territory. REFERENCES  Bernold, L. E., Spurlin, J. E., & Anson, C. M. (2007). Understanding our students: A longitudinal-study of success and failure in engineering with implications for increased retention. Journal of Engineering Education, 96(3), 263-274.  French, B. F., Immekus, J. C., & Oakes, W. C. (2005).An examination of indicators of engineering students' success and persistence. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(4), 419.  Fletcher, S. L., Newell, D. C., Newton, L. D., & Anderson-Rowland, M. R. (2001, June). The WISE Summer Bridge Program: assessing student attrition, retention, and program effectiveness. In Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education.  Budny, D. D., & Delaney, C. A. (2001). Working with students and parents to improve the freshman retention. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 2001.31st Annual (Vol. 1, pp. T3E-5). IEEE.  DeBerard, M. Scott, Glen I. Spielmans, and Deana C. Julka. "Predictors Of Academic Achievement And Retention Among College Freshmen: A Longitudinal Study." College Student Journal 38.1 (2004): 66-80. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.  Ohland, Matthew W.; Sheppard, Sheri D.; Lichtenstein, Gary; Eris, Ozgur; Chachra, Debbie; and Layton, Richard A., "Persistence, Engagement, and Migration in Engineering Programs" (2008). 2008. Paper 3.http://digitalcommons.olin.edu/facpub_2008/3  Seymour, E. (1999).The Role of Socialization in Shaping the Career‐Related Choices of Undergraduate Women in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Majors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 869(1), 118-126.
F2C: Online Learning I
- Monitoring the Video Use for Learning Support
- In this paper we present a tool we developed and an experiment we realized with 2 classes of engineering courses and computer related to network computer subjects, totalizing 140 students. In our experiment we divided our students in two groups: half of them attended a video explanation and half of them had the same explanation but only in a traditional classroom format, with a professor teaching the same subject that was explained in the video. This video was offered in a distance learning environment in which we developed an interface to interact with students, applying them a questionnaire about the subject they were watching, observing if they have had any kind of commentary or any interaction with other students, in the LMS system or in a social network environment. At the beginning of the discipline we asked students to realize a learning profile test using a tool we developed and we will also present in this paper some preliminary conclusions we achieved by the observation of some relationship between students profile and their performance in the discipline, to both groups: with the one that watched the video and with the other that had not watched the video explanation.
- Programming Tutors, Practiced Concepts, and Demographics
- A study was conducted to find out who needed online problem-solving tutors and who benefited from using them. In particular, the study focused on whether there were any significant differences between male and female students and between traditionally represented and under-represented racial groups. Data collected by two Computer Science tutors over multiple semesters was analyzed. The only significant differences found between sexes and racial groups were when female students practiced significantly more concepts because they had solved significantly fewer problems during pre-test, or when they demonstrated greater pre-post increase in score because they had scored significantly less on the pre-test. In both the cases, the tutors helped female students overcome differences in prior preparation vis-a-vis male students. No difference was found between the sexes or racial groups on the number of practice problems solved per practiced concept. Finally, students needed and benefited from the tutors in the same proportion, regardless of sex or racial group.
- An instructional practice based on handwritten answer sheets with a course management system
- Since the start of the 21st century, information technology (IT) was introduced in many universities to support effective instruction. One solution intended to support STEM classes took the form of a classroom management system, such as DyKnow Vision, which was different from a course management system (CMS), such as Moodle. This may be because HTML editors on web-based CMSs do not easily allow both instructors and students to produce freehand scientific information such as equations, charts, and illustrations. However, classroom management systems require special devices such as Tablet PCs and force instructors to perform complex system operations. Moreover, in some cases these systems are not necessarily designed to accumulate learning activities for ABET or e-Portfolio. To support both writing by hand and the accumulation of learning activities in a class, the system proposed here, developed on the basis of the key concept of "No special devices in a class," makes use of sheets of paper and digitizes the papers after the class so that they can be stored in a CMS. A multifunctional peripheral with a digital watermark enables this educational setting. Our demonstration experiment for three classes functioned well. This paper presents a system overview and the preliminary results.
- Rethinking Remote Laboratories: Widgets and Smart Devices
- Until the last decades, students of distance learning universities had to go to traditional and physical laboratories to acquire practical knowledge and skills. Currently, thanks to the advances in communication and computer networks and the evolution of programming languages, new eLearning tools have emerged that enable the usage of learning methodologies such as blended learning and distance learning. One of them is the remote Web laboratory. A remote Web laboratory is an application which allows students to work with real hardware or instruments. To do this, students only need a computer with an Internet connection. However, emerging technologies and other hardware such as mobile devices, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, require the design of different models to support innovative learning experiences. For this reason, remote labs are being reconsidered to smart device paradigm. Physically, the considered smart device is made of the junction of a controller (computer server) connected to physical equipment on the one hand, and to the Internet on the other hand. This paper describes the process to translate a "traditional" remote Web lab into a set of smart devices which are able to work together in the cloud and the Internet of Things.
F2D: Open Educational Resources and Practices II
- Packing and Reusing Virtual Web Laboratories as Sharable Content Object in wide range of educational Fields
- One of the key issues in the education field is the acquisition of skills. Until last three decades, this was carried out with traditional labs or standalone simulation programs. The World Wide Web and the advance in web programming language have allowed teachers to create online learning applications, such as virtual web laboratories which can be displayed by Web browser, at any time and everywhere. Currently, a large amount of virtual Web labs can be found in the World Wide Web, and these are able to cover a wide range of educational fields such as physic, chemistry, electronic, medicine, mathematics and languages. This paper describes the process of searching of these laboratories and their packing in Sharable Content Object, following the e-learning standard called SCORM. Some of the advantages of doing this are: - SCORM uses the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) which provides a set of metadata. These describe a Learning Object which can be shared and exchanged across any technology supported learning systems. - SCORM Provide a content aggregation mode which allow creating a Sharable Content Object (SCO) as a set of Learning Objects. - SCORM provide run time environment which allow tracking the user´s learning activities inside of learning system. - SCORM Provide a specification to sequence the contents stored in the Sharable Content Object. The result of all this process is a set of SCOs, each one with a virtual Web laboratory and a set of other e-learning materials, such as web pages, images and videos, following a sequence. For instance, a physic SCOs can be composed by a web pages and videos those explain the use of virtual Web lab, a web page with the experiment that students must carried out and the virtual Web laboratory. The SCO can implement functions of real time environment that allow teacher to track the use that students carried out with the SCO. Also these SCOs can be stored in a learning object repository and deployed in different learning management systems (LMS), such as Moodle, Sakai, Claroline and DotLRN from different universities (sharing e-learning content). To sum up, the idea of this paper is to describe the process of collecting virtual Web laboratories in different educational fields, such as physic, chemistry, electronic, medicine, mathematics and languages, the process of wrapping it in a SCO, along with other e-learning resources, and the process of using of resulting SCO over different LMS. This last process allows teacher to create online learning scenarios in the LMS course (blended and distance learning tool), through the use of LMS services such as forums, assessments, chats, etc. and the use of learning resources such as Sharable Content Object.
- AREA: A Social Curation Platform for Open Educational Resources and Lesson Plans
- Content curation has emerged as a topic of interest in the last few years in the Internet. It aims at discovering and ordering interesting resources from the web, and sharing them with others. From the profile and past behaviour of users, new resources that may be of interest can be recommended to them. This paper discusses AREA, a content curation platform targeted at teachers, where they can aggregate into shareboards the resources that they find in the web. Those resources can be used in educational activities, which are the building blocks for composing sequences of activities, that are in turn the cornerstones of guides (lesson plans). The educational experiences that result from the use of guides are also contemplated in the platform. The key original feature of AREA is that it extends the concept of content curation, so that, not only contents, but also activities, sequences, guides, and experiences, in addition to other resources such as persons, events and tools, are first-class curable elements in the platform. Therefore, shareboards of teachers can include any of those elements; and all of them can be shared, commented, rated, and also recommended to other teachers.
- Distributed Version Control for Curricular Content Management
- Educators have at their disposal many digital content sources, from textbook publishers to open courseware repositories to specialized collections to shared resources from a network of peers. It is rare one needs to go create new lecture materials, instead one can download and adapt to fit their needs. The proliferation of such resources is expected to result in great productivity for educators, particularly those in higher education where time demands relegate content development to the back-burner. But are we seeing such productivity? Are courseware repositories spawning heavy reuse? Or are issues integrating content to courses causing a loss in productivity and greater frustration? These are the questions being investigated by the Distributed Version Control for Curricular Content Management project. This work-in-progress project has conducted a local faculty survey of curricular content development and used the results to drive the initial implementation of a distributed version control tool for curricular content management.
- Coexistence of Cloud Technology and IT Infrastructure in Higher Education
- Early 2012 Luleå University of Technology started a project on adopting cloud technology for implementing in the university's IT-infrastructure. This work-in-progress article describes the results of its pre-study phase aiming at understanding the feasibility of integrating and/or migrating main IT-infrastructure components into an IaaS system and opening ways for making university's resources more accessible to a wider public. Numbers of logistical, technical and education related challenges make such transition far from being trivial. The article focuses on the educational aspect of the pre-study. Specifically, work flows in education process of several courses in different disciplines in natural and engineering sciences were analyzed from the student and teacher perspectives. In the article a schematic of a sustainable IT infrastructure adjusted to the needs of higher education will be drafted. Further, technical readiness and challenges of using cloud technology for university scale IT-infrastructure are discussed.
- Who else could participate in my Lesson Plans?
- This paper introduces the iTEC SDE (Scenario Development Environment), a recommendation system to assist teachers in the creation of lesson plans. A key functionality of the SDE is the recommendation of people. Basically, taking into account new pedagogical approaches, this system manages information about potential lesson plan contributors and provides recommendations on the best available persons to participate in specific learning activities. The SDE has been developed as a multi-criteria recommender focused on supporting learning activities in particular technological and educational contexts. In this way, it manages information about the devices and applications available in the classroom and the features of the students, such as educational level, language, age, location, etc. The final goal of this system is to support teachers creating lesson plans in which they can develop new pedagogical approaches involving new technologies and external resources, such as people from outside the school. Eventually, this will contribute to engage students and improve learning.
F2E: Philosophy of Engineering and Engineering Education II
- Should Makers Be the Engineers of the Future?
- Engineers participate in the Maker movement. Some Makers do not pursue formal engineering education but both the engineering field and their own vocational advancement could readily benefit. We seek to understand Makers and how they are inclusive or exclusive of what can be expected from engineers. From the Engineer of 2020 list of characteristics (National Academy of Engineering, 2004), we highlight practical ingenuity, creativity and lifelong learning for likely opportunities to leverage the Maker experience. The mission of this research is to develop a theory, inductively grounded in data and deductively built on literature, illuminating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of Makers, describing their pathways in formal engineering education to better inform future innovations in order to improve the practical ingenuity and lifelong learning of our future engineers. Artifact elicitation interviews, based on the method of photo elicitation and critical incident technique interviews will be administered to participants. Results from the inductive and deductive analyses will be triangulated to generate a preliminary theory of Maker knowledge, skills, attitudes, and pathways. This theory, inductively grounded in data and deductively connected to literature, will describe aspects of Makers, along with how their pathways intersect with formal engineering education experiences.
- Knowledge-generation epistemology and the foundations of engineering
- This paper suggests that the purpose (goal) and manner (method) of knowledge application and generation usefully distinguishes engineering and scientific knowledge. This method could be significantly useful in distinguishing the scientific and engineering components of engineering education, as well as underscored the centrality of social context to engineering work, and engineering values. This paper presents a brief exploration of the epistemology of knowledge, specifically distinguishing the development of scientific knowledge from the development of engineering knowledge. It outlines a pragmatic theory of knowledge which provides a means by which to reliably distinguish, particularly in a learning environment, the critical terms of 'science', 'engineering science' and 'engineering.'
- Contemplations on Results from Investigating the Personal Epistemology of Computing
- "Personal Epistemology" is the analysis of the ways in which an individual perceives what constitutes knowledge, its boundaries, how it is justified, and how it is related to learning. While investigation of metacognitive strategies used by students is now an established research topic within Computer Science and Information Technology education, the study of personal epistemology is relatively undeveloped. This is so despite there being significant epistemological issues associated with learning the subject itself, such as those concerned with the way in which programming exercises change from convergent to divergent problems, or the process by which software project management problems very quickly become ill-defined. In this paper, we describe a preliminary investigation into the personal epistemology of two cohorts of computing students. We review some models of personal epistemological development and describe an empirical study in which we investigated the dimensions of epistemological beliefs of two cohorts of computing students. The results show that there appears to be a wide range of epistemological belief amongst computing students. Finally, we make some observations about the importance of personal epistemology for learning in Computer Science and outline further work in this area.
- Liberating Engineering Education: Engineering Education and Pragmatism
- This paper will examine the following: The liberating essence of engineering education is the practical/pragmatic elements of engineering. This paper reviews research and activities in pedagogical development of engineering curriculum throughout the last century and especially after the 2nd world war. The paper reviews distinct directions and curriculum trends that dominated engineering education and will raise the main question: "What makes engineering special and different from sciences and mathematics?" The paper builds the supports for reasoning based on findings in the main trends of engineer development to prove that the practical aspects of the engineering fields are the essence that uniquely distinguished the engineering education. Consequently, the pragmatic essence of the engineering (that needs to be reflected in the engineering education) has been (and must be) the unique identifier and the liberating element of the engineering curricula. The idea of liberation is meant as a guiding concept to help educators reflect on pragmatic essence of engineering when balancing between mathematical rigor, scientific basics, and the engineering systems level thinking, as well as common knowledge and methodologies.
- Finding and Facing the Frontiers at FIE Conferences
- Each year since the founding in 1971, Frontiers in Education Conference participants have sought the newest innovations and concepts in engineering education, i.e., the true frontiers at the cutting edge of the profession. While those frontiers have obviously changed over the past 42 years, the primary objective of identifying and addressing them has remained at the forefront. This paper describes frontiers in each of four periods corresponding roughly to the four decades since the first conference by performing an analysis of papers from one or more sample conferences during each period. Characteristics are identified for sessions and papers with the intent of determining how closely they addressed what was perceived as the frontiers at those points in time. In addition to a careful analysis of conference papers from FIE Proceedings, results of a brief survey of long-time FIE leaders will be presented as further evidence on identifying the appropriate frontiers for each period. Changes during the intervening years of the conference included more formal presentations, required reviews before accepting papers, and references to clearly show the relevance of each paper within the body of knowledge. Currently, papers are categorized as innovative practice, research-to-practice, or research; a concurrent emphasis on STEM research nationally has created engineering education department within universities. Faculty and staff from these departments often present their research results at FIE Conferences. Papers normally report not only survey data from students but also provide evaluations regarding learning. Today, the relevant issues are to determine the frontiers in engineering education and to improve efforts in moving those frontiers forward. Authors of conference papers seek to address the frontiers in a selected area; the goal now is for conference organizers and program chairs to step back and make sure current frontiers are indeed the FIE Conference focus each year. Note to Reviewers: This paper is necessarily a work-in-progress (WIP) paper; improvements in finding and facing the frontiers at FIE conferences will continue. If this WIP paper is accepted for presentation and received favorably by the FIE audience, it is planned to expand to an invited session at a future FIE Conference.
F2F: ECE III
- An Exemplary Design Framework: A Small-scale Prototype of Home Area Network in a Smart Grid
- In this paper, with a specific application to a Smart Grid system in mind, we present a small-scale prototype system of wireless networks and design details of the prototype system. From the perspective of undergraduate engineering education and learning, we describe how the project team of undergraduate students has overcome technical obstacles and challenges in successfully completing the prototype system. For an outcome of this project, we also derive a set of laboratory experiments for integration into a laboratory-based course for improvement in learning effectiveness and overall undergraduate engineering education.
- Boole-WebLab-Deusto: Integration of a Remote Lab in a Tool for Digital Circuits Design
- This paper describes the integration of a remote lab in a tool for educational digital circuits. Boole-Deusto is an educational software tool featuring truth tables, Karnaugh maps, Boolean expressions, finite-state machines and digital circuits. After creating the design through Boole-Deusto, the user can implement the circuit in a remote lab (WebLab-Deusto) with only a few mouse clicks. The user does not need the technical knowledge, time, hardware equipment and specialized software that would normally be required. These conveniences benefit teachers and students alike, especially those involved in basic courses in digital electronics, both at the university and high school levels.
- System Design: A Novel, Project-Based Course Connecting the Dots of the Electrical Engineering Curriculum
- The 4-year curriculum of the Electrical Engineering (EE) program includes a fairly diverse set of classes. Besides the general education requirements, the curriculum is usually front-loaded with a foundation of Math, Sciences, and Computer Programming classes, immediately followed by the general engineering classes (Circuits, Statics, Material Sciences). The middle of the curriculum usually covers the core topics of the discipline including: Electronics, Electromagnetics, Signal Processing, Power & Energy, Digital Systems, as well as Communication and Control Systems. The final year of the program is mostly spent taking advanced (elective) classes to satisfy the depth requirement in the student's area of interest in addition to the capstone design project. While the aforementioned topics constitute the main components in the education of a future electrical engineer, a major missing component was the holistic, system understanding of these individual topics . It was necessary to introduce a class about the design and implementation of the overall system. This class addresses the integration of the various topics discussed above in addition to defining the overall architecture, the modularity of complex systems, as well as the interfaces between the different components to satisfy the specified design requirements. Considering the already saturated EE curriculum, the new class is offered as a project-based, one credit-hour class with a single weekly meeting in a laboratory environment. In every meeting, the instructor assigns a new project that the students are required to research and find a solution for. At the beginning of the following meeting, the instructor collects a design report before sharing a correct solution of the problem. In the remaining time, students create a prototype of their favorite design. The overall student grade is a combination of their performance in the pre-lab research and their in-lab prototype implementation. Assessment shows that the course helped students improve their conceptual knowledge and achieve higher knowledge retention. The course also improves students' problem solving skills and encourage them to take responsibility of their own learning. The paper describes the Fall 2012 offering of the class at our institution. It details some examples of the assigned projects with brief solution keys. The paper also includes assessment data including student feedback from the first class offering.  C. Furse, B. Stenquist, B. Farhang‐Boroujeny, A. Kedrowitz, S. Richardson, "Integrated System‐Level Design in Electrical Engineering," ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition paper 2006-1841, 2006.
- An Approach for Teaching Logic Programming based on Real-world Applications
- In this paper the authors describe their approach towards motivating students in the learning of logic programming is given. The focus here of the authors is on real world applications. Nowadays, where internet applications are still a hot topic, the development of projects related to internet applications are quite strongly motivated. Unfortunately, many of the resources used in logic programming that help us to explore the development of programs for internet purposes are not so freely available. The authors therefore had to develop much of the material used in order to be understood by first year university students, who were in fact the target group. Preliminary results showed an augmented interest in the learning of such concepts and as a result an increase in the pass rate was achieved.
- Enhancing Microelectronics Education Using Online Semiconductor Technology CAD Laboratory
- Currently semiconductor devices, VLSI circuit design and fabrication are specialized fields in electrical engineering curricula. Due to the high cost of microelectronic fabrication laboratories, teaching microelectronics is very much driven by the availability of resources and is mainly being taught at universities where a fabrication facility is available. As such, microelectronics engineering education is in transition. New thoughts are being given to topics such as what constitutes microelectronics process design fundamentals, how to shrink the gap between industrial and academic perspectives on process design and how to help students gain more experience and knowledge. This paper proposes and discusses an efficient teaching methodology for micro- and nano-electronics education. A Technology CAD (TCAD) course integrated with an online simulation laboratory at undergraduate/graduate level. The aims of the course are the development of theoretical and practical skills in semiconductor manufacturing using virtual wafer fabrication. It is expected that the students shall have increased affinity towards semiconductor fabrication, improved their academic skills, abilities and knowledge. The impact of the proposed teaching method on the learning process will be presented.
F2G: Faculty Development II
- Insights for Curriculum Design from Design Research
- The paper considers how research in product/process design methodologies can be used to design engineering curricula. Following the Function-Behavior-Structure (FBS) framework for product design, we show how the curriculum design task can be separated into functionality of the curriculum, student behaviors and course structures. We then describe possible ways in which such a design could help us explore the possibilities of designing different types of curricula with the same functionality so that we could develop flexible, fault tolerant, scalable curricula that evolves with changing circumstances. These requirements are not generally included as curriculum design criteria and an approach that highlights the role of "robustness" would be useful.
- Using Backwards Design Process for the Design and Implementation of Computer Science (CS) Principles: a Case Study of a Colombian Elementary and Secondary Teacher Development Program
- In this paper, we describe the outcomes of a three-day teacher professional development workshop aimed at introducing concepts, principles and practices of computational thinking. The guiding research question for this study is: How teachers implement the backwards design process embodying elements of CS principles (i.e., computational thinking big ideas and computational thinking practices) in the context of their classrooms? The participants of this study included 15 elementary, high school and college level teachers who are also graduate students in a master program in engineering. Participants were exposed to an initial lecture that provided them with background information about current topics on computational thinking. During the second session participants were introduced to the software Scratch and its community. Participants were assigned to a project where they used Wiggins and McTighe backwards design process as a framework to the design learning activities to be integrated in their own classrooms. The design of these activities used the CS Principles as described by the College Board. The activities teachers developed included a set of related learning objectives, computational thinking skills and expected level of students' performance, and the method and pedagogical approach. On the last day of the workshop participants presented their designs. The designs were instructor and peer evaluated using a predefined rubric. The rubric evaluated the appropriateness of the learning objectives, the way teachers decided to evaluate student learning, and corresponding assessment methods. In addition, the rubric also evaluated how instructors incorporated available resources such as Scratch, a reflection of their own learning, and the way all these elements were orchestrated together. Here we describe (a) how participants embodied the CS Principles in the design of learning activities to be integrated into their classrooms, (b) how they used the backwards design process as a tool to implement elements of CS Principles and (c) what is teachers' performance in integrating CS Principles to the design of learning activities as evidenced by their peer evaluations. Finally, we propose backwards design process as a framework to the development of teacher professional development programs in computing education
- Understanding the Motivation of Instructors to Get Involved in Service- Learning Environments
- Professional associations of engineering have recommended Service Learning environments to cultivate professional engineering skills. However, a report from ASEE published in 2012 showed that faculty did not consider these learning environments to be important. This study aims to address this gap through understanding the motivation of instructors of Service-Learning programs in engineering. The results can be used to propose strategies to attract faculty toward these effective engineering learning environments
- Instructional Module Development (IMOD) System: Building Faculty Expertise in Outcome-based Course design
- A well-designed and constructed course plan or curriculum is an integral part of the foundation of effective STEM instruction. This paper presents a framework for outcome-based course design process and its translation into a semantic web-based tool; i.e., the IMODTM system. This system guides STEM educators through the complex task of curriculum design, ensures tight alignment between various components of a course (i.e., learning objectives, content, assessments, and pedagogy), and provides relevant information about research-based pedagogical and assessment strategies. The theoretical framework is presented, along with descriptions and screenshots of the implementation of key features.
- IMA-Tool: A Tool for Modeling and Automatic Generation of Educational Content
- In this paper we discuss the establishment and application of IMATool - a web-based tool for the modeling and automatic generation of educational content. The tool is based on IMA-CID, an approach for modeling educational content, capable of addressing conceptual, instructional and didactic issues altogether, in an integrated way. IMA-CID and IMATool have been applied in the development of an educational module for software testing. The preliminary results indicate the effectiveness of such mechanisms for modeling and generating content.
F2H: Design and Assessment
- Data Base Development for School-Related Research
- During 2008, the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) began a research project that started with 19 teachers and more than 200 students who were educated, interviewed, and assessed for STEM learning. This longitudinal study grew fast, gathering numerous pieces of data from 168 teachers and more than 3,000 students during the five-year treatment. This information growth led to a need for data management improvement. However, there are few database structures available for gathering school-related research. This paper presents lessons learned during the process of database construction and improvement for supporting project data consolidation. The process of construction and development included structural changes to provide an organization commensurate with schools' clusters, domains, and strata, all of which occur organically in the school setting. The database construction also included program development for uploading and cleaning large amounts of information; application analysis for defining an appropriate tool; and improvements for user information visualization. The analysis of lessons learned includes a discussion of major changes within the database and benefits of creating program codes within this tool. The discussion ends addressing the implications of having a structured and automatized yet flexible database tool designed for school settings.
- Assessing the Impact of Service-Learning on First-Year Engineering Students' Understanding of Human-Centered Design
- This paper represents an update of a three stage research project that culminates in investigating the impact of the service-learning pedagogy on students understanding of human-centered design. The first two stages of the project were disseminated in previously published papers where we discussed the discovery of distinct ways in which students experience human-centered design, along with another published paper discussing the development of an assessment task that would expose and capture students' understanding of human-centered design.
- A Pilot Study: Documenting Engineering School Systems that Support High Student Retention
- The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has engaged with the engineering education community to define and pilot the current best approaches for systematically collecting and analyzing student success data. Out of these efforts, ASEE has developed a survey that provides reliable, broad-based data for national retention and time-to-graduation benchmarks. ASEE plans to build on its retention and time-to-graduation survey and work collaboratively with engineering schools using a design-based implementation research approach ; and plans to document engineering school systems that support high student retention, with a pilot that focuses on schools that excel at retaining engineering students who are from the regular majority (i.e., schools that admit students through less selective admission requirements but are able to retain those students at high rates).
- Out of Their World: Using Alien-Centered Design for Teaching Empathy in Undergraduate Design Courses
- Designing for others is a paramount focus of teaching user-centered engineering design. This paper presents a novel engineering design brief presented to undergraduate engineering students to design for extra-terrestrials scheduled to visit their collegiate campus. Through this alien-centered design approach, students are pushed to develop empathy for a group of users quite different from themselves and to conceive and design within such an given context. A detailed plan of action is described for both cases with detailed deliverables aligned to course learning objectives. Examples of the interactions students make with their extra-terrestrial users are listed and examples of student work and final deliverables are highlighted. Reflections from the end of project are also included from students and instructors alike. The work presented here may serve as a building block to these types of successful engineering design projects in the classroom.
F2I: pK-12 STEM I
- Preparing Future Engineering Students through Math Competition in Inland Area
- The main objective of engineering school's K-12 outreach program is to encourage more kids to choose engineering as their college major and be well prepared for the challenge. In the College of Engineering of California Baptist University, we choose, in addition to other initiatives, the math competition for local Primary and Secondary schools as the main vehicle to achieve that objective. 5 years ago, we started hosting the MATHCOUNTS chapter competition for local middle school kids and achieved 27% average yearly growth in participation. MATHCOUNTS is a national program aimed at promoting math excellence for middle schools students through a series of competitions at the local, state and national levels. Currently in its 30th year, MATHCOUNTS is one of the country's largest and most successful education partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. Extracurricular activities, such as MATHCOUNTS, recognize and reward students for pursuing a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. This paper describes the effort made by the College of Engineering of California Baptist University in organizing the annual MATHCOUNTS Chapter competition for Inland Empire area and to promote engineering careers among the local middle school students. After the success in MATHCOUNTS, we recently expanded our effort to reach out to the high school students by organizing the American Math Competition (AMC 10 and AMC 12). In fact, this new initiative was suggested by the students who participated the MATHCOUNTS competition and would like to further their math interest in high school. After initial background introduction of the MATHCOUNTS program and AMC10/12, the paper will focus on the growth of local school involvement during the last five years, the detail aspects of organizing the competitions, and the linkage between the competition and the career choices among the students involved in the competition. The long term goal of organizing this competition is to promote and improve K-12 STEM education so that more students will choose engineering as their future careers and more students will be better prepared for the engineering careers they choose.
- An initial comparison of the learning propensities of 10 through 12 students for data analytics education
- The main focus of this ongoing effort is to compare the learning propensities of 10 through 12 students for data analytics education. Towards this end, a Microsoft Excel based university-level environmental engineering module was taught in a high school classroom with students in grades 10 through 12. The module focused on understanding the current trends and challenges in environmental pollution management and policy. Students were required to procure, analyze, and visualize data in order to propose an environmental policy that was aimed at reducing pollution. Initial data collected from the assessment of the student work alludes to the fact that despite being taught the same material by the same professor and teaching assistant, the success of the students, as measured by their final grades, varies substantially with their academic year. The underclassmen in high school did not display the academic maturity and comprehension that was displayed by the high school seniors. On the other hand, seniors demonstrated a strong propensity to learn and perform well.
- Embedding Design and Service-Learning into the K-12 Computer Science Classroom
- In the pre-university setting, computer science course assignments are often project-based, but seldom do they include real-life problems in real time. Many assignments are strictly dictated by what textbooks suggest as valuable learning experiences, as long as they can be completed in just a few class periods. The number of students taking computer science courses continue to dwindle, as well as the number of teachers certified to teach computer science. This poses a problem as there is a critical need in the U.S. for more computer scientists and engineers. President Obama has called for a new generation of STEM professionals that will maintain the country's leadership in the world economy. Added to this, there is a call in the computer science education community to have computing in 10,000 high schools taught by 10,000 well-qualified teachers by 2015. (Otherwise known as the NSF funded CS 10K Project.) New approaches are needed to achieve these goals. The literature predicts that service-learning could attract more students into engineering and computing by introducing it through community projects. The results confirm this. Toward this effort, Purdue University's College of Engineering developed a program called Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) in 1995. The EPICS Program is an innovative service-learning approach to teaching design where teams of students partner with local community organizations to identify, design, build, and deliver solutions to meet the community organization's needs. The potential to significantly impact the K-12 pathways into engineering motivated the creation of EPICS High in 2006. EPICS High has grown to 50 high schools in ten states engaging over 2200 students this past year. However, there is a lack of computer science teachers participating in this program. EPICS High has the potential to change the curve into and through computer science pathways on a national level. There is a compelling need for more computer science professionals but current approaches are showing only incremental changes. The EPICS approach of linking computer science learning with authentic and compelling human and environmental needs in the local communities of participants is consistent with diversity literature. The National Academy of Engineering's report "Changing the Conversation" discussed the need to change the perception of engineering and computing. EPICS High projects align with these themes and result in tangible projects for the entire K-12 community to see what engineering/computing is and can be. Building on two case studies of EPICS High in computer science classrooms, this paper will open discussion and explore novel ways of engaging computer science teachers and students through compelling community-based service-learning projects using engineering design concepts. As it is EPICS High's mission is to be a leader in developing, disseminating, and supporting service- learning models that engage high school students in engineering and computing-based design projects that meet the needs of their communities, EPICS High intends to build relationships with computer science teachers to learn the best way this model can be implemented in their courses and help these teachers pilot an EPICS project that connects with their community.
- An Innovative Approach to Secondary Mathematics for Engineering and Science
- The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for NICERC's Advanced Math for Engineering and Science (AMES) curriculum that will lead to a series of studies on various aspects of the curriculum. Included in the paper is a description of the content, an explanation for the integration of AMES with other curricula, and a description of the professional development for AMES. AMES is a high school curriculum aimed at integrating multiple disciplines in order to provide context for the mathematics concepts used daily by engineers and scientists. This paper begins by discussing the structure of AMES. The structure is based on an analytic geometry approach to concepts taught in high school and post-secondary institutions combined with a multidisciplinary approach providing the context. Additionally, the paper outlines a broad description of the content in AMES and how multiple disciplines such as history, physics, and American government are incorporated into various lessons. This paper then demonstrates how other curricula are interwoven into AMES. Lastly, the paper includes a description of the professional development component of AMES. This section discusses how the professional development engages teachers prior to implementing the course.
Friday, October 25, 13:30 - 15:00
Exhibitor Showcase - NextThought
Topic: NextThought: Frontiers in Social Education Moderator: Jim Sluss, University of Oklahoma Speakers: Adam Croom (Director of Digital Content, University of Oklahoma), Kyle Harper (Senior Vice Provost, University of Oklahoma), Mark Morvant (Professor/Executive Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Oklahoma), Ken Parker (CoFounder, CEO, NextThought)
Description: The University of Oklahoma (OU) has launched an online learning initiative using the NextThought platform. This session will present a panel discussion of the partnership between OU and NextThought. Topics include: the strategic direction and objectives of the OU project, a demonstration of the OU implementation using NextThought software, and pedagogy and authoring for a course. Audience questions and participation are welcomed.
F3A: Special Session: What is the Role of MOOCs in Engineering Education?
- What is the Role of MOOCs in Engineering Education?
- MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a recent phenomenon that, some believe, will transform higher education. With their low cost and potential to reach a large number of students, MOOCs have the potential to broaden access to education at all levels. The capabilities of the technology and its widespread distribution make interactive online learning possible at any time, in any place, at any pace. Unfortunately, however, MOOCs have infiltrated higher education at such a rapid pace that there has been little time for large groups of educators to have meaningful discussions about how MOOCs can be leveraged to support student learning. This special session is designed to meet this need. There are two main goals of this interactive session. The first is to bring together a panel of diverse experts and engineering educators to provide an opportunity for them to exchange ideas about the potential of MOOCs to transform engineering education. A second goal is to build a community of engineering educators interested in MOOCs, and identify a set of research questions regarding MOOCs and student learning. In light of these goals, the intended audience for this session is engineering faculty interested in learning about and using MOOCs.
Friday, October 25, 13:30 - 16:00
F3B: Special Session: Defining and Assessing Engineering Ethics
- Defining and Assessing Engineering Ethics
- The motivation of the special session was to allow engineering educators and researchers to experience two different instruments intended to assess ethical reasoning--one which measures general moral reasoning, and one that is situated in the engineering context—so they can identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are specific to engineering. This will inform how we teach and assess engineering ethics, and equip educators with tools for using these instruments as part of the student learning. The special session format will allow for discussion and debate on the relevance of the approach and appropriateness for our own classrooms.
Friday, October 25, 13:30 - 15:00
F3C: Approaches to Student-Centered Learning III
- Ill-structured problem solving in a workplace simulation environment: challenges of the learning experience and skills developed
- Engineering workplace problems are complex and ill-structured. Students should be faced with this kind of problems during their studies in order to be better prepared for the workplace. However, there is still little evidence on the strategies to support students' learning during workplace problem solving. The general objective of our on-going research is to identify teaching strategies that would best support students in solving ill-structured problems while preparing them to step into the work environment after graduating from the conventional engineering curricula. To this end we designed the professional practice course for final year Information and Communication Technology (ICT) engineering students. Educational principles applied include problem and project based learning, workplace simulation and experiential learning. In this paper we describe the research design that centers on determining the challenges that students perceive during different phases of ill-structured problem solving process, with relationship to their learning styles and skills development.
- Information and Communication Technologies literacy from engineering students at the University of Buenos Aires
- A survey concerning literacy in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was held at the School of Engineers of the University of Buenos Aires. The overall aim was to state if ICT literacy can be considered as an existing background among our student population. In addition we wanted to identify possible environments where students and faculty can interact and learning is possible. Building such environments is highly dependent on previous experience of students to ICT and its breadth of use. In this work we detail the survey results, draw some conclusions and outline some considerations on how to deal with ICT in the classroom.
- "Unmuddying" Course Content Using Muddiest Point Reflections
- Class instruction is a living and ever evolving process aimed at providing students with a quality education. Instructors are responsible for analyzing their courses to ensure that delivery of information is effective. Changes made are usually based on student assessments; however, our reactions to assessments are flawed without student insight. One method to obtain student feedback is through muddiest point reflections. This activity asks students to reflect on what was just taught allowing students the opportunity to share what was "muddy". This mixed-methods study provides vignettes from faculty members on their use of muddiest point reflections and an assessment of what value students associate with such an intervention. Faculty members who have used this approach say it drives change within their classes. The analysis of student value beliefs revealed muddiest point reflections as an intervention that positively impacts interest, attainment, and utility value without negative cost. The appeal of muddiest points was also evident with 77% of students hoping to see muddiest point reflections in another class and 93% agreeing to recommend their course experience to a friend. These findings suggest that students agree more than disagree that muddiest point reflections are a valuable addition to their educational experience.
- Learning from Industry by Using an Inquiry Based Learning Approach
- Inquiry based and constructivist activities can motivate students to take charge of their own learning,understand multiple perspectives and develop high level reasoning skills. This paper describes a case study of six year teaching practice in one of our Master courses. The course requires the students to acquire critically analysis, evaluation and research skills. The course also requires the students to acquire the techniques and technologies related to many aspects of an enterprise website. There are only 32 hours for class meetings so the students have to work by themselves in most of the time. The best way to achieve the course requirements is to use the constructivist activities, let the students individually or collaboratively to work with the relevant partners and build the required knowledge and skills gradually. An assignment was developed which requires the students to investigate different aspects of an enterprise website.To complete this assignment, the students need to use an inquiry based learning approach. The practice is evaluated by using a set of survey data, a set of data observed from the marking reports and the industry feedbacks. The practice is effective, while the practice is improving; the students' abilities of planning, investigating, analyzing, communicating and reflecting are improving as well. The students' contributions are valuable to the industry. The paper also includes a discussion which links the teaching practice with the relevant theories.
- Scaffolding Students in a Complex Learning Environment
- The design of distributed systems is a rather complex and difficult task. Distributed systems are complex systems that can be characterized as wicked problems because they involve an intricate combination of changing relationships between their various components. Research shows that it takes a lot of deliberate practice to move from the mindset of a novice to the mindset of an expert. To start cultivating experts design mindset we designed a cognitive support system consisting of a suite of mechanisms characterized by mentorship and social interactions around a real-world project. In a problem-based learning environment with cased-based reasoning, students have to follow a systematic approach using a common system of activities of "ritualized" activity structures. The systematic approach is based on the Rational Unified Process, CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) with rubrics, and scaffolding: questions prompts, peer-review, expert modeling, and self-reflection. This paper describes the challenges faced by novices and instructors in wicked problems design tasks in the context of developing a prototype and its framework and middleware for a complex distributed application while learning distributed systems concepts. It also outlines our interactive learning environment to scaffold the design and developing process improving student's problem-solving skills and time on-task to reduce frustration.
F3D: Student as Learner
- Using a Competency-Based Instructional Approach in Thermodynamics
- Many engineering classes are highly sequential, causing students that fail to grasp initial topics to struggle as courses progress. Despite instructor exhortations to master fundamental subjects, students often continue to struggle instead of investing the time to review. Because students do not proactively re-learn initial content, a competency-based approach was implemented in a highly sequential thermodynamics course. In the approach, students scoring below 80% on the first exam were required to pass an online review quiz in order to take subsequent exams. Only 3 out of 135 students were unable to take the second exam, but all were able to pass by the time of the third exam. Significant increases (p<0.01) were achieved in both the average course grade and average grade on the third (final) exam as compared to the previous offering of the course, with the average grade on the final exam rising from 66.5% to 74.0% and the overall course grade rising from 76.2% to 83.2%. The competency-based structure forced students to review fundamental material that is necessary both later within a course and in subsequent courses, and seems to particularly benefit the poorer performing students. This may have impacts on student retention and persistence
- Shared Note-Taking Using Electronic Enhanced Guided Notes: Peer-Review Activity, Performance, and Self-Regulated Learning Skills
- Literature suggests that note-taking activity helps students in their learning process and successfully increases performance. Previous studies also have suggested that collaborative learning facilitates students to learn from different views of interpreting information. Although many studies have revealed positive correlations between collaborative learning and student performance, few studies have been conducted to investigate peer-review activity, students' performance, and self-regulated learning skills while engaged in shared note-taking using electronic enhanced guided notes. The main research question of the current study was to investigate how students' review frequency of peers' enhanced guided notes and learning performance reflected on their self-regulated learning skills. With regards to this question, we specifically explored differences among students according to their peer-review activity and performance and how the differences reflected on their self-regulated learning skills. Our findings revealed four groups of students based on those differentiation factors. Data analysis showed that while sixty percent of participants were willing to review their peers' enhanced guided notes regularly, sixty-eight percent of participants performed very well on the exams. Results also suggest that willingness to review peers' guided notes positively correlated with planning and cognitive strategies. Implications of the use of shared note-taking in an engineering classroom will be discussed.
- Assessing Student Knowledge Transfer During Group Work
- Successful group work requires that students transfer relevant prior knowledge to solve problems. This paper establishes a method to assess dynamic knowledge transfer in a group setting through analysis of a group project in a biomechanics class. Transcripts of student-student and student-instructor interactions were coded for evidence of target tools (students identifying relevant problem features), source tools (students activating prior knowledge), answers (stopping points), external inputs (resources and prompts from individuals or the instructor), and workbench explanations (student explanations of connections between source tools and target tools). Knowledge transfer was identified when a source tool and a target tool were coded within a phrase. The frequencies of codes were quantified to provide an overall picture of knowledge transfer for each group member throughout the project. Analysis for one group (a sophomore and junior bioengineering student, and a freshman engineering student) revealed that the junior was the largest contributor in the group, followed by the sophomore and freshman. The group mentioned source tools most frequently, followed by external inputs and target tools. The analysis provided evidence of knowledge transfer within the group through their identification of target tools and use of prior knowledge to explain their observations.
- Comparing Learning Styles Questionnaires
- The study reported herein considered three questionnaires available for assessing learning styles, viz., Kolb, Honey-Alonso, and Felder-Soloman. The questionnaires were implemented in a spreadsheet with automated results, and distributed to subjects of both genders, and varying age, and academic background. The aim of the work was to determine which questionnaire, if any, would be preferred by respondents. The respondents were asked to answer all three questionnaires, examine the results and indicate their satisfaction by grading each result, using a scale between 0 and 10. While the results given by each questionnaire do not allow a complete comparison, partial agreement was possible to identify. Answers provided by 52 respondents have been processed, which show that, while there is no statistically significant difference among the preference of respondents regarding the three options, a slight preference for the Felder-Soloman questionnaire is discernible.
- Learning in Style: Correlation of Learning Styles with Problem Comprehension and Perceptions in an Introductory Chemical Engineering Course
- Learning styles are emphasized as being preferences for how an individual learns and indicators of how studying should be approached, rather than indicators of success. This has not, however, prevented researchers from exploring whether student performance can be dependent on matching question type to learning style. In a study of medical students, Cook et al. failed to establish such a correlation. However, small sample size and the inherently high inclination of the sample population to succeed were likely high contributing factors. Further, preferences are adaptable by education, and this study was conducted with advanced students. We are interested in the correlations between learning style preferences, task perception, and student performance in the context of an introductory chemical engineering material balances course. Assignments have a natural degree of learning style bias, and we are looking to see if student preferences correlate with their performance and perceptions when these biases are considered. Results will provide evidence regarding whether learning styles can affect student performance, as well as identify naturally occurring biases in chemical engineering problems that are translatable to other fields. A better understanding of student background and learning preferences is invaluable in developing improved curriculum, especially in the ever-changing modern classroom.
- Identifying Misconceptions Held About the Engineering Design Process
- The primary goal of the research presented in this work-in-progress paper is to identify misconceptions held about the engineering design process. Identification is the first step in the development of a concept inventory, an instrument for assessing misconceptions. While there are several methods for assessing misconceptions, concept inventories are an excellent method for assessing a group of students. The distractor questions identify misconceptions and possible causes for them. Misconceptions coded from student responses to incomplete scenarios of the engineering design process include the idea that engineering is solution driven instead of problem/client need driven and that engineering is merely fabrication. Future work will develop, test, and validate a concept inventory for engineering design with questions based on identifying these misconceptions as well as misconceptions identified through follow-up work.
F3E: Assessment Strategies
- The Effects of Direct Observation on Student Responses in the Renewable Energy REU Program at Colorado School of Mines
- The Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE) Systems Evaluation Protocol (SEP) is a guide to evaluation, emphasizing systems modeling principles, facilitating the creation of evaluation plans with clear, specific and measurable outcomes. In 2011, CORE SEP techniques were applied to the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC) National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) site and revealed two very different pathways leading to the critical outcome of students obtaining post-baccalaureate jobs in technical fields related to renewable energies. While the experiences within a student's research group defined a clear evaluation pathway, a second pathway characterizing student attitudes shaped by the REU community at-large also emerged. This created an interesting question on the effects direct observation has on evaluation data. In response the REMRSEC REU SEP evaluation plan saw different implementations from 2011 to 2012. While both employed similar measures, the 2012 evaluators intervened only digitally. In this paper we summarize the REMRSEC REU and its CORE SEP evaluation plan. We conclude with comparison of the two evaluation implementations and speculate on how evaluator role affects the gathered data. Lastly, we discuss plans to hybridize previous implementations into the 2013 cycle.
- More Graph Comparison Techniques on Mind Maps to Provide Students with Feedback
- One of the limiting aspects in education research is the techniques available for determining if a student has learned something. In this work, the goal is to extend our exploration of how mind maps can be automatically analyzed using their graph properties to reflect student learning. In particular, a set of student mind maps are created three times during a class in both 2011 and 2012 on digital system design using a common technical vocabulary. These mind maps are analyzed by extracting graph metrics by comparison with a criterion mind map, which is an expert created mind map. The metrics are derived from traditional graph metrics (average degree and graph density), three sets of difference metrics analyzed with a internally created tool, and a graph metric invented for comparing proteins. The results of this exploratory analysis is that five of the six metrics can be used to evaluate if a student is learning and connecting the vocabulary in a given subject over time. Additionally, these five metrics are correlated to one another. This result is promising, but we emphasize that these metrics do not correlate directly to class performance based on student grades over the course, and therefore, the current goal for this measurement technique is to be used to provide the student with automated feedback on their mind maps as related to the technical vocabulary of a course. This work extends our original work in by increasing the number of graph metrics that are used to automatically analyze student maps to a criterion map. The idea is to find a number of graph metrics that can then be combined to help analyze a students mind map and provide them with useful feedback. Even though our results show that there are 5 metrics that correlate to one another and each metric can be used to observe student improvement, each of these metrics differs in how the metric can be interpreted and related to the process of learning. Therefore, our goal is to find a number of these metrics so that they can be combined to provide the student with a variety of feedback results to help them understand their errors in terms of the structure of their mind map.
- Assessment of problem solving in computing studies
- The assessment of learning outcomes is a key concept in the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) since credits are awarded when the assessment shows the competences which were aimed at have been developed at an appropriate level. This paper describes a study which was first part of the Bologna Experts Team-Spain project and then developed as an independent study. It was carried out with the overall goal to gain experience in the assessment of learning outcomes. More specifically it aimed at 1) designing procedures for the assessment of learning outcomes related to these compulsory generic competences; 2) testing some basic psychometric features that an assessment device with some consequences for the subjects being evaluated needs to prove; 3) testing different procedures of standard setting, and 4) using assessment results as orienting feedback to students and their tutors. The process of development of tests to carry out the assessment of learning outcomes is described as well as some basic features regarding their reliability and validity. First conclusions on the comparison of the results achieved at two academic levels are also presented.
- A Systems Approach to Managing Learning based on Bloom´s Revised Taxonomy to Support Student Assessment in PBL
- The dynamism and intensity of the adoption of practical learning problems (PBL) provide adverse effects contrary to traditional learning approaches. The difficulty in defining clear educational objectives aligned to appropriate forms of assessment is also a recurring challenge in the management of learning environments. As a response to this state of affairs, this paper presents an approach to a system for managing learning based on PBL that makes use of Bloom's revised taxonomy to support planning and assessment activities. The model was implemented using prototypes with low-fidelity screens and its applicability with regard to the conduct of teaching using PBL was found to be valid.
- Towards an Adaptive System for the Evaluation of Network Services
- This paper presents a new educational system to automatically adapt the evaluation activities to the students' needs in the context of Higher Engineering Education. As an example, a subject focused on the configuration of network services has been chosen to implement our proposal. Therefore, the system will be able to guide each student through the learning process based on his/her particular knowledge-level. In addition to this, specific techniques are needed to dynamically evolve the system depending on the students' progress. In our case, this is analyzed by using data mining techniques. Finally, we show survey results, which illustrate the ease of use and usefulness of the system.
- Once Again Around the Double Triangle: A Multi-Rater Assessment of Capstone Design Skills
- The Senior Capstone Design Course serves for many engineering students as an opportunity to develop crucial skills in professionalism and design that are necessary for succeeding in industry post-graduation. This study delves into the effectiveness of a senior Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Course for the development of professional and technical skills including: project management, design, engineering methods, communication and teamwork. A triangulated assessment was performed to evaluate the development of student skills using a survey administered during the middle and end of the Senior Capstone Design Course. This survey was administered to the students, team Faculty Advisors and team Industry Mentors. After analysis, it was found that teams made a significant gain pre to post in engineering methods, project management, and design skills. Communication skills remained at an acceptable level while teamwork skills dropped significantly in the second semester due to difficulties resolving interpersonal conflicts
F3F: Learning Approaches in ECE
- Teaching computer networks: a practical approach using virtualization tools
- Virtualization tools, useful softwares that enables tests and evaluation of functionalities, have been used in computer network classes to provide an environment for practice experiments. Although some papers describe these tools and their technical benefits, they do not provide quantitative information about its effectiveness. This paper presents a proposal for systematic use of this category of tools in computer classes and a evaluation of the Netkit tool use in computer network classes. It will be shown how tutorial sections have been developed to these courses, the receptivity from the students through surveys and a statistical analysis of how much students grades can be improved by applying such tutorials. Finally, it will be possible to conclude that, in fact, the use of such tools is strongly advised.
- Peer-Led Team Learning: Adjunct to Lectures in an Electrical Engineering Course for Non-Majors
- Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a recognized model for teaching and learning in which students who have done well in a course return in later semesters to serve as Peer Leaders to facilitate small learning groups. At our university (a small, private, research-intensive university) this technique is adopted in Workshops, in which Peer Leaders meet weekly with small groups of students and guide them through sets of exercises designed by the instructor(s) of the course. Peer Leaders receive instruction and support in pedagogy and group dynamics in a course jointly taught by a Learning Specialist from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and the instructor of the course. Workshops were originally developed in Organic Chemistry, and have been adapted to many other courses, ranging from Biology, Earth Sciences, Physics, and Optics, to Economics and Business. This presentation will report on the use of Workshops for several years in an Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) course intended for non-ECE majors. Only one section of the course is offered each year, so direct comparison of grades or other numeric outcomes between "treatment" and "non-treatment" groups is not possible. The course also changes a bit from year to year as some topics receive greater or lesser emphasis depending on the needs of the students and their background. The materials used in the Workshop sessions are also revised a little from year to year, along with the ways different Workshop Leaders present and handle them. We will discuss the processes and pitfalls for initiating the use of Workshops in this and other courses, present examples of Workshop problems and questions currently in use, and discuss the value of the Workshops to students, Peer Leaders, and faculty as told to us in surveys, course journals, and reflective sessions held after the course.
- Concept Maps: An Automated Support for Monitoring the Learning Process
- It is vital for a constructivist teacher to monitor the apprenticeship of each student in order to facilitate the definition of the next steps in the development of a discipline. This is a very time consuming and it requires a theoretical framework to support the observations of the teacher. This monitoring would benefit from certain automated tools to expedite parts of the process. Different pedagogical approaches say that the use of concept maps can help students in the processes of signification of new contents or in the resignitication of those already learned. The epistemological position of Piaget states that the development of a student's logical-mathematical structures is related to the learning of concepts, forming in this way a conceptual system. In the construction of concept maps we create, ultimately, what Piaget calls "significant implications" that evolve according to the semantic nature of the conceptual relations that we create. We propose here an environment for the automatic identification of the significant implications, using a family of software agents guided by an ontology. The analysis of maps will be made based on Piagetian theory. A prototype is under development and will be used to support the analysis of maps produced.
- Enhancing Student Motivation In Targeted Undergraduate Education
- Future aims of an undergraduate student are likely to evolve during the education timeline. While new knowledge and experiences emerge into students mind, the way of thinking and decision making matures, hence builds up student's mental and academic perspective. This whole progress embodies a natural motivation as a result of ongoing "change". However, a targeted undergraduate education may suffer from the deficiency of this natural motivation where the students are partially aware of the future awaiting them. Military academies are good examples of targeted education, since the students have substantial amount of knowledge about their career alternatives. This situation has both negative and positive effects on students. If the student is in a good mental state and has clear future aims, academic motivation might well exceed expectations. Student becomes eager to learn and is often willing to participate in additional social and scientific activities, which is a clear sign of motivation. However, if the student has below average grades and unclear future aims, he/she begins to question the necessity of the academic education and its direct/indirect relations to his future career. The chronic questions, though not always expressed in an audible way, "why am I learning all this theory" or "where am i going to use these" are quite common among students. These contagious questions wipe the positive attitude and remaining motivation. However, the scene is still well recoverable. The instructor, being acquainted with the practical aspects of the courses, can build solid connections between conceptual knowledge and real-world applications where possible. For instance, it is natural that Air Force Academy students are best motivated with flight and related activities. Hence, using flying platforms, flight dynamics and similar content in experimental studies and in-class demonstrations will play a vital role in motivating students for academic study. This paper focuses on enhancing motivation and learning in automatic control course in Turkish Air Force Academy. Control systems related courses are considered as being advantageous since various practical applications can be established, which are directly related to Air Force mission. In this sense, a four rotor aerial experimentation platform is designed, built and utilized for courses and laboratories. Learning objectives and outcomes are emphasized rather than technical details which are given in previously published articles. The success of the method is evaluated by student surveys and instructor observations.
- A Semi-Autonomous Embedded Systems Course
- Educational research has shown that students learn with deeper understanding and retain that understanding for a greater duration when they learn in an environment of inquiry. In order to foster an environment of inquiry in an embedded systems course, we have redesigned the course to give students more and more autonomy with course material as the course progresses. In this paper, we describe the design and preliminary assessment of a semi-autonomous embedded systems course in the computer engineering program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Preliminary assessment data indicate that the course appears to provide an environment of inquiry for students, but further assessment is required to determine if the semi-autonomous nature of the course increased student understanding and retention of course material.
- Can utilizing social media and visual programming increase retention of minorities in programming classes?
- This paper discusses how Social Digital Literacy is being used in CS1 to teach critical and computational thinking by delivering content to students through the use of social media. Social Digital Literacy (SDL) is the way in which people use social media to enhance their social network, effectively increase their knowledge base, while communicating clearly and professionally through the use of social media. The increased popularity of social media amongst college students makes it an opportune time to consider a new form of literacy based on how technology is used by students, the devices that students interact with on a daily bases and the mainstream acceptance of social media in daily life. In order to retain students in computing classes, students are taught in an efficacious manner how to capitalize on the technology that they use on a daily basis. By increasing their SDL proficiency to become a more informed student, a well versed employee and consciously aware of what they post to social media. The expectation is that the approach being used can be implemented in any introductory programming course.
F3G: Mobile and Online Learning III
- Health Monitoring Laboratories by Interfacing Physiological Sensors to Mobile Android Devices
- The recent sensing capabilities of mobile devices along with their interactivity and popularity in the student community can be used to create a unique learning environment in engineering education. Android Java-DSP (AJDSP) is a mobile educational application that interfaces with sensors and enables simulation and visualization of signal processing concepts. In this paper, we present the work done towards building non-invasive physiological signal monitoring tools in AJDSP through hardware interfaces to both external sensors and on-board device sensors. Examples of laboratory exercises that can be introduced in classes are presented. The proposed software tools can be used to provide intuitive understanding in wireless sensing and feature extraction to demonstrate the application of DSP to health monitoring systems. The effectiveness of the software modules in enhancing student understanding is demonstrated with the help of preliminary assessments.
- Update 2013 on the iCollaborate MSE Project
- The primary goals of the iCollaborate Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) project are to improve student learning outcomes, engagement, and completion rates in introductory materials engineering courses. This extensive research project is multidimensional and includes several interrelated components, all of which are founded upon best practices from STEM education research. There are several individual elements within the project that operate simultaneously or sequentially and unite to form a novel teaching and learning system. The detailed analysis of pre-course knowledge and mis-perceptions showed a surprising lack of pre-conceptual knowledge and revealed several important student mis-perceptions. This paper focuses on components of the iCollaborate project that were researched, analyzed, or developed during the Fall 2011 through Winter 2013 timeframe. First, a summary of the pre-course assessment findings is given in this paper. Second, an overview of the suite of MSE iPod applications and newly developed web applications for iCollaborate is presented. Finally, an overview of the supporting web site for the project, which is currently under development, is described. The paper concludes with a description of the remaining objectives for the iCollaborate project and future research directions. The National Science Foundation is supporting the project (NSF CCLI/TUES #941012).
- The effectiveness of brief, spaced practice on student difficulties with basic and essential engineering skills
- Through extensive testing and interviews of sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students in a Materials Science Engineering course at The Ohio State University, we found that these students struggle with many skills necessary for their coursework. Often these "essential skills" were prerequisite to the course and little to no instruction time was spent on them. Online training was developed to attempt to improve these skills. Students participated in the training several times over the term, with each assignment taking 10-20 minutes and consisting of 10 questions. Students were allowed unlimited attempts on each assignment and were required to achieve mastery (80% or better) for full credit. Training covered a wide range of topics: interpreting log plots and log scales, using metric prefixes for various conversions, estimating typical values of common material properties, employing dimensional analysis, and operating equations when given variables in mixed units. Unlike the success achieved by the log plots training, most of the topics saw little and insufficient improvement as a result of training, despite the basic nature of the skills. Future improvements to the training will focus on determining which factors will help to convince students of the importance of mastering these prerequisite skills.
- Student accuracy in reading logarithmic plots: the problem and how to fix it
- Through extensive student testing and interviews, we found that the majority of university sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students in a standard introductory materials science engineering course have a variety of difficulties reading correct values from simple logarithmic graphs. For example, students often unknowingly interpreted the log scale as linear and were confused about the order of magnitude of a value in the negative exponent region. To address these issues, we used the results of our findings to develop and implement a set of online "essential skills" tasks to help students achieve a core level of mastery and fluency in reading log plots, a basic and critical skill for engineers. The online tasks were administered as for-credit homework assigned several times throughout the semester, and students spent 10-20 minutes on each assignment. Results of post-tests indicate that with this minimal practice, students were able to dramatically improve their accuracy in reading log plots compared to a control group with no log plot practice. Furthermore, testing one month after training demonstrated that student continued to retain the learned skill. Future development will focus on making these essentials skills task broadly available online and further improving effectiveness and usability.
- Inquiry-based Learning Environment Using Intelligent Tutoring System
- The present study aims to discuss the development of a collaborative inquiry-based learning environment with the support of an intelligent tutoring system for general education. Following an inquiry-based learning approach, the learner-centered activities involve students making questions about a given theme based on a subject proposed by teachers. Here the collaborative nature of interaction is seen as a fertile space for learning since it enables the mobilization, interpretation and coordination of contributions to achieve a common goal. Students may require instruction and feedback to help them exploit the learning environment to its full potential. To provide the necessary assistance, an intelligent tutoring system is proposed. Intelligent tutoring systems are computer programs capable of providing immediate and customized instruction or feedback to students, without the need of human intervention. In our proposal, a text mining tool provides key concepts about the interaction of the student within the environment. This information can be used by a recommender system, which searches for related material in the Internet and in other specific learning repositories. The relevance of the learning environment proposed here lies on its capacity to give assistance through a recommender system, promoting a richer interactive learning.
F3H: ECE IV
- Explaining Semiconductor Device Physics with a Fusion of Lectures and Videos
- Concepts that describe the operation of semiconductor devices tend to be some of the most difficult for students to grasp. Hands-on experimentation can be used to demonstrate the concepts discussed in lectures or course readings and to stimulate student interest through visual applications of the concepts. However, such activities can be impractical to integrate into the classroom. Thus, multimedia tutorials have been developed on some of the concepts to support student learning and to address why a solid foundation in semiconductor device physics is critical to their development as electrical or computer engineers. Each tutorial includes a review of the theory that is demonstrated in the experiment, which is then presented. Reinforcement of their learning occurs immediately in the form of a brief video from an expert (not necessarily the course instructor) with his or her explanation. Assessment on student learning has been initiated using an assessment tool developed to evaluate hands-on learning at Georgia Tech.
- Development of a Concept Inventory for Microelectronics Courses
- Rapid advances in the microelectronics industry, including the scaling of electronic devices to nanometer-scale geometries and the development of radical new devices based on nanotechnologies, mandate that curriculum revisions be continually made in electronics and integrated circuit (IC) design courses. These revisions, encompassing the enhancement of existing courses in IC design and the development of new ones in nanoelectronics, are necessary to ensure that graduates from electrical engineering programs are well-prepared to design and innovate in an increasingly nanotechnology-based world. As new material and pedagogies are introduced into microelectronics courses, it is essential to have an accurate assessment of student understanding of the core concepts in this discipline. A concept inventory (CI) test allows an assessment of the conceptual understanding of the students with regard to this key information. Hence, a CI test is an invaluable diagnostic instrument when planning improvements in the curriculum as well as for uncovering student misconceptions about the course material. CI tests have been utilized in other disciplines, with the most widely known being the force concept inventory (FCI) in physics. More recently, CI tests have been developed for some core electronics and signal processing classes. This paper will report on our initial attempts to develop a concept inventory test for a senior-level course in microelectronics. Our initial set of CI tests was administered in an IC design course called VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Design in Fall 2012 in which nanoelectronics concepts were also introduced. The CI tests provided two types of assessment. First, they provided a basis for assessing student understanding of some core concepts upon entering the course. Courses such as Digital Systems and Electronic Circuits are important prerequisites for this course. As such, we first drew upon existing concept inventories that have been developed for these courses. Second, the student conceptual understanding of material taught in the course was assessed by the development of an appropriate set of questions. The methodology followed the standard approaches reported in the literature. This includes identifying the core concepts for this course and developing an initial set of multiple choice questions. Appropriate distractors were included to probe for common student misconceptions. The questions covered the core concepts of the course as well as more advanced design issues such as low power design and scaling of devices. These second set of CI tests were administered at two points in the semester. Most questions included a space for students to write a written response so that some insight into the student thought processes could be gained. A focus group discussion was conducted with four students to obtain additional feedback. The paper will report on these results and the correlation with student scores from exams and project reports. The ongoing development of these CI tests will include obtaining external feedback from experts in the field of microelectronics, adding more questions to validate the reliability of the test, and the administration of the CI tests in different courses and at other colleges for additional beta testing.
- Online laboratories as a cloud service developed by students
- On-line laboratories (virtual or remote) are widely used in experimental engineering subjects as part of the learning process. In order to develop these laboratories, a development framework called RELATED (Remote Laboratories exTendED) is used by the Communications and Control System Department of the Spanish University for Distance Education of Spain (UNED). This framework defines a structured and methodological development procedure, allowing the students the generation of their own laboratories. Once the laboratory is developed (based in its components), students have to configure their own computing resources in order to make their labs available. However, several problems must be faced by students in the "deployment" of their labs: network configuration, hardware availability, and so on. So, in order to solve these problems, an automatic system based on cloud providers is defined to allow students having their own cloud network/resources for their developed labs. This system simplifies the lab deployment and avoids common errors/mistakes in the development of laboratories with RELATED.
- Real-time FM Radio for Teaching DSP and Communication Systems
- In digital signal processing (DSP) and communication systems courses much of the material is theoretical. There are some students who are more motivated to learn if they can see a connection to the real world, but unfortunately many real-world communication and DSP systems are very complex, and including them as part of a course is difficult or impossible. The FM radio, however, is a relatively simple system that is in some ways ideal as a real-world example because it includes both analog and digital signals. The analog signals transmit the audio and the digital Radio Data System (RDS) signal transmits auxiliary information such as the name of the artist, song, current time, etc. This paper describes an FM radio with RDS decoder based on an inexpensive FM module and an affordable DSP board. The system runs in real-time, demodulates FM radio, plays the music through speakers, displays the name of the song and artist, and allows access to the internal signals. This real-time receiver can be used in demonstrations in a lecture course or as the basis for a series of laboratory experiments.
- Engaging a Variety of Students in Digital Design with Competition
- This paper highlights the successes of contestants enrolled in an Introduction to Engineering class that took on the task of designing and building a robot to solve a problem with little or no background in electronics or programming. The semester long project started with developing a problem statement and from there timeline followed the Digilent Design Contest. Students had deadlines and formats for design documentation required by Digilent for the contest. While some students were attracted to the challenge of creating and implementing a design of their very own, other students are excited to compare their design against projects from students at other institutions. These competitions are designed to feed the excitement of the students and also fuel creativity.
- Motivating and Preparing First-Year Students in Computer and Engineering Science
- During recent years the interest in Engineering Studies has declined at universities both in the United States and in many Western European countries including Sweden. In addition, among those students that do enroll, an increasing number drop-out. This paper presents an attempt to mitigate these worrying problems in the form of a new kind of introductory course for first-year engineering students studying on a 5-year long Master of Science program in Computer Science and Engineering. The course is novel in that it takes a holistic approach to motivate and prepare students for their further studies. Core subjects and useful tools are mixed together into an intense 10-week course with 12 separate course modules on different topics, often running in parallel. The course has a total of 21 individual examinations to take, tasks to carry out, and deadlines to meet. The examinations and tasks are chosen among those common in our School of Engineering. Evaluations show that, although demanding for the students, the course works well and fulfills its goals.
F3I: Integrating Design Throughout the Curriculum
- Evolution of a First Year Project Based Design Course
- First year project based design courses may face several obstacles. The students have very limited experience in design, construction and realization of prototypes, and in testing and evaluation of their designs. Most first year introduction to engineering courses cover a wide variety of important topics, but lack a strong emphasis on design. Originally our Introduction to Engineering course was similar to those offered at other institutions. In 2004 the format and focus of this course was transformed into a project based design course for first year students. This paper discusses the changes that have been implemented over the past nine years, to the point where this first year course now contains most of the elements of more advanced design courses at our institution.
- STEM Explore, Discover, Apply - Elective Courses that Use the Engineering Design Process to Foster Excitement for STEM in Middle School Students
- Engaging students early in meaningful STEM experiences will help them maintain a level of interest in STEM fields later in life. However, the key is developing meaningful courses in STEM for K-12 students. These students not only need to have a "fun" experience, but a meaningful one, where they connect with, and develop deep understanding of the material being presented. STEM Explore, Discover, Apply (STEM EDA) is being created by the Cyber Innovation Center, a 501c not-for-profit as a middle school elective course. STEM EDA is designed as a three course progression through topics that foster excitement for STEM. The curriculum is designed to enhance the core science and math classes taken in middle school. STEM EDA begins by exploring STEM concepts (STEM Explore, 6th grade) then transition to discovering fundamental concepts (STEM Discover, 7th grade), followed by the application of the concepts (STEM Apply, 8th grade). This work in progress will outline the framework for STEM EDA, including the various modules of the courses. Additionally, this paper will discuss how the engineering design process is integrated into the modules, how other disciplines are highlighted, and showcase a specific module in this innovative middle school elective curriculum.
- Sparking Creativity in Computer Science for Interdisciplinary Students
- A class on Technologies for Creative Learning was designed to investigate the answers to a well-researched question "What learning mechanisms spark creativity?" The class was offered for the first time at Oklahoma Baptist University during the Winter 2013 semester, and was structured to introduce computer science concepts to an interdisciplinary group of students. A key enabler of most modern learning mechanisms is technology, and this class explored the use of various platforms in the design and functionality of learning-devices. Learning devices are marketed as 'toys' for children, and take the form of blogs, online encyclopedias, apps, specialized experiments and books for adults. We explored what makes learning through technology effective, special and even addictive using all the learning devices. The curriculum was divided into three modules: Introduction to the theory of learning, Learning computer science (CS) concepts and Creativity and Collaboration. Each module had a learning phase and the testing phase. The learning phase of the first module focused on theories of learning through the kindergarten model of education. Since learning is a lifelong activity, it was chosen to be the key element of investigation and it was explored through the medium of learning about computer science. The students were introduced to simple programming in Scratch and multi-agent modeling as part of the design phase of the first module. The second module on Learning CS concepts expanded on the knowledge of Scratch that the students gained in the first module. Using the software environment supported by Alice, the students used the design platform of the Finch robot. This module focused on learning by discovery, where they explored Alice based on their knowledge of Scratch and programmed a Finch robot. This was designed to allow students to test their theories of learning in the form of individual projects. Robotics was chosen as the design platform for this class, since robotics is an important tool in cultivating an interest in computer science. Since robots are a cultural construct in our world, robotics can inspire cross-disciplinary interest in students and foster collaboration and creativity. The third and final module on Collaboration and Creativity was designed to tie in computer science concepts, learning theories, collaboration and creativity. The final module was a group project whose theme was the 'The Social Life of Robots'. The interpretation and implementation of the theme was left open to students. Considering that there was no requirement for previous programming experience, in the true spirit of interdisciplinary learning, this class touched on educational research in areas of cognition, psychology, education, computer science and programming. This work addresses the implications of programming and robotics to foster creativity in computer science and discusses the outcomes of the modules.
- Increasing Student Interest in STEM via the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby
- According to the Help Wanted: The Role of Foreign Workers in the Innovation Economy Report, "It is critical for our economic future that we…educate and train more US workers in STEM fields..." This paper will explore a project associated with the National Science Foundation STEM GK-12 Program at Drexel University titled "Catalyzing STEM Education via the NAE Grand Challenges" (http://www.engineeringchallenges.org) that serves to address the above-described need. Specifically, the Drexel NSF STEM GK-12 program pairs ten College of Engineering graduate students (Fellows) with ten School District of Philadelphia high school teachers to help introduce engineering concepts to high school students through the context of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges. This work in progress explores a high school vehicle design project as part of the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby (KKSD) facilitated by a fellow/teacher partnership at Central High School, an urban school in Philadelphia comprised of 40% underrepresented groups in the STEM fields. A unique feature of the project is that students from the IB Design Technology course were grouped in an interdisciplinary team with other students from World History and Sculpture classes to develop a vehicle based on the structure of a bicycle.
- Curriculum Integration for the ECE Undergraduate Core Courses in Electronics
- This paper discusses the work in progress to restructure the Electronics curriculum in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in order to improve the system integration learning experience gained by the undergraduate students. The goals of restructuring the ECE Electronics curriculum are as follows: a) train and prepare students to design and analyze complex electronic systems first at the subsystem and system level before teaching and learning electronics at the component level; and b) strengthen the infrastructure for the system integration learning experience with other courses such as power electronics through the use of integrated projects developed for the Electronics curriculum. To realize these goals, the curriculum of Electronics I and Electronics II are redesigned. Electronics I is designed to focus on the design and analysis of electronic circuits, devices, and processes at the system and subsystem level. Electronics II is designed to focus on the study, operation, and analysis of electronic circuits, devices, and processes at the component level. Centralized projects are selected as platforms to allow students to develop the skills in designing and analyzing electronic systems. The students' performance and survey show that the Electronics curriculum restructure has a positive impact on students' learning.
- First-Year / Senior Year Design Data: Preliminary Results from Ongoing Research on Post-secondary Design Student Activities
- The College of Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University requires its students to take a semester long engineering profession and project-based design course as first-year students and a capstone project-based design course over the span of two semesters as seniors. There is a desire to ascertain the actual and normalized time, process progression, and traffic patterns of engineering student design project teams navigating a design process and gauge these metrics across engineering majors and against faculty impressions and expectations, with an eventual goal of gauging against professional practice as well. Once student design activity application is analyzed with respect to faculty and professional expectations, pedagogical and curricular content adjustments can be made as necessary to align these project-based, experiential learning activities with perceived practice. The analysis of student progress compared to faculty and professional perspectives will provide an opportunity to dissect and reinforce the foundation of engineering design education at the University.
Friday, October 25, 16:00 - 17:30
F4A: Mini-Workshop: Hands-On Activities with Portable Electronics to Engage Students in Analog Electronics Education (lab-in-a-box)
- Hands-On Learning with Portable Electronics
- Contact Mr. Alex Wong, Digilent Inc.,(509)334-6306, email@example.com Goals: The goal is to demonstrate how active learning modules using portable electronics can be integrated into undergraduate analog electronics and high-school physics education - as activities conducted during lecture in the classroom or as hands-on homework assignments/projects. Participants will understand the relationship between analog circuits and technology experience engineering design; identify methods of incorporating the materials provided into existing classroom curriculum. This hands-on exposure provides fundamental experiences for learning about engineering and helps build an intuitive understanding of key concepts, as opposed to the rote memorization. Description Participants will receive hands-on instruction on the use of the portable electronics tool and use it to build and test a variety of analog circuits used in a range of applications. They will evaluate several active learning modules that have been designed to demonstrate theoretical concepts and to stimulate student engagement in learning analog circuits and physics. The design of hands-on activities, the value of supporting instructional materials, and methods to incorporate these activities into the curriculum will be discussed. Participants can participate in classroom demonstrations that expose the fundamentals of analog circuit design in a group setting. Presenters Kathleen Meehan, Phd., is an Assistant Professor in Virginia Tech. Kathleen earned her BS in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College and her MS and PhD from the University of Illinois. She worked in Lytel and Polaroid before moving into academia full-time in 1997. She is involved in curriculum development and educational research as well as research on nanoscale materials and packaging. Since 2003, she has collaborated with Dr. Robert W. Hendricks to develop an instructional platform known as Lab-in-a-Box, with assistance of a number of undergraduate students in Virginia Tech BSEE program. Mario Simoni, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). Mario earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Park's College of St. Louis University and his MS and PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology. At RHIT, Mario has taught a range of classes ranging from introductory level to advanced graduate level. His research interests include improving learning in introductory linear systems courses, analog and RF integrated circuit design, and outreach activities for high-school physics education. He has published papers at ASEE, FIE, and various IEEE Transactions journals. Agenda Understand the tools (10 minutes) Build two to three analog circuit examples (25 minutes) Introduce current hands-on curriculum in analog electronics education (10 minutes) Simulate the classroom module with the use of tools (35 minutes) Discuss the design of hands-on activities in analog electronics education (10 minutes) Audience The anticipated audience includes academia in Electrical and Computer Engineering , First Year Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering and outreach K-12 education. The maximum number of attendees is 25. Takeaways Each participant will receive access to a portable electronics tool, online teaching and learning materials including texts, exercises, design projects, instructional videos, and other materials geared towards hands-on analog electronics education. Participants need to bring a laptop.
F4B: Panel: Effective Recruiting for Diversity
- Effective Recruiting for Diversity: based on the Tapestry Workshop Outcomes
- Women of all colors are underrepresented in most technical disciplines. For example, electrical engineering college graduates have comprised only about ten percent women for many years, and computing graduates only about eighteen percent women, down from about thirty-five percent in the mid-1980s. Gender stereotypes and stereotypes about creators of technology contribute to this underrepresentation. Nevertheless, these prevailing conditions can be overcome to a substantial degree by actively recruiting diverse female students. This panel session will provide an introduction to the reasons for active recruiting, methods for successful active recruiting, examples of effective applications of the recommended methods, and resources to help participants as they attempt to actively recruit underrepresented students to their courses. The panel's focus will be on computing disciplines, but the information applies to other technical disciplines as well.
F4C: Student Beliefs, Motivation & Persistence II
- Pastoral Care and Student Support: Developing a Method of Retention
- The Bachelor of Engineering (BE) at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand, is a relatively new degree which recently received full accreditation with the Washington Accord in 2012. The BE focuses specifically on Electronics, Computer Systems, Software, and Network engineering. The BE is the outcome of support from the New Zealand Government which has targeted funding for tertiary engineering programmes to increase the number of tertiary qualified engineers to meet industry demand. The majority of students gain entry to the BE having passed through the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) system which operates throughout New Zealand High Schools. Potential engineering students are required to have moderate final year grades in Secondary School mathematics, particularly with calculus and physics. The transition from High School to first year Engineering at University can be very difficult for many students.Students are required to obtain a B grade average (65% or above) over their core first year engineering subjects in order to progress further with the BE. Since its inception in 2007, the BE programme has had a 60-70% failure rate of students not achieving the B average. In 2009, the New Zealand Government funded a Tertiary Education Commission project at VUW to investigate the barriers to success and retention for first year university engineering students. This project uncovered that much of the failure could be attributed to poor academic preparation by students entering the BE directly from High School. The project also identified a disturbingly poor level of engagement by students with the numerous available support services, and poor engagement with first year courses. To reduce high attrition rates and improve student engagement, the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS), developed several key initiatives. A significant development was collaboration with the Te Rōpū Āwhina whānau (Āwhina) programme. Āwhina primarily, but not exclusively, functions to support indigenous Maori and Pacific Island students transitioning to tertiary Science and Engineering study. Āwhina utilizes a whanau (Maori phrase for "family") approach which encourages daily interaction and mentoring. This paper will discuss how Big Sister supports the identification of at risk students and how this system is integrated into the delivery of effective Pastoral Care. Importantly, this paper will also discuss the information gained from student interviews by the Pastoral Care staff member. In particular, we discuss the findings in relation to student self-efficacy and success and how this is being used to improve the continued development of the first year teaching and learning environment. Student access to support services has greatly increased as a direct result of the pastoral care staff member. The final version of this paper will provide an evaluation of these results.
- Student Perceptions of Cheating in Online and Traditional Classes
- With classroom instruction undergoing a massive transformation to incorporate online learning techniques at unprecedented levels, technological advances have facilitated a range of mechanisms that improve teaching and learning. At the same time, these technological advances have also facilitated different forms of cheating in classes. Although the impact and implications of cheating have often been studied, we feel that this problem experiences constant evolution, and the dynamics of cheating, especially in online courses, needs more examination to be fully grasped. The study presented here surveyed computer science, computer information systems, and engineering college students, with the goal of gaining a greater understanding of their perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes about the many dimensions of academic integrity violations. Results of this survey, coupled with statistical analysis and some conclusions, are presented. The impact of our popular Virtual Lab (VLAB) facility is also examined in this context, and it is found to make a positive difference in student attitudes about cheating in classes.
- Perceptions and Influencers Affecting Engineering and Computer Science Student Persistence
- In the 2012-2013 academic year, a survey to investigate why engineering and computer science students persist in their major was conducted at Michigan Technological University. This paper discusses the results of the survey and ties the findings to the literature. It focuses on: (1) who influenced students' decisions on picking a major or on changing a major (for example, friends, family, academic advisors, faculty, upper-division or graduate students, co-workers, and supervisors), and how did they affect students' persistence and (2) what is the impact of role models on student persistence. The analysis compares students who reported not having considered changing majors to students who considered switching to another major. The findings show that the students who did not consider changing majors reported having a stronger support system including faculty, academic advisors, and engineers who serve as role models. The data suggest that university faculty and staff need to reach out to the students who are deliberating about their initial choice of major and support the decision making process.
- The Dynamic Image of the Engineer
- In this work, engineering students are asked what engineering is and what it means to be an engineer. Their responses suggest that there may be an inconsistent development of the image of an engineer as the student progresses within their engineering program, and a lack of philosophical discussion that leads to a deeper understanding of their field. Additionally, non-engineering students are given the same questions, providing an interesting perspective. The survey questions are presented and an analysis of the results is provided with suggested approaches to improve the observed issues.
- Comparing the Attitudes towards Engineering of Honors Students and Engineering Students at a Liberal Arts University
- In Fall 2012, 53 honors students and 53 engineering students (including seven students in both honors and engineering) completed a survey designed to solicit their attitudes towards engineering and their ability to succeed in engineering. Preliminary analysis of five factors shows that the attitudes of engineers and honors students were similar in many respects. The main areas of difference were that honors liberal arts students had lower confidence in their ability to succeed in science and math and all non-engineers showed lower aptitude for engineering. Non-engineering women showed slightly less affinity for solving open-ended problems. All students expressed similar attitudes about the creativity of engineers and their contributions to solving society's problems.
F4D: Innovative Computing Practice II
- Carry-on Effect in Extreme Apprenticeship
- We argue that the first undergraduate courses are the most important ones on the student's path towards becoming a computer scientist. Therefore, during 2010-2012, we have exercised extensive effort in order to improve the first-semester Computer Science (CS) courses. We have been able to use a learning-by-doing approach called the Extreme Apprenticeship (XA) method accompanied by personal advising even for courses with hundreds of students. We claim that when high demands are met with sufficient support, students learn valuable programming skills that become a foundation that carries them in their further CS courses. In this paper, we analyze how the effects of a three-year effort of renovating our introductory programming courses propagate to further studies. Compared to the control cohorts of 2007-2009, we observe a carry-on-effect caused by the XA method in student success that is visible in the per-student average accumulation of credits after 7 and 13 months after the start of studies. In addition, we can see the effect propagating to mandatory subsequent courses, even without the XA method.
- A Successful Graduate Cloud Computing Class with Hands-on Labs
- Modern web-based services increasingly have a cloud-based component, which only in recent years has been studied in an academic manner. Many cloud-computing courses focus on fundamental concepts that, while universal to cloud computing understanding, may not provide students with enough background to actually deploy an application to the cloud. To that end we present a cloud computing class that through the use of labs, presentations, and research projects, integrates practical hands-on experiences with academic research. The labs not only deploy to multiple public cloud environments, but also walk students through the process of creating, configuring, and maintaining their own private clouds. We maintain that this juxtaposition of practice and theory leads to not only better learning outcomes in the classroom in the form of refereed publications and further study, but also leads to practical skills which better prepare students for joining the workforce.
- Brain-based Programming
- Learning languages can be hard. As the yearly results of the course "Introduction to structured and object-based programming" at our university show, learning the first programming language might be even harder. Many students complain about the difficulty of the course and fail in the exam. With the desire to support the students and enhance the learning outcomes we initiated the project "Brain-based Programming". The basic question is: "How can learning to program be made easier?" The answer may come from the interdisciplinary field of neurodidactics that offers many general suggestions for improving teaching and designing teaching material. But concrete examples for computer science education are scarce, and empirical research is still missing. This was the impetus for the project "Brain-based Programming" that aims at (1) creating and evaluating a brain-based script for beginners in Java programming and at (2) implementing and evaluating brain-based teaching methods in the programming course. In the pilot phase we conducted a didactic experiment in one of seven parallel groups and combined brain-based teaching methods and exercises. The results demonstrate the success of the experiment and support the hypothesis that learning is more effective when it considers how the brain learns and follows neurodidactical principles.
- Multiple Intelligence approach and Competencies applied to Computer Science 1
- In order to contribute to the improvement of Computer Science 1 (CS1) course's results we designed a set of activities based on competencies and multiple intelligence approach. Hypothetically, we propose that including this kind of activities helps to obtain better results in the course. A preliminary experimentation was done in 2012. This year, the course included a low number of freshmen students. The initial results show a positive difference in student's results, particularly in freshmen students and no differences in students who are taking the course for the second or third time.
- Integrating highly-capable corobots into a computing curriculum
- Robots are typically used at the college level either as a pedagogic platform for introductory programming or for more advanced courses in robotics. With robots becoming cheaper and more plentiful, personal interactions with them will become more commonplace. This project therefore takes the position that undergraduate computing students need the opportunity to explore core computing concepts in a robotics context. Specifically, we will give students the ability to work alongside teams of highly capable and easily programmable corobots, a term used to identify robots that work side by side with humans, rather than being completely autonomous and isolated. A modular approach is used to incorporate corobotics into various computer science (CS) courses such as first-year computing, networking, and data management, thus permitting the students to see these corobots in multiple contexts. This work-in-progress paper describes the corobotics infrastructure that has been developed, and outlines how this infrastructure can be used to support diverse courses in the CS curriculum.
F4E: Cognitive and Affective Domains of Learning
- EEG-based Comparisons of Performance on a Mental Rotation Task between Learning Styles and Gender
- Retention and diversity are central issues in engineering schools. Students' learning styles may hinder understanding of course material if presented in an incompatible way. While learning styles assessments are informative in determining the students' preferences in how they learn, there have been few studies that correlate student learning styles with cognitive and intellectual abilities. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between students' learning styles, as determined by the Felder-Solomon Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS), and their cognitive abilities. This study uses functional electroencephalography (EEG) to evaluate the areas of neural activation in the brain while engineering students are performing a mental rotation task. Learning style preferences and mental rotation scores are correlated with the EEG activation. Learning styles differences were observed, primarily across gender. Most of these differences were in EEG patterns as opposed to actual task performance, indicating that individuals of different gender and learning style preference might be engaging different parts of the brain on a task while exhibiting similar performance on the task.
- Detection and Assistance to Students Who Show Frustration in Learning of Algorithms
- This paper presents a research work on the detection of students who show signs of frustration in learning activities in the area of algorithms, to then assist them with proactive support actions. Our motivation for the development of this work comes from students' difficulty in learning the concepts and techniques for building algorithms, which constitutes one of the main factors for the high dropout rates of computing courses. With the intent of giving a contribution to the reduction of such evasion, this research highlights the importance of considering students' affective states, trying to motivate them to study and work out their difficulties, with the assistance of computer systems. For research validation purposes, a tool was built to: a) infer the student's affective state of frustration while solving exercises of algorithms; b) detect signs associated with frustration, to provide resources to support student learning. Case studies were conducted with students of algorithms at the Faculty of Technology Senac Pelotas, in 2011 and 2012. The rules generated by the data mining software used to identify students' affective state of frustration, as well as an analysis of students' performance are presented in this article.
- Students' Collaborative Note-Taking Activities While Using Electronic and Paper-Based Enhanced Guided Notes: Viewed from Metacognitive and Social Network Perspectives
- Previous studies suggested that the implementation of note-taking strategies impacted students' learning process and performance. Research also suggested that collaborative learning facilitates students to learn from different views of interpreting information. The objective of this study was to investigate students' metacognitive skills and social networks while using electronic and paper-based enhanced guided notes. Students' worked in groups of three or four to complete the EGN. The impact of the collaborative note-taking activities on the students' collaboration processes was examined using social network analysis. Our findings revealed that students' cognitive and metacognitive strategies between electronic and paper-based EGN groups were relatively similar. Our data analysis of students' social networks revealed two clusters of students, high and low groups that represented the level of students' connectivity in a collaborations network. The findings suggested that the high group outperformed students in the low group in the use of cognitive, monitoring, and regulating strategies. Implications of the use of collaborative note-taking in engineering classroom will be discussed.
- Cognitive Pathways to Engineering
- We are currently collecting qualitative data to examine how engineering students' previous experiences, present academic course work, and future goals create cognitive pathways to a career in engineering. Using future time perspective theory as our literature base, we conceptualize cognitive pathways as relationships or links between reconstructed-past, present-active, and imagined-future events that lead to a career in engineering. Our goal is to begin to develop evidence for cognitive linkages between past, present, and future that motivate students to pursue careers in engineering. To gather the data, students are being interviewed while they complete a timeline of their lives, consisting of their developmental experiences, present academic work, and their imagined future. We plan to analyze the interview and timeline data using constant comparative techniques to identify important themes in the responses. We have used purposive sampling to recruit participants who are strong engineering students to provide preliminary evidence for what ideal cognitive pathways might look like. In the complete paper, we plan to present the results of our thematic analysis, as well as information about the timelines, such as the density of events listed, the time horizon of student thinking, and the linkages between events. Recruitment has already begun, and we are scheduled to begin interviewing in February of 2013. We plan to carry out 20 interviews over the next few months. The data are being collected as part of a funded "seed" project to conduct exploratory work that can ultimately lead to a well-designed larger project. Our constant comparative analytical technique requires that data analysis begin as soon as the data begins to be compiled - so we will have results to share at the conference. Because it is a qualitative exploratory study, the results will primarily be descriptive and our discussion in the complete paper will revolve around what we found and how that helped us to generate plans for future research.
- Preventing Persistent Misconceptions with First-year Engineering Students
- Previous studies on student misconceptions of science and engineering concepts focused on repairing and correcting misconceptions after they have formed. However, it may be too difficult or too late to correct and repair such misconceptions by the time misconceptions have been formed or identified in engineering students. This work-in-progress focuses on a different approach towards treating persistent misconceptions, switching from correcting and repairing persistent misconceptions to preventing those misconceptions from forming.
- Creating an intrinsic-motivation-driven course design method
- The low-cost intrinsic motivation (IM) course conversion project is an effort to create a new system of course design that focuses on creating scalable and sustainable courses that emphasize promoting students' IM to learn. Unlike many course design methods such as idea-based learning, project- or problem-driven learning, or "flipped" classrooms, which first ask, "How do we help students learn X better," we ask "how do we foster intrinsically-motivated learners who want to learn X?" While this course design method still uses theories of cognition to design course structures, it uses motivational constructs such as purpose, autonomy, relatedness, and competence as the primary design considerations of a course. Secondarily, the course design method considers and documents the financial, time, political, and psychological costs of course design. In this paper, we present a preliminary attempt to formalize this IM-driven course design method as well as a system for evaluating the short- and long-term costs of implementing a specific course design.
F4F: Pathways to Engineering Degrees
- Expectations and Realities for Community College Engineering Transfers at a Large University
- This study identifies factors that worry potential and new upper division transfer students in engineering. To determine the actual expectations and realities of transfer students, we surveyed 120 transfer students enrolled in an Academic Success Class. The top six expectations were reality over which the transfer students had little control, but there were other factors for which they had some control: GPA shock, faster paced classes, feeling like freshmen all over again, and not knowing where to find resources. For half of the students, the fifth most prevalent reality was that the Transfer Center helped in their transfer. Other realities included more assigned homework and that almost all easy non-engineering classes have been taken. We also examined gender differences. This data will inform potential and new transfer students and to help them plan for success. Even though much of this knowledge may be well known, a new transfer often does not believe that the challenges will affect him. By using the results of this study, at this university, the facts are more believable. We encourage others working with transfer students to become familiar with the expectations and realities of their own transfer students in order to help them be successful.
- The Effect of Matriculation Practices and First-Year Engineering Courses on Engineering Major Selection
- Sixty-one sophomores were interviewed at six large public institutions to learn why they chose their institution and their engineering major. The institutions were categorized as either requiring a first year engineering (FYE) program or allowing students to matriculate directly into a major. At these institutions, the first-year experience either required a common introduction to engineering course, required introduction to engineering courses that were not common to all majors or included an optional introduction to engineering course. The impact of the matriculation mode on selection of the institution and the presence or absence of a required first year course are studied. We find that cost of attendance is far more important than matriculation mode for most students choosing their institutions. Required and optional first-year courses, when taken, do tend to help students either affirm their prior choice of major or select an engineering major that suits their interests.
- A Comprehensive Framework for Significantly Increasing the Number of Highly Trained Engineers: A Model Academic Success and Professional Development (ASAP) Class - Lessons Learned and Strategies Moving Forward
- As the rate of technological progress continues to soar, the need for highly trained engineers has never been greater. To meet anticipated future technical demands, the nation requires many more engineers. Traditionally, this demand has been addressed, in part, by recruiting talent from around the world. While this approach is expected to remain a critical component for the nation, it's now widely accepted that the nation must recruit and develop talent internally. This is because a highly trained engineering workforce is essential to fuel innovation, remain economically competitive, and ensure national security. Moreover, it's not healthy for large portions of the population (e.g. women/underrepresented minorities) to be left out of areas of national importance. In an effort to address the above, exacerbated by a severe lack of interest in STEM and falling math-science scores, we describe a comprehensive framework for significantly increasing the number of highly trained engineers entering the STEM workforce. This framework has been developed over the past decade at Arizona State University's Fulton School of Engineering. Central to the framework is an Academic Success and Professional Development (ASAP) class that has been offered to students participating in one of our NSF funded (CSEMS, S-STEM, STEP) scholarship programs. The main purpose of the ASAP class - offered each semester - is to expose our selected scholars to time-tested student-centered instructor-driven methods/techniques to help students (1) succeed academically, (2) discover, develop, and nurture their technical passions, and (3) develop essential skills to prepare them for life-long-learning and to enter a highly competitive global STEM workforce which offers a wide range of exciting career opportunities. ASAP class activities include: (1) Donna O'Sullivan's Guaranteed 4.0 System - addressing time-management, studying, note-taking, etc. (2) Importance of projects to discover, nurture, and develop ones technical passions (3) Applying for a project, research experience, internship, graduate school, scholarship/fellowship, job (4) Critical questions that students need answers to (5) Importance of a mentor to help students answer critical questions (6) Importance of life-long-learning in an increasingly competitive global economy (7) Importance of graduate school (8) Many opportunities that an advanced graduate degree opens (9) Exciting engineering career opportunities (10) Choosing a technical area - areas of National importance (11) Importance of multidisciplinary thinking (12) Developing a comprehensive career plan (13) Writing a technical proposal, paper, and statement of purpose Some program results are as follows: • Over 85% of our scholars graduate with an engineering degree (includes computer science, not construction) - (ASU: < 50%). • Over 50% of our lower-division scholars participate in paid REUs/internships. • Over 90% of our upper-division scholars graduate (ASU: Male - 70%, Females - 65%). • Over 50% of our upper-division graduates go directly on to graduate school (> twice national average). • Over 60% of our scholars are women and/or underrepresented minorities. Many of our scholars have gone on to win prestigious scholarships (e.g. SMART), fellowships (e.g. NSF, GEM, NASA), and attend top engineering programs. The paper will address lessons learned as well as strategies moving forward.
- Accelerating Engineering Degree Completion for Military Veterans
- This paper addresses curricular issues involved in integrating post-9/11 veterans into the engineering workforce. A 2009 NSF Workshop on Enhancing the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Benefit indicates that new, more generous veterans' educational benefits create an opportunity to expand the technical workforce while benefiting those who have served our country. The main aspect to this project is an accelerated track for veterans into engineering bachelor's degrees in engineering. The initial focus will be in the renewable energy and energy distribution systems areas. Energy has been identified as a critical area where there is a large projected shortage of trained technical personnel. The IEEE Power and Energy Society has indicated that "Immediate action must be taken to avoid letting a growing shortage of well-qualified electric power engineers slow progress in meeting critical national objectives." An initial thorough evaluation of the veterans' training, experiences, and expertise will be conducted with the option of granting academic credit where appropriate. Required courses identified for consideration of assigning experiential credit include the following: professional development and leadership, social science/humanities elective and one technical elective The program also includes development of on-line pre-assessments and linked subject based tutorials to accelerate the veteran's entry into the traditional math sequence beginning with Calculus I or higher. Lastly, the same concept of online pre-assessment and tutorials followed by a proctored final assessment is also being developed for entry level engineering courses. In the field of electrical engineering the course to be used for evaluation is Circuit Theory I and therefore it's prerequisite Introduction to Electrical Engineering. These course(s) presents basic concepts in electrical theory, engineering applications and an introduction to the circuit laboratory. As in mathematics, veterans would complete an on-line pre-test with linked subject based tutorials ahead of enrolling in the program. Then veteran would have the option of completing a one-time proctored post-test for course credit (C or better). This approach leverages the veterans' existing technical knowledge acquired through the technical nature of their service posts. By taking full advantage of the program's structure of (1) advising and assessment of military experience, (2) the mathematics refreshers and (3) the post-assessments for entry level engineering course credit, a veteran would be able to earn as many as 13 of the 129 credits required for a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, which is approximately equivalent to one semester on campus. Student success in the post-test for credit and academic success (C or better) in subsequent courses will be the primary evaluation metric. These metric evaluations will take place when a significant number of students have access to the accelerated options and are enrolled in the program. A key component of this program includes the development of strategies to inform veterans of engineering workforce opportunities and the recruitment activities, and coordination with campus military veteran support staff and personnel at nearby military installations. This work was partially funded by award EEC-1037640 from the National Science Foundation
- The TIES Program: A Transfer Initiative for Engineering Students
- Strategies to recruit and retain underrepresented students in the STEM fields are as diverse as the students they seek to engage. The community college pipeline is well recognized as a source for both nontraditional and underrepresented students for engineering programs. The Transfer Initiative for Engineering Scholars (TIES) addresses the unique needs of this cohort who transfer as juniors from the community college environment. TIES is currently in the fourth year of receiving funding from NSF's S-STEM program and providing financial support to eligible students in an environment committed to smooth transitions, multiple options for student support services, community building with peers and faculty, leadership development, and mentor relationships. Many of the support activities build upon previously existing retention programs, but new components, such as leadership seminars, community building, and industry mentoring, were developed specifically for TIES participants. Among the several components of the program, those that contribute to a supportive community environment were seen by the students as extremely important for a successful transition to Georgia Tech's undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering programs.
- Investigating How Service-Learning Alumni Construct their Engineering Selves
- Prior research has demonstrated that traditional academic pathways tend to provide engineering students with a predominantly technical sense of professional identity. We respond to this research by investigating how a non-traditional pathway, marked by a large service-learning program, engenders a sense of engineering identity. We approach this investigation using a thematic analysis and are currently developing themes related to how alumni/ae of this program construct their engineering selves. We are currently in the early stages of analysis and will present the elaborated themes at the conference.
F4G: Inclusivity and Diversity II
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in Engineering: Climate and Perceptions
- Few studies of the climate in engineering for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students have been conducted. According to these studies, LGBT students are often forced to cope with hostile climates in engineering. To address the question of how LGBT students experience the climate in engineering, we interviewed a total of 16 students at two institutions in the Midwest. We analyzed the interview transcripts using open coding based on a combination of Meyer's Minority Stress Theory and Tinto's Theory of Student Departure. Preliminary results indicate that LGBT students experience more situations of exclusion within engineering than in other areas of their campuses. Based on their experiences, students advocate increased visibility for LGBT students in engineering and a mentoring program to provide support from engineering faculty and graduate students who also identify as LGBT.
- Providing a Holistic Educational Environment for the whole Family
- This paper describes a multi-device Learning Management System based on Moodle with alternative interfaces providing accessibility for people with disabilities. The software architecture built over Moodle is described as well as the interface created to offer access through a TV. An initial user focus group has been used to test and get feedback for further developments of the system.
- Online Course Advising: Differences in Student Response by Gender and Ethnicity
- Previous research suggests that effective academic advising can lead to better academic outcomes among undergraduate students. This study examines patterns between the use of an online advising tool, Course Signals, and course performance among students in engineering and technology. The number of advising interventions distributed through Course Signals tends to be positively associated with improved student course performance, particularly among female students. Findings suggest that online advising has the potential to be an effective method to improve student academic performance.
- First-Year Engineering Students with Dyslexia: Comparison of Spatial Visualization Performance and Attitudes
- Student diversity in higher education tends to focus on gender, ethnicity/race, and socio-economic status. However, these factors do not address cognitive diversity. Cognitive diversity, within the context of this study, refers to the varying ability of brain functions such as reasoning and memory, excluding persons with a developmental disability. Students with learning disabilities (LD), specifically dyslexia, contribute to this cognitive diversity. This study aims to initiate scholarly research on academic success factors for First-Year Engineering (FYE) students with dyslexia. FYE student performances on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test-Rotations (PSVT-R) and Student Attitudinal Success Instrument (SASI) have been found to be predictors of academic success in engineering. A preliminary analysis of entering FYE student performance on the PSVT-R and SASI is conducted for three populations: students with dyslexia, students with a LD, and students without a LD. The anticipated findings will support the inclusion of cognitive ability, with an emphasis on LD and dyslexia, in FYE engineering diversity programs.
- Factors Influencing Participants' Selection of Individual REU Sites
- Significant funding is being allocated for undergraduate research programs with the expectation that these programs will help increase the number of students applying to, and succeeding in, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduate programs. One prevalent type of these undergraduate research programs are the National Science Foundational (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites, where student participants are recruited to academic research institutions for typically ten week mentored projects. Initial studies of these programs have sought to understand the factors that motivate undergraduates to apply for and select programs (Hancock & Russell, 2008). Although a previous report identified some influencing factors for NSF REU participants, more work is needed to identify: (1) if these factors are domain specific [such as materials science and engineering (MSE)] or are uniform for all STEM REU programs, (2) if additional factors, such as geography, are significant for impacting REU selection, and (3) if the importance of previously identified factors vary with each new student cohort. In the pilot study, participants from nine National Science Foundation sponsored summer REU sites completed a survey to address these aims. An online survey was sent to REU participants through participating NSF site administrators with MSE projects after arrival to their research program. A total of 61 responses were received, representing 28 states of permanent residency and 25 states via home institution. Twenty five percent of these participants were offered multiple positions and seven percent of the total respondents had declined another offer before accepting their current REU position. Preliminary analysis showed some new insights into program selection factors. Student participants considered stipend to be the most important fact when deciding on an REU offer, followed by research project focus, and the date of the offer. However, when students received multiple offers, the date of the offer to be the most important factor. Students with these multiple offers indicated that REU site location was a less important factor than students with a single offer. Initial geographic distributions of student applications were classified based on distance and spread with respect to hometown and indicated four categories of student applicants. A following survey to be conducted of the 2013 programs will increase the number of respondents and investigate possible causal relationships for identified trends. This study helps to elucidate the factors involved for student selection of STEM REU sites, which in turn should allow for increased recruiting for these types of programs. Funding for this research was supplied by the National Science Foundation, DMR Award #1062873.
- Context and Consistency in Students' Approaches to Solving Problems in Engineering Statics
- This paper examines students' responses to conceptually identical equilibrium and equivalence concept questions given in slightly different contexts, two as part of a final exam requiring explanation and the other two as part of a concept inventory. Since equivalence questions are essentially equilibrium questions from a different perspective, students were asked to apply the same concepts from two different perspectives and in two different contexts. Ideally student responses would be independent of context, but examination of students' answer selections and explanations indicates that approximately 2 in 3 students are consistent in their answers for equilibrium or equivalence questions in different contexts, but only approximately 1 in 3 students is consistent for both types of questions in both contexts. This paper builds off of previous studies of students' responses to Engineering Statics concept questions, explains the questions and methodology used in the study, and presents the results of the study.
F4H: ECE V
- When a testbed does more than testing - The Internet-Scale Event Attack and Generation Environment (ISEAGE) - providing learning and synthesizing experiences for cyber security students
- The importance of laboratory exercises for students is recognized unilaterally by engineering and technology programs. As engineering educators whose academic focus is information assurance and cyber security, we believe students in cyber security need the same type of access to hands on opportunities as their counter parts in hardware design or circuit design. Students should be able to configure and run their own networks, as well as explore the vulnerabilities, exploits, and remediatios needed in a cyber security professional's tool kit. Further, they need exposure to working in the complexity of the Internet. While some might argue that simulation software could be a solution, it often lacks realism. In this paper we show how our institution goes beyond the providing the standard, formalized laboratory activities for our cyber security students by developing a unique, highly configurable testbed called Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE - pronounced "ice age") that allows us to imitate the Internet. ISEAGE provides a controlled environment that allows real attacks to be played out against the students' networks and demonstrates to them real world security concepts.
- Integrating Control Concepts in an Embedded Systems Design Course
- In a typical Embedded System Design course, students are expected to successfully apply learned concepts in a design project. The Microprocessor Interfacing course at UPRM is a technical elective for Computer Engineering (CE) and Electrical Engineering (EE) program with such characteristics. In this course, students learn how to solve engineering problems by designing, testing, and implementing embedded systems prototypes to meet the quality and requirements of a real life problem. A key aspect of projects is to induce students to get involved with other disciplines outside the traditional scope of the course while learning about interfacing and the fundamentals of embedded systems design. This requirement encourages incorporating interdisciplinary work skills, allowing students to have an experience working with problems from areas other than theirs and design solutions for real world problems. This paper describes the experience of a project joining students from electrical engineering (EE) specializing in control and computer engineering (CE) specializing in software in a microprocessor interfacing course. In our program, these areas run in parallel, with control EE students rarely taking the interfacing course and virtually no CE students taking the control courses. The problem they chose was designing and implementing a Digital Controller for a Three Degree of Freedom Helicopter (3DOFH). This is a highly non-linear problem in the Process Instrumentation and Control Laboratory (PICL) in the Linear Systems Analysis course. The motivation of the project was to create a base platform where control students could acquire signal conditioning and embedded software design skills in a more realistic platform than that provided by virtual instrument environments. The students implemented the system using a Texas Instruments' digital signal controller (DSC) from the C2000 series. In their design, they took advantage of the dual core architecture and peripherals of the DSC to create a fully assembled solution where one core controlled the 3DOFH and the general other provided an external interface where users could configure parameters specify angular values for pitch, elevation and travel; or interactively establish a set-point with a resistive joystick. The students applied concepts from the interfacing course that included timers, general purpose IO, pulse-width modulation, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters, and power supply to communicate with angular sensors, linearizing the system behavior, driving two DC motors, and implementing a closed-loop control system. Results indicate that is possible to combine in a learning experience concepts and practice of traditional control system with those from an embedded system design course, enhancing the learning experiences of both EE and CE students. The Computer Engineering students learned how to implement digital closed-loop control systems in an embedded processor with a net learning gain beyond the traditional open-loop systems they typically implement. For control students, this experience allowed them to design and implement digital embedded controllers where real world limitations are present, delve into the software and hardware design strategies, signal conditioning, communication issues of an actual embedded implementation instead of the classical virtual instrument environment used in most control systems courses.
- Innovate Engineering Outreach: A Special Application of the Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor
- In the fall of 2008 the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Oklahoma (OU) created a corrective action program to counteract declining enrollments. The focus of the program was to mobilize the OU-ECE faculty and student body to present advanced engineering technologies, innovative demonstrations, and hands-on activities at a level that the individual student can understand and appreciate. As described in prior publications, this program helped OU-ECE increase undergraduate enrollment by over 60% in a four year period. One of the most successful tools used for increasing student interest in ECE is described in this paper. Microsoft released the Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 video game console in November of 2010. This webcam-like device allows individuals to interact with an Xbox 360 or a computer in 3-dimensional space using an infrared depth-finding camera and a standard RGB camera. As of January of 2012, over 18 million units have been sold. Due to this widespread popularity, OU-ECE began working on a method to turn this device into an outreach tool. Using a combination of custom and open-source software, we were able to develop an innovative means for students to interact with the Kinect. Over the last two years, this application has been used numerous times to educate students about the field of ECE and explain key ECE concepts in a novel way. From our experiences, the unique technological application, visual appeal of the output, and the widespread ubiquity of the device has made this an ideal platform for K-12 outreach. The novelty and appeal of the Kinect sensor lies in its integrated infrared camera, which is comprised of two distinct devices. An infrared transmitter is utilized to send out a 640x480 grid of infrared beams. An infrared detector is then used to measure how long the reflection of each beam takes to return to the sensor. This data set is known as a "point cloud". This point cloud is a three-dimensional vector comprised of data points between 40 and 2000, which correspond to distance from the device of each beam. The data in this array can then be parsed to construct a 3d image. The Kinect operates at 30Hz, which is a sufficient rate to create the illusion of motion. This allows for the development of applications that give the user a sense of interacting in real time with the image on the screen. The Kinect facilitates education in ECE areas involving hardware, software, and the design process. In a brief amount of time, students can be shown examples and learn the fundamental principles of the system while experiencing tangible, meaningful, and enjoyable interactivity with the device. This level of approachability and familiarity is rare among highly-technical fields, and provides an excellent catalyst for a developing an interest in ECE education. This paper will provide details that will assist others in using the Kinect sensor for outreach or any other form of ECE education
- A Novel Approach to Teaching Amplitude and Phase Distortion Concepts Using Time Domain Methods
- We present an alternative method to teach amplitude and phase distortion concepts using time domain methods. Typically, these concepts are taught using relatively expensive network analyzers. Here we show how a transcendental waveform, generated using relatively inexpensive waveform generators, and observed using standard lab oscilloscopes, can be used to illustrate amplitude and phase distortion, enabling the student to better understand systems whose magnitude responses are not flat, or whose phase responses may not be linear. Our methods allow students the opportunity to gain more insight into the characteristics of high fidelity (audio) systems.
- Just Because We Teach It Does Not Mean They Use It: Case of Programming Skills
- We are assessing the effect of our new freshman electrical engineering course sequence on follow-on courses. One of our assessments is a survey distributed to sophomores in electrical circuits and juniors in microelectronics courses. Roughly one half of freshman year is spent on programming in MATLAB and C, and problem solving using these programming tools. Our observation is that students consider programming important and have reasonably good confidence (self-efficacy) that they can solve problems using MATLAB and C. However, when asked about frequency of use for these tools students report using them somewhere between once a week and once a month. There is a significant number of students who report almost no usage at all. Results are consistent across sophomore and junior years with a slight up-tick in frequency of use for juniors. We are hypothesizing that students do not view MATLAB and C as tools for problem solving but as yet another item to acquire in their studies. Our plan is to change instruction in sophomore courses so that more problem-solving which requires programming will be introduced. The existing survey will be used to measure future improvement.
F4I: pK-12 STEM II
- Developing The Cellbot Learning Framework (CLF) - An Interdisciplinary Model For Integrating Mobile Computing With Robotics To Innovate STEM Education and Outreach
- Mobile computing and robotics have been used as two separate approaches to engage university and pre-university students in STEM education. We are in the process of developing an innovative learning model that combines these two approaches into an integrated framework, where students would learn to make robots and control them via Android applications. By creating these cellbots, students will learn Android app programming and robot building together. Through CLF, we strive to engage both university and pre-university students in a creative environment that enables joint learning of programming logic and engineering concepts. CLF will also serve as an interdisciplinary tool to interface science with engineering. It will further pave the way for building diverse student communities by bonding different learners. The overall goal is to enhance STEM curriculum and outreach activities for recruiting more STEM majors. As part of implementing CLF, we are developing a STEM workshop for high school students, which will consist of hands-on activities on working with BERO (Be The Robot) and designing cellbots. Our future plans comprise of deploying CLF in introductory STEM courses to promote the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of STEM disciplines.
- Engineering the Human Heart in the Sixth Grade Classroom
- A Framework for K-12 Science Education has been released that provides further support of K-12 engineering education by framing requirements for K-12 engineering standards for the science classroom. This study uses the engineering themes from the framework to evaluate how an engineering learning experience affects student achievement in science and engineering in the context of a science classroom. An engineering design challenge, Engineering an Artificial Heart, was developed for a pre-existing science instructional lesson, the human heart, for its use in a 6th grade science classroom with 32 students. Students' achievement of learning objectives for science and engineering concepts were measured using content assessments, student artifacts, and semi-structured interviews. Preliminary analysis shows positive learning gains for science learning objectives and evidence of performance for the engineering learning objectives.
- Mastery Goal Structures for a Fourth Grade Science Classroom
- This study investigates the influence of modeling instruction for a solar engineering design challenge on students' achievement goal orientations. Two classrooms received five weeks of modeling instruction using whiteboarding strategies. Students' goal orientations were measured before and after the learning experience using the goal orientation sub scale of the self-report questionnaire, Patterns of Adaptive Learning (PALS). Preliminary analysis revealed that students' performance approach and avoid goals increased, but saw no improvement in the students' mastery goals. This study provided insight to the possible ways in which modeling instruction may be enhancing negative performance goals within the context of a high-stakes environment. Discussion highlights the importance of motivational supports for creating a classroom environment that supports mastery learning.
- Exposure Matters: Understanding the Experiences of Rural Cultures
- Engineering has been shown to be an important field of study and practice for economic and technological development, as well as an opportunity for students to improve their standard of living and their communities. Engineering also has the potential to provide a powerful career path in places that suffer disproportionate economic losses from shifts in the global economy, particularly as the growth of mobile communication technologies enable virtual work and local business development in areas formerly considered "remote" or "inaccessible." Despite these opportunities, little investigative work to date has been done on recruitment of engineering students from rural cultures that are typically underrepresented in the field. To address this gap, this paper explores two such cultures: the Central Appalachians in the United States of America and the Maori in New Zealand. We present a review of the current situation in each region, along with preliminary findings from a study of Appalachian students, to identify both similarities and differences between the two peoples that can be used to enhance recruitment efforts and provide a global context for understanding the experiences of rural cultures.
- Development of Interactive 3D Tangible Models as Teaching Aids to Improve Students' Spatial Ability in STEM Education
- Spatial abilities have been reported to be critical for success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Research findings prove that spatial abilities can be improved significantly through training. This project develops 3D tangible models (TMs) and their corresponding computer graphics (CGs) as teaching aids to improve students' spatial abilities. The TMs and their CGs work together in a real- time, interactive manner. The TMs use a sensor board containing an attitude heading reference system to track and send their real-time 3D orientation on three axes to a computer. A program renders the 3D graphic models of these TMs on the computer screen and updates their 3D orientations. By manipulating the TMs and observing corresponding CGs on computer screens in real time, students will experience the displays of the same objects which undergo rotations in space from infinite viewing angles, resolving visual ambiguities. The system offers potential advantages over static pictures by explicitly rendering dynamic rotations of 3D figures over space, rather than requiring students to "mentally" figure out those rotations. The models in this development project will be used in an experiment to evaluate how they affect students' spatial abilities.
- A Comparison of Single and Mixed Gender Engineering Enrichment Programs for Elementary Students
- The Center for Pre-College Programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology sponsors summer enrichment programs designed to increase students' interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Such programs are instrumental in informing students about careers in STEM, helping ensure they receive the academic background to prepare for these careers in college. One program was designed specifically for young girls to help increase the number of women interested in engineering and other technological careers. Although there is much debate about the relative effectiveness of female-only programs, previous research comparing aspects of our program to equivalent mixed-gender programs found it to be particularly effective in influencing girls' perceptions of engineers and attitudes toward engineering as a career. The addition of equivalent male-only programs prompted further research comparing changes in students' perceptions of engineers and attitudes toward engineering, as well as increases in learning and content knowledge. The female-only, male-only and mixed-gender programs were identical in content. In addition to objective measures of effectiveness, teachers were interviewed to collect qualitative data about the students' interaction and the climate in the classroom. Results show differential effects among the programs in terms of perceptions, attitudes, learning, classroom climate and student interactions.
Saturday, October 26
Saturday, October 26, 08:00 - 09:30
S1A: Special Session: The CS 2013 Computer Science Curricula Guidelines Project
- The CS 2013 Computer Science Curriculum Guidelines Project
- The ACM/IEEE-Computer Society CS2013 Computer Science Curricula task force is working to update the previous curricular guidelines published in 2008 and 2001. The CS2013 guidelines are scheduled to be published in the latter half of 2013. This special session is devoted to exploring the guidelines with an emphasis on migrating current curricula to curricula aligned with the new guidelines. A number of significant changes from the 2008 and 2001 guidelines have been made, including the addition of new knowledge areas (including Parallel and Distributed Computing and Security and Information Assurance) as well as the reorganization and refactoring of previous areas to create a Systems Fundamentals area and a Software Development Fundamentals area. These changes are intended to identify significant changes in the computing field over the past decade, look forward to future changes, provide greater flexibility in the design and implementation of Computer Science curricula, provide stronger guidance with respect to student outcomes, and provide diverse examples of fielded curricula. Building on the principles articulated in the CC2001 and CS2008 reports, the Steering Committee established the following principles to guide its work. A complete statement of these principles can be found on the project website at http://www.cs2013.org. • CS2013 will identify the essential skills and knowledge that should be required of all graduates of Computer Science programs. • CS is a rapidly changing field, drawing from and contributing to many disciplines, and requires undergraduate programs to prepare students for lifelong learning. • CS2013 serves many constituents, including faculty, students, administrators, curricula developers, and industry. • The curricular guidelines must be relevant to a wide variety of institution types including large and small, research and teaching, public and private, 4-year and 2-year schools. The guidelines will be used internationally as well as in the US. • CS2013 will provide guidance regarding the level of mastery for topics and show exemplars of fielded courses covering the topics in the curricular body of knowledge. • The curricular guidelines will provide realistic, adoptable recommendations that support novel curricular designs and attract the full range of talent to the field. • CS2013 will include professional practice (e.g. communication skills, teamwork, ethics) as components of an undergraduate experience. Goals The goal of this session is to continue the lively and engaging discussions with the computer science education community and other stakeholders about the ongoing work of the ACM/IEEE-Computer Society CS2013 Computer Science Curricula project. Since the CS2013 guidelines will be in the final stages of editing, the session will focus on the changes from previous guidelines and how programs can migrate existing curricula to curricula aligned with the CS2013 guidelines. Content of the Session Representatives from the CS2013 project will briefly describe the project, its goals, and the process of creation of the guidelines. Model curricula from the CS2008 and CC2001 guidelines will be contrasted to a similar model curriculum from CS2013. FIE session participants will then be engaged in activities intended to familiarize themselves with the guidelines and how curricula with which the participants are familiar can be updated. Participants will be divided into small groups based on their areas of interest and institution type to work towards identifying areas of their curricula that should be modified. Members of the Steering Committee will facilitate these discussions. Agenda Overview of the CS 2013 project by organizers (5 min) Presentation of CC2001, CS2008, and CS2013 model curricula and exemplars (15 min) Discussions in working groups (30 minutes) General discussion and Q&A (20 minutes) Discussions in working groups (20 minutes) Anticipated audience Computer science educators, program directors, and administrators at all levels (K-12, undergraduate and graduate, including international educators). Expected outcome or future work The outcomes of the session include • Increased awareness of the CS 2013 curricular guidelines among the computer science community; • Increased understanding of the changes between CS2013 and previous versions of the guidelines; • Action plans for the revision of curricula at participant institutions. • Understanding of mapping individual course syllabi to CS2013 knowledge areas Justification The Computing Curricula volumes published by the ACM and IEEE-Computer Society have provided guidance to the international computing education community for over 40 years. The most recent published update to the computer science volume was in 2008. The CS 2013 effort has a 2013 target publication date for a completely revised volume. The rapid changes and expanding diversity in the computing fields make the development of guidelines challenging. It is vital to the success of the project that the new volume be used broadly by the community of CS educators. This working session will provide educators with a rich introduction to the guidelines and begin the discussions in the community about achieving the goals of CS2013.
S1B: Panel: Engineering Education in Countries of Portuguese Language
- Engineering Education in Countries of Portuguese Language
- The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to more than 240 million people located across the globe but having cultural similarities and a shared history. The CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries) nations have a combined area of about 10,742,000 square kilometers (4,148,000 sq. mi), which is larger than Canada. The proposal of this paper is to show and discuss with some details how engineering education is developed in countries of Portuguese languages due to the peculiarities in the historic development of the countries.
S1C: pK-12 STEM III
- STEM Literacy and Textbook Biases in K-12
- Engineers and scientist utilize the principles and theories of science and mathematics to design, test, and manufacture products that are important to the future of global citizenry. With the exception of biological sciences, however, the percentage of college students seeking degrees in math, science and engineering disciplines has been declining for the past two decades. Furthermore, fewer potential engineering majors are completing rigorous college preparatory programs and graduating in the top quarter of their secondary schools. The number of people from racial and ethic minority groups and women are especially sparsely represented in science and engineering fields. This shortfall has raised concerns among leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. To meet the changing demands of the nation's science and engineering labor force, recognition of the importance of pre-college education and implementation of challenging curricula that captures and sustains students' achievement and interest and, in particular women and underrepresented minority (URM) groups, in science and engineering is critical. Textbooks are a most common source of science information in K-12 science education. Science literacy is a major challenge of students in K-12, which dramatically affects STEM K-12 achievement. Biases in textbooks negatively influence students' science interest and achievement. This study explores diverse types of biases in K-12 science texts. These biases are primarily against gender, race and ethnicity in texts and they affect students' views of science as a field, as a career and as a college major. Achievement may be affected by such biases. Accordingly, a research study that explored the biases in K-12 science textbooks was conducted. A multidimensional rubric-based analysis of various texts was conducted for the study. Results reveal dramatic biases particularly for early elementary and high school texts. Texts that focus on biological sciences are found to contain significant biases especially as they relate to gender. These biases may influence future workforces in STEM fields.
- Project Based Clean Tech Curriculum for High School
- United States renewable energy businesses require well trained high school and college students to fill key positions as technicians, engineers, and other high paying jobs. Project based learning programs offer a way to train students in these emerging fields with realistic, intensive student-designed and built projects. This paper reviews the challenges and some of the lessons learned in developing a four year high school curriculum in renewable energy and clean technology. A primary challenge in developing this kind of program is the time and complexity of gathering relevant technical material in this field and adapting it for high school students. Related to this challenge is the selection of projects that the students pursue. We've learned that these two challenges require a content area expert and substantial technical support to insure that student design projects are age and skill appropriate, safe for the class, but also keep students engaged. One key learning from this program has been the successful introduction of novel, table-top scale "minisystems" that emulate full scale projects such as electric vehicles. These minisystems are also low-cost enough so that a typical class can to assign one minisystem to a two person team. The renewable energy focus also enables the discussion of key environmental and economic challenges. Student designed and built thermal storage units mimic residential-scale systems. Energy arbitrage, the differential in peak and low demand prices for electricity, helps the students understand why and when these systems can be economical to operate. Other projects in biofuels also facilitate discussion about the sustainability of using food or other renewable natural resources for energy. Each course contains six to eight projects. Projects topics are developed through an interactive brainstorming session including leading teachers in the State, representatives from prominent local industry. The project topics are further refined to focus on a key problem area. This curriculum this currently in the pilot phase at numerous high schools in the Southeast.
- Computer Science Widening the STEM Education Spectrum
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is slowly becoming an important part of American culture. STEM educators try to promote 'hands on' science, where students can actually interact with and see the results of their work. Unfortunately, not all paths of education for STEM related fields can have exciting, interactive teaching methods. At the Millard Oakley STEM Center, we have taken advantage of the interactive experience in our planetarium show. In this paper, we take an in-depth look at the Definiti Theater System and the software that runs it, Digital Sky 2. This software package is created by Sky-Skan and is considered to be the standard for many new planetariums across the country and beyond. We take the software in new directions by building new elements through the Sky-Skan scripting engine and by also exploring its 3D engine for creating a novel experience. The primary purpose of this paper is to provide a roadmap of observations and enhancements for other educators that wish to improve the learning experience of students and visitors to their planetarium.
- Broadened Perceptions of Engineering in Tenth Grade Students Through a Biowall Design Project
- Vertical garden and green wall structures have been introduced to the K-12 environment as vehicles for learning as part of a larger green construction trend. This paper considers the design and construction of a biowall as a case study for green engineering design projects in the K-12 setting. The research, conducted in participation with 123 10th-grade public school students, investigates further learning opportunities posed by a biowall design-build project. We claim that the highly visible plant component of the wall makes the project more accessible to students that would have been immediately averse to a "rigid" engineering project, allowing for increased perceptions of competency in engineering through willing practice. Further, we claim that the large-group organizational structure of the project, with students working in multiple specialist sub-groups to complete a larger project, increases students' perceptions that good communication skills are required in engineering. This article provides methods employed and qualitative and quantitative results.
- Hands-On Electricity: An Active Learning Opportunity for High-School Physics
- Recent advances in technology have made it possible for high-school students to perform exciting and technologically relevant experiments in electricity and magnetism on a very reasonable budget. However, many high-school science teachers are unprepared to deal with the technology and concepts involved. For the past two years, Dr. Mario Simoni, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been working with Indiana high school physics teachers. Together we are developing a set of experiments that are based on the Digilent Electronics Explorer Board and a teacher training program that is helping teachers to use the technology effectively. Some of the exercises were developed by the teachers who have gone through the training program. The United States is facing a crisis in regards to high-school physics education and in particular to introducing students to concepts in electricity and magnetism. According to a 2010 report by the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics, while approximately 400 high-school physics teachers are hired each year, there is a need for over 1200. As a result of this supply and demand gap, only a third of the high-school physics teachers have a major in physics or physics education. Another national survey showed that while physics teachers felt very well qualified to teach Forces and Motion, they felt much less qualified to teach concepts in Electricity, Magnetism, and Modern Physics. Due to inexperienced teachers, most students only see an incandescent light bulb hooked up to a battery through a switch. Given the state at which modern technology is advancing, students are very naïve about the field, meaning that fewer people will enter the industry or related fields in higher education. The work presented in this paper is an attempt to improve this situation by providing teachers with necessary resources and the students with motivation and experience. This paper describes an innovative STEM outreach activity for physical science teachers in grades 9-12. The work was inspired in part by the NASA Threads program from Louisiana Tech, which has been presented at FIE in the past, specifically in 2011. That program produced an entire year's curriculum for a high-school physics course that was based on the Boe-Bot. In contrast, the high-school curriculum in Indiana is rigidly defined by the state, almost down to the daily activities. The program described in this paper is more flexible in that the activities can be integrated into any curriculum at any level and at the appropriate time. In addition to providing the teachers with equipment and exercises, they needed a significant amount of training to gain confidence with the concepts and use the technology effectively in the classroom. This paper describes the teacher training program and some of the exercises in detail. Assessment activities are still being developed so quantitative analysis of the materials and training program are not yet available. However, experiences from the teachers who are involved are included to indicate some measure of value.
S1D: Innovative Computing Practice III
- Using LEGO Mindstorms to Engage Students on Algorithm Design
- Students on Basic Programming courses often have difficulties with program design tasks. This problem mainly arises from their lack of program solving skills. To overcome this lack, students' need to practice. Manipulating real entities can be a useful and motivating strategy to engage students in such endeavor. In this context, several authors have used LEGO Mindstorms robots to help students on basic programming courses. In this paper, we present the results obtained from an experience conducted on a Basic Programming course using those robots to motivate students and to involve them in algorithm design.
- Educating Innovators of Future Internet of Things
- The concept of "Internet-of-Things" will undoubtedly emerge as the technology of the future. Educating specialists ready to bring the concept to the reality remains challenging in the scope of traditional university courses. The main challenge is how to enable students to think outside the boundaries of the particular discipline and therefore to enable the innovative thinking. This article describes an experiment with teaching Internet-of-Things as a common red thread across three courses which ran in parallel during fall semester 2012 at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. We discuss the teaching methodology, the technology blocks which laid the ground for our teaching philosophy as well as the experiences and lessons learned.
- Writing Groups in Computer Science Research Labs
- Researchers must excel at writing to effectively engage the scientific community. Clear and engaging writing advances new knowledge and increases the impact of a researcher's work. As developing researchers, it is essential that graduate students learn to write clearly and effectively so that their work is accessible to their peers and colleagues. An essential part of graduate school education should include the teaching of formal writing skills. In most graduate programs, students learn formal writing skills from two sources, their advisors or a writing class. We identify a third source: the graduate student peer group. In this paper, we describe how we leveraged the existing collaborative research dynamic among students in a graduate research lab and created a writing group, similar in spirit to the concept of a reading group. We describe the inspiration, implementation, and impact of a writing group in a real-world research lab. We show how the writing group started organically after a PhD student took a graduate writing class in the Computer Science Department and thereafter initiated the writing group in his research lab. We also describe how a writing group can be implemented in other research labs to improve the writing of graduate students worldwide.
- Teaching Web Engineering using a Project Component
- Web applications are an intricate part of the world today. Everything from banking to checking our Facebook status may now be done through the use of web applications. Todays students need to balance numerous concerns in order to create a web application that is robust, on time and on budget. At the Department of Software Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, we created a course called Web Engineering. As part of this course, we developed an innovative project component which focused on students following software engineering principles such as elicitation, requirements generation, testing and deployment.
- Incorporating Service-Oriented Programming Techniques into Undergraduate CS and SE Curricula
- Service-Oriented Programming (SOP) has emerged as a new programming paradigm that allows the wrapping of existing software as web services, thus permitting the development of new software applications by using existing web services as building blocks. SOP has attracted great attention from industry as it dramatically increases software reuse. Despite the growing demand for an SOP-trained workforce, SOP has not been adequately covered in coursework for undergraduate students in Computer Science (CS) and Software Engineering (SE). This project addresses this curricular shortcoming via the design and creation of SOP materials for undergraduate CS and SE. The concept of course modules—self-contained units of instruction that can be incorporated into several existing courses—is used to make these materials accessible at multiple educational institutions. This paper describes an exemplification and visualization framework that supports the teaching of SOP, along with three course modules that can be folded into typical courses currently offered to CS or SE undergraduates.
S1E: Distance Education I
- Generic integration of remote laboratories in learning and content management systems through federation protocols
- Educational remote laboratories are a software and hardware tool that allows students to remotely access real equipment located in universities as if they were in a hands-on-lab session. Their integration in Content and Learning Management Systems (CMSs or LMSs) has been an active research topic for years, supporting mainly ad hoc solutions. A notable exception has been the use of federation protocols -commonly used for sharing laboratories from one university to other-, for actually sharing laboratories from a remote laboratory system to a C/LMS. This approach opened new doors in the simplification of the process, since it did not require the remote laboratories to make any type of change. The focus of this contribution is to provide a solution to decrease the number of functionalities required for creating an integration by providing a software component that reuses them. This component -open sourced- has been implemented and two remote laboratory management systems are already supported. In the C/LMS side, all the LMSs supporting IMS LTI are supported, and HTTP APIs are provided for being supported by other systems. The contribution describes its support in 3 systems which do not support IMS LTI.
- Embedded and Real-time Systems Classes in Traditional and Distance Education Format
- Embedded Systems design courses are important components in software, computer, and electrical engineering programs and curricula. We describe topics for inclusion in these courses and associated hands-on experiences as required portions of the courses including example development systems based upon two popular microcontrollers. We also describe the challenges of offering these courses in distance format and provide examples of how the hands-on component may be included for distance students.
- Student Engagement in Geographically Distributed Classrooms through Localized Solutions
- Engaging students across geographically distributed teaching and learning activities can be a challenging issue in contemporary higher institutions. Often, technical constraints e.g., hardware and software availability, network connectivity and support personnel availability affect the quality of teaching and learning activities in remote sites. Student participation in the remote sites decreases if the quality of activities becomes poor. Typically, students are demotivated if they are frequently disconnected from the main campus, or cannot get timely technical support to deal with the technical issues, or need to operate specialized systems in order to participate in the teaching and learning activities that contradict with the natural way of classroom participation. This paper reports the approaches taken by the faculty and support staff in a joint graduate research level course on Information Systems geographically distributed in multiple sites in Hong Kong and mainland China to overcome the challenges in student engagement. A combination of Web Livecast and local instant messaging tools have been deployed as software solutions on existing thin client hardware to deliver the solution. Through the adoption of locally available hardware and software solutions in a "quick and dirty" approach, the course team has successfully improved student engagement through dynamically working with the stakeholders in the remote site using existing solutions at no additional resources. Student feedback on the technical performance was collected after a pilot run in a remote site with very limited technical infrastructure and support: only a projector, a speaker and a fixed network port were available on the site. The solution was proved to be effective in terms of improved quality in teaching and learning activities, minimal interruption to the students and teachers by preserving the "natural" way of conducting teaching and learning activities, and little resources input from the main and remote campuses.
- Enhanced Recommendations for e-Learning Authoring Tools based on a Proactive Context-aware Recommender
- Authoring tools are powerful systems in the area of e-Learning that make easier for teachers to create new learning objects by reusing or editing existing educational resources coming from learning repositories or content providers. However, due to the overwhelming number of resources these tools can access, sometimes it is difficult for teachers to find the most suitable resources taking into account their needs in terms of content (e.g. topic) or pedagogical aspects (e.g. target level associated to their students). Recommender systems can take an important role trying to mitigate this problem. In this paper we propose a new model to generate proactive context-aware recommendations on resources during the creation process of a new learning object that a teacher carries out by using an authoring tool. The common use cases covered by the model for having recommendations in online authoring tools are explained. Furthermore, details about the recommender model proposed and advantages of applying it to e-Learning traditional authoring tools are presented.
- Improving student outcomes in distance learning mathematics classes
- In recent years, the demand for distance education courses has soared. Through distance learning, students from all walks of life are now realizing the dream of higher education whereas before logistics may have dictated otherwise. Many students, however, are experiencing difficulty in this learning paradigm. Research has shown that student success in distance mathematics courses in particular lags behind other subjects offered in the same format. We conjecture that a major reason behind the high attrition rates of students in these courses is that communication of mathematics is not as natural as communicating written language in an online learning environment due to the need for advanced notation, symbols, and graphs that are omnipresent in these courses. While online learning environments provide some rudimentary mathematical communication tools, most of these environments are not specialized for the teaching and learning of mathematics. These learning environments need to provide extra technological tools to permit students to communicate mathematically with their peers and instructor. In addition, the supplemental tools necessary must integrate into the existing e-learning infrastructure adopted by the school (e.g. Moodle, Blackboard, etc.). This allows students to easily incorporate graphs, diagrams, and equations into discussion board topics and e-mail so they can precisely illustrate points and ask questions. We believe that the addition of an easy-to-use mathematics equation editor and computer algebra system (CAS) may have a strong effect on a student's ability not only to learn the material, but also sufficiently express herself in the event of misunderstanding or confusion. Without the presence of these tools, students are often required to turn to unintegrated third-party software that may not be a part of the curriculum. In a worst case scenario, no tools are available for students, and they are left to their own devices, often unable to communicate and thus benefit from the knowledge of their instructor and peers. To that end, we propose a study that involves comparing distance learning mathematics classes, one that has the aforementioned technological tools added to the curriculum, and one that does not. The classes examined would be developmental elementary algebra courses taught in a distance-learning format at a large community college in the southern United States. The treatments will be on a per class level - we hope to have at least 100 students using the new technological tools and 100 students as control. Each class in the study will be taught by the same instructor using the same book, curriculum and assessments. The overall goal is to determine if these additional technological interventions have an effect on the midterm and final examination scores taken by these students at the end of the course as opposed to those who did not have them.
S1F: Innovation and Entrepreneurship II
- Influence of Entrepreneurial Aptitude on Technology Entrepreneurship Course Performance
- In a computing technology entrepreneurship course offered in fall 2011, students were separated into teams of three and four students and taught the concepts and skills of teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They applied these concepts and skills to an open-ended project for a niche market financial or healthcare information technology product. Each team produced a product supported by a business plan and PowerPoint presentation as the project deliverable. The course was supported by mentors for the teams and guest lecturers. In spring 2011, a Data Mining course was offered where no direct instruction in teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship was provided, but the student teams were assigned a similar open-ended project. The objective of this exploratory study is to evaluate students and teams' relative increase in entrepreneurial aptitude. The two courses' performances were determined by the project quality and course grades (average in-class and final examinations) supplemented by a post survey of student perceptions of course related gains and changes in attitudes. As expected, the quality of the team projects produced and the correlation analysis of the examination grades in the Technology Entrepreneurship course showed relative improvement over those produced in the Data Mining course.
- Innovation-Directed Experiential Learning Using Service Blueprints
- An analysis of hiring patterns within industry showed several emerging trends: the complexity of information technology (IT) is shifting from development to post-deployment and systems integration needed to deliver services. The prevalence of non-routine services and complex workflows continually increases the complexity within the enterprise resulting in "wicked problems" that are usually not dealt with in the typical graduate academic programs. Often, even when a plan is adequately developed, the solution might not yield perceptible value to the complex enterprise in that it fails to deal with the reality of delivering services that are product and process innovations. Given the increasing complexity of deployed service systems, generated big data, and the national dialogue on engaging engineers in interdisciplinary projects and innovation, we asked ourselves several related questions. Can our graduate students work at the most advanced level of Bloom's taxonomy? Can they learn to frame and solve the right problems within complex environments while applying the most current research? How do we structure a graduate curriculum and an environment that provides experiences in innovation within the constraints of the academic calendar? In this paper we present an interdisciplinary curriculum approach comprised of three main components: a service interaction blueprint for framing the problem, agile software development principles for focusing on the most important aspects of the solutions, and Christensen's theory-building framework to extract research theories. The environment for sponsoring industry problems was created through an NSF Industry & University Cooperative Research Center. By using a mentoring and team structure, the students apply the methods to frame the problems, select and solve the most important requirements to meet, and, finally, extract a research hypothesis for further development. The feedback from students within a pilot graduate-level class is positive and provides many insights for further improvement. We show through student feedback and discussions that it is possible to have a translational structure at the industry-university enterprise boundary resourced in part by such advanced experiential learning.
- inVenTs: Improving retention Among STEM majors through a living learning community
- Studies have identified institutional or programmatic interventions that can be implemented to address lack of fit and related individual variables that may impact success and retention in engineering programs, especially among underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. One such intervention is a living-learning community (LLCs). LLCs can create a critical mass that increases the supportive peer interactions taking place among women and other underrepresented groups and can also alleviate negative stereotypes. Informed by best practices in the literature, inVenTs is a new interdisciplinary residential community offered to engineering, science, and business undergraduates that is designed to encourage the development of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking skills while at the same time offering programming that is linked to retention and success, especially among students from under-represented groups. Linked to the activities being offered in this residential community, our research is examining what curricular and co-curricular initiatives have been shown to retain underrepresented minorities and at the same time develop students' ability to be innovative. Results related to this research will share the best practices identified and resources that can help educators in teaching innovation, while at the same time encouraging retention and success among undergraduates.
- An Innovative Classroom that Produces Innovative Students
- "BitLab" is an innovative classroom that integrates scientific history, sensor technology with quick prototyping and public speaking in a team-based interactive learning environment. In order to inspire the students' spirit of innovation, everything in this classroom is built by small "Bit". Electronic sensor-based "BitLab Bricks" enable the students to conceive their own innovative design, which covers daily life applications. A prototype is then built using geometric shapes. In the end, each team writes up a description of their "product" and gives a presentation on its features and functionalities. The interactive learning platform is delivered through team- based "BitLab Curriculum". The status and impact of BitLab in Chinese schools are presented.
- Innovation in Graduate Projects: Learning to Identify Critical Functions
- Design-by-analogy is considered to be a powerful tool for engineering design. The difficulty of finding suitable analogies for solving a given design problem gives rise to the current efforts on computational tools for analogy-based design. For deriving information from an analogy database, critical functionality of a design problem can be a potential criterion. The study described in this paper investigates whether novice designers can identify the critical function of a design problem in three scenarios: when they are asked to report the important functions of the problem, when they are directly asked to report the critical function and when they are asked to use design-by-analogy. It is observed that student designers have a hard time identifying the critical functions when they are directly asked to or when they are asked to list important functions. However, they use critical functions as search criteria in their analogical mapping process. This shows that during analogical reasoning, designers tend to think in terms of critical functions and they are valid search criteria for deriving analogies from a computational database. This insight is highly valuable for the current efforts to develop computational tools for analogical reasoning.
S1G: First and Second Year Programs III
- Improving Learning of Computational Thinking Using Creative Thinking Exercises in CS-1 Computer Science Courses
- Promoting computational thinking is one of the top priorities in CS education as well as in other STEM and non-STEM disciplines. Our innovative NSF-funded IC2Think project blends computational thinking with creative thinking so that students leverage their creative thinking skills to "unlock" their understanding of computational thinking. In Fall 2012, we deployed creative exercises designed to engage Epstein's creative competencies (Surrounding, Capturing, Challenging and Broadening) in introductory level CS courses targeting four different groups (CS, engineering, combined CS/physical sciences, and humanities majors). Students combined hands-on problem solving with guided analysis and reflection to connect their creative activities to CS topics such as conditionals and arrays and to real-world CS applications. Evaluation results (approximately 150 students) found that creative thinking exercise completion had a linear "dosage" effect. As students completed more exercises [0/1 - 4], they increased their long-term retention [a computational thinking test], F(3, 98) = 4.76, p =.004, partial Eta2 = .127 and course grades, F(3, 109) = 4.32, p =.006, partial Eta2 = .106. These findings support our belief that the addition of creative thinking exercises to CSCE courses improves the learning of computational knowledge and skills.
- An Analysis of a Pre-Engineering Program Model Used to Predict a Student's Persistence to Graduation
- This paper presents the evolution and implementation of the pre-engineering program at the joint Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering. The program was initiated in 2004. It was revised several times between 2004 and 2009. These revisions were made to accommodate unexpected or unattended consequences in the program's implementation. The current program consists of five courses taken by engineering students including First-Year Engineering Laboratory, Calculus I, Calculus II, General Chemistry I, and General Physics I. Chemical engineering students replace General Physics I with General Chemistry II Between 2004 and 2008, almost 2000 first-time in college (FTIC) engineering students participated in the program. The analysis suggests that students who successfully complete the pre-engineering program graduate from the college with a degree in engineering at a very high rate. Additionally, it appears there are no statistically significant differences in graduation rates among pre-engineering program completers with respect to home institution, gender, and race/ethnicity.
- Integrating Cohorts to Improve Student Career Self-Efficacy
- Past research on student efficacy shows that students felt more confident in their selection of career field when they were able to "try it on for size." Students have a desire to get their hands dirty and try using engineering tools early in the curriculum. Additionally, students often report a great deal of uncertainty about the curriculum and their ability to be successful in their academic and future careers. In this paper, we describe the integration of a discipline's introductory course within the rest of the discipline's curriculum. Student reported self-efficacy in the introductory engineering course was measured before and after the course activity was completed. Four questions were used to assess efficacy on a 5-point Likert scale. The largest increase in score was seen on the final efficacy question (Mpre4=3.59, Mpost4=3.87). The average efficacy for all students and all questions was 4.04 (sd=1.01). Inferential results based on student classification, gender, prior work experience, and perceptions of the mentoring activity are discussed. Finally, implications and suggestions for the use of cohort integration in engineering programs are discussed.
- Assessing Student Information Literacy Skills and the Effectiveness of an Evolving Faculty-Librarian Collaboration in a First Year Design Course
- Engineering students need research skills to effectively complete research and design projects; information literacy education during the first year of college positions future engineers to complete projects both during their college years and when they move into their careers. This study provides evidence that faculty-librarian collaboration is an effective method to train students in these critical skills, and proposes an efficient model that can be adapted to other courses. This work-in-progress, in the third year of a four year analysis, assesses and develops a method of sustainable faculty-librarian collaboration that improves information literacy outcomes in a first-year, project-based engineering design course at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). To assess the effectiveness of information literacy instruction methods, citation analysis of group project bibliographies, faculty feedback, and student opinion survey data will be used. Preliminary citation data and faculty feedback suggest that increased librarian contact with students, development of resource guides, and design of grading rubrics to incorporate reference list requirements improve student projects and information literacy outcomes. The end result of this four year study will be a recommendation of a sustainable and effective faculty-librarian collaboration that improves information literacy outcomes among students and can be easily adapted to other courses.
- Teaching with Unfamiliar Pedagogy for Engineering Design Instructors
- In recent years, there has been an increase in the degree of attention paid to the teaching of engineering design. This increase is the result of engineering institutions' response to calls for reform in the way engineering graduates are trained. Many engineering programs have responded by adding more practical courses to their curriculum. Unlike traditional engineering courses, teaching engineering design involves using active teaching pedagogy. However, many engineering educators are not familiar with active teaching pedagogy and tend to have reservations when asked to implement in the classroom. This reservation makes the study of the type of concerns faculty may have implementing active teaching strategies relevant. Hence, understanding concerns regarding the teaching of engineering design is necessary if faculty members are to meet the mandate of helping the students develop the needed non-technical workplace skills. Many studies that examined teachers' concerns about their teaching, especially at K-12 education systems, but few studies have been done in undergraduate engineering education. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the concerns that faculty members have about teaching a freshman engineering design course, especially as related to implementing an unfamiliar pedagogy for them. The instructors who taught the course were interviewed and comparative analysis of the semi-structured interview transcripts was studied for common themes. Observed themes were mapped unto Hall's Concerns-Based Adoption Model for understanding concern related to adoption of innovation. Emergent themes from this analysis were deemed specific to the teaching engineering design. Studying of engineering educators concerns teaching design mapped well unto Hall's Concerns-Based Adoption Model for adoption innovation. Results showed all the instructors have had some experience with using students engagement strategies in their classroom. However, despite their experience, these instructors still have concerns about teaching design, especially regarding their ability to interpret the effectiveness of the active teaching strategies.
S1H: ECE VI
- Developing Experimental Platforms Using Common Software Tools For Enhancing Technical Skills of Electronics Engineering Students in Microcontrollers
- An innovative laboratory methodology for simulation of microcontroller based virtual kits is presented. Microcontrollers are widely applied in the field of industry to solve engineering control problems. Today's embedded world uses variety of microcontrollers as heart of processing. These simulation softwares are used to study the functionality of circuit. Students have blindness when they first contact the experiments because of the complexity of the circuit, so this usually leads to the damage to the experiment device. Therefore, it is necessary to make the students to know the theory, models and adjustable parameters of the experiments before the practical experiments. The mixed software stimulation platform based on Proteus, LabVIEW, MATLAB and Arduino was designed for this purpose.
- A Full-Featured Remote Laboratory For Hands-On Engineering Education
- This work-in-progress paper briefly describes the uLab, a new method and framework for remote hardware design laboratories, which uses Linux and FOSS to provide real-time design and debug services to students over standard RDP channels. A secure, encrypted, plugin-based remote laboratory framework allows customization of programming and debug/test services to match physical laboratory resources. Industry standard technologies such as LDAP and Kerberos are utilized to ensure scalability, security, and ease of management. Emphasis is placed on direct access to real hardware, with the normal array of simulation tools and design software also being provided. In contrast with many of the remote laboratories currently in existence, this system places strong emphasis on direct, long-duration access to real, physical hardware for non-trivial design and evaluation tasks. In order to achieve this goal, secure, network-enabled hardware "pods" were created from inexpensive COTS components, and a blend of new and existing open-source software was used to connect with the overall laboratory framework. Hardware-design software and tools, including the software for physical hardware access, are preloaded and made available within the desktop session, allowing students to log in and start working almost immediately.
- Power Electronics Education Using the Integrated Circuit Consistent Education System and TCAD
- By the remarkable progress of integrated circuit technology in recent years, the integrated circuits are improved in high speed, high performance and high integration. In this study, we perform a device evaluation from trial device production (a computer simulation) using technology CAD (TCAD) in an integrated circuit consistent education system, which consists of a series of processes: system design, semiconductor process, trial device production, and device evaluation. By changing the device parameters (kinds of material, film thickness, impurities density) of the semiconductor process, the simulation can more closely approximate the electrical property of the desired target performance. By integrating the simulation technology using TCAD with each piece of knowledge mastered by the integrated circuit consistent education system, which is currently under development, we are able to construct an education system that can be mastered not only for an integrated circuit for information processing but also for the semiconductor process and the global perspective of the device structure in a power device. Furthermore, the possibility of applicability to a new device structure and process development is shown by means of a simulation using TCAD in virtual processing conditions.
- Java Tools for Teaching OFDM Principles in Undergraduate Courses
- In this paper, we describe a new set of software functions and associated exercises that can be used for teaching Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) concepts in undergraduate DSP and communications courses. These tools can be used to simulate, visualize, and analyze the performance and behavior of OFDM systems by considering different input signals and communication channels. OFDM is a compelling paradigm for us because of its utility in WiFi and LTE. It is also a good demonstration of the FFT usage in an actual communication system. We have developed the proposed set of functions as a part of the Java-DSP (J-DSP) visual programming environment. The functions can be used in DSP and communication undergraduate courses, in order to demonstrate to students the application of DSP concepts in a communication system, as well as concepts such as FIR filter design, properties of the DFT matrix, random signals, and circular effects.
- Developing a New Advanced Microcontrollers Course as a part of Embedded Systems Curriculum
- This paper presents our experiences in developing a new advanced microcontrollers course within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems at the University of Cincinnati (UC). This course was developed and offered for the first time in Spring 2013 to undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students in electrical and computer engineering. It is also open to interested students in other relevant science and engineering programs. The course aims at providing advanced skills in designing and developing microcontroller-based embedded systems. It adopts an instruction model that integrates active learning techniques with in-class lectures and laboratory projects. The paper elaborates on the course structure and schedule, pedagogical techniques used in the course, and student feedback results. It also explains how this course fits in to the existing embedded systems curriculum at UC.
S1I: Online Learning II
- Engaging Students for Success in Calculus with Online Learning Forums
- It is said that we face an engineering "talent crisis" ; the United States is failing to keep pace in educating a highly skilled and diverse engineering workforce. Emphasis is currently placed on recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities. Newer distance-delivered programs seek participation of non-traditional and geographically underrepresented students. With expansion of educational offerings in engineering, one issue that emerges is student attrition during the first two years. It is suggested [2-4] that success in first year calculus reliably predicts persistence in engineering. To increase retention, new strategies are needed. Effective interventions may have the most impact if employed within the first year calculus sequence. Pedagogies that support traditional classroom learning as well as hybrid instruction and distance education offer the greatest transformative potential. This work-in-progress paper describes research underway to evaluate the use of online learning forums during first year calculus. A freely available, wiki-based online learning forum is employed during a mixed-methods study. The study is conducted within sequential calculus courses distance-delivered across two academic years. Quantitative and qualitative data are used to evaluate the effect of forum use on student achievement, engagement and attitudes. A usage model is developed to disseminate within the STEM education community.
- Computer Self-Efficacy, Cognitive, and Metacognitive Strategies of High School Students While Engaged in Interactive Learning Modules
- Along with the rapid development of computer and Internet technologies, efforts have been conducted to include design, development, and evaluation of computer applications for learning activities. Although extensive research has defined the use of computer applications in various disciplines, few studies have systematically investigated students' self-regulated learning skills while learning with an interactive learning module specifically in computer science education. The purposes of this study are to investigate high school students' computer self-efficacy, cognitive, and metacognitive strategies while students learn with the interactive learning modules and performing a mixed-methods study. Data collection included students' self-reports and traces of student activity. The quantitative analyses applicable to this study included descriptive and non-parametric statistics. Qualitative data were gathered from interactive learning module screen-captured videos and interview transcripts to support findings from quantitative data. The outcome of this study will inform policy makers, educators, researchers, developers, and others of the importance of a self-regulated learning perspective when designing instruction using an interactive learning module.
- Student Perceptions of Differences in Visual Communication Mode for an Online Course in Engineering
- Online courses have the promise of extending the horizons of today's academic landscape with their cost-effective and convenient model. Despite their promise, there remain several challenges that hinder learning, one of which is lack of instructor presence. This study aims at understanding the effect of instructor presence on student satisfaction in an online setting of a course in engineering. We conducted an experiment to assess students' perceptions of two presentation modes of an online lecture created with the same instructor- with the instructor appearing in window, created using an off-the-shelf screen-capture software and with the instructor overlaid in the slides created using recent visual communication technology that overlays the video of the instructor without any background images or outline boxes. We focus on comparing - overall student satisfaction after watching the two modes, the perceived non-verbal immediacy factors of the instructor and the preference of video mode. Preliminary results suggest a preference of the mode with the instructor overlaid. The effect sizes of the differences in overall satisfaction between the experimental groups and their perceived levels of non-verbal immediacy factors when viewing the online lecture in the two modes are encouraging enough to pursue more longitudinal studies with the set-up.
- Assessment of Online Participation through Social Network Measures: A HLM Approach
- In this research, we bring attention to one of the largest electrical and computer engineering (ECE) online discussion forums AllAboutCircuits.com. There are close to two hundred thousand learners contributing more than a million messages to this forum for over more than a decade. The massive archives of educational data raise an important question for engineering educators: How do we assess online participation? In this work-in-progress, we propose a multilevel approach to assess online participation based on social network measures and Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) techniques. Specifically, we consider the employment of HLM to model the association between online participation and measures of social capital. Predictors of social capital are established, at both the individual and group levels, to examine the association between these predictors and learners' participation frequencies. We discuss our choice of HLM as a modeling approach over ordinary least squares (OLS) regression methods. We then describe how data is collected from the site of study, AllAboutCircuits.com, and how the modeling approach is conceptualized and used for assessment purposes. The importance of this work lies not only on sheer participation figures - it derives from the argument that online discussion fosters productive collaborative learning and individual reflection.
- Instructional Strategies for Teaching Science Online
- This paper (work in progress) reports the design and initial implementation of a complete online statistics course. It focuses on applications and adaptations of effective instructional strategies based on current research and best practice of teaching quantitative oriented courses (math, statistics, and engineering) online. The online statistics course was an introductory course and covered common statistical concepts and their applications in educational research for graduate students in educational technology. The course was equivalent to an undergraduate level statistics class for students majoring in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM). Thus the implications of this project in terms of effective instructional strategies and online course design are relevant to a board audience including course designers, instructors, and students in science and engineering.
Saturday, October 26, 10:00 - 11:30
S2A: Special Session: The Lord of PhD: Fellowship of the Dissertation; A guide to the Engineering PhD
- The Lord of PhD: Fellowship of the Dissertation - A guide to surviving the pursuit of a PhD
- Allegories have been to represent ideas, concepts, and processes, primarily in classical literature. In engineering education, allegories have been used to describe the different roles within academia. Here, we focus specifically on the path of a doctoral student in engineering working towards earning their degree and completing a dissertation. The path will be discussed as an allegory to "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien. This allegory explores the milestones, characters, barriers, and support doctoral students will meet along their journey. The session will utilize identity-trajectory to guide discussion and encourage attendees to explore and share their experiences. The session is aimed at providing guidelines to students progressing through a doctoral degree and to assist graduate advisors in supporting their students on this journey.
S2B: Mini-Workshop: Integrate by Design: Bringing Science, Math, and Technology Together Through the Engineering Design Process
- Integration by Design: Bringing Science, Math, and Technology Together Through the Engineering Design Process
- The primary goal of this mini-workshop is to assist participants in developing engineering- and art-based design projects that reinforce concepts in mathematics and science, thus providing an integrative environment for learning. The emerging STEAM (STEM + art, which is also a design discipline) approach emphasizes a hands-on, project-based, interdisciplinary approach to the study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). To emphasize the importance of using engineering design principles to integrate learning in science and math and gain technological literacy, we refer to this approach as STEAMd. This mini-workshop will be of interest to those involved in P-16 engineering education and in developing a philosophy of engineering education that stresses an integrative approach to instruction and practice grounded in design, the fundamental process of engineering.
S2C: Teaming I
- Management of Distributed Collaborative Learning Environments based on a Concept Map Paradigm and Natural Interfaces
- Collaborative learning is an effective educational method that plays an essential role in theories such as Constructivism and Knowledge Building. Studies have shown that collaborative work in small groups significantly improves learning when supported by concept maps. Although useful in collaborative environments, most applications available for the development of concept maps are designed for personal or small tablet computers, which can limit student communication in a team. In addition, the use of these applications usually requires learning or training periods, which can also interfere with the learning process. In this paper, we present a software tool for generating concept maps and constructing learning spaces under both local and distributed collaboration scenarios. Our system uses a natural interface with multi-touch and multi-user capabilities. It was specifically designed for tabletop systems, which provide a large horizontal interactive surface suitable for collaboration and face-to-face communication. The tool is also available in other platforms, which makes it useful in a variety of classroom orchestration settings. Finally we present the results of a preliminary usability study of our tool in a real educational environment.
- Experiencing Disruptive Behavior in a Team Using "Moles"
- The ability to work on a team is a paramount skill for every engineer. The capability to understand, identify and work through team problems will significantly enhance the engineer's ability to deliver a high quality product on time and within budget. Far too often, however, the experience of working as a team, with its challenges, is overlooked in the student's education. The Department of Software Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology introduced an activity in their Freshman Seminar course to help students work in a team-based environment. The specific focus was interacting with problematic team members. This team activity involved student "moles" covertly being inserted to act in a disruptive fashion. At the end of the activity, the teams reassembled to discuss the task the team had been assigned to do. The instructor revealed the role of the "moles" at this point, and the teams discussed the effect their behaviors had on team effectiveness and the strategies used to deal with the disruptive behaviors. The students have praised the activity, finding it to be different, exciting and educational. This paper describes the "mole" activity, our observations of the results, and provides suggestions for future use in coursework.
- Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Cooperative Learning Approach in Engineering Education in China
- The need for teamwork skills has been recognised as one of the key requirements for engineering graduates by industries world-wide, including in China. A pilot on teamwork training was conducted in a joint degree programme between a leading British university and a top Chinese university in 2011. This paper attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of this cooperative learning practice to Chinese engineering students and to identify the gap between the declarative knowledge and the skill-based outcomes. This evaluation focuses on the open-ended and qualitative items in students' expectations agreements, team function evaluation forms, peer ratings, and questionnaires. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, with class observation and informal interview responses also being discussed. This qualitative study provides a good supplement to the previous quantitative findings and contributes to understanding by displaying how students perceived a Cooperative Learning practice in a mainland Chinese context, and how they reacted to the experience. It also provides an insight into the underlying cultural considerations behind the team behaviour. Instructors can design and improve team tasks for Chinese students based on these findings.
- Integrating Communication Skills in Data Structures and Algorithms Courses
- While the improvement of computer science students' communication skills has frequently been called for in the literature, employers continue to feel that recent graduates are not equipped with the writing, speaking, and teaming skills essential in the 21st century workplace. One problem with previous approaches is that they often teach communication skills in dedicated courses rather than integrating them into technical classes across the curriculum. In this paper, we report on a multi-institutional faculty team's efforts to integrate communication skills into mid-level data structures and algorithms courses as part of a larger NSF-funded project to enact integrated reform throughout computer science/software engineering curricula. We present an outline of assignments designed to develop communication skills (writing, speaking, reading, listening, and teaming) intertwined with technical skills, and discuss our preliminary efforts to assess these efforts. Our work reflects a general approach to incorporate communication activities within the computer science curricula and to help students learn and communicate technical content in academic and professional settings.
- Let's do it OR Deal with it: Teamwork in Project-based Learning
- Project-based course is based on teamwork and most of work is done and presented as a team. Team grouping rule is one of the most important issues. In project-based experimental course Optoelectronic Instrument Experiments (OIE), several different rules were attempted, each of which produced complaints by some students. After several trials of different grouping rule, we realized that there is no perfect rule which can satisfy everyone. Instead of changing the rule, trying to find a way to persuade the students to accept and support their group willingly might be a better solution. In this semester, the project teams are entirely determined by lot and several teamwork inspirational approaches are introduced to inspire team spirit in the course. Our purpose is to find a way to make student learn the interpersonal skill of working in team. Let's do it, not just deal with it inactively.
S2D: Experiential Learning III
- EXPLORES: An Integrated Learning Environment to Produce Industry Ready Graduates
- To maintain competitive advantages in today's global market, US companies are challenging higher education institutions to bridge competency gaps between industry workforce needs and what is provided by engineering education programs. To meet this challenge, the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Cincinnati proposes the EXPLORES (Experiential and Problem-based Learning within Opportunities for Real-world Engineering Settings) model where students from freshman year onwards are exposed to real-world industrial problems that have a direct bearing on fundamental engineering concepts. The EXPLORES model is implemented in a learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered student learning environment. Specifically, real-world industrial problems are identified that can be broken down into sub-problems and mapped to a selected set of key concepts taught in clusters of core courses in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum. These case problems are presented under a virtual company framework. Students post their work in the virtual company repository during different stages of the learning process. Their solutions and procedures are then viewed by the instructor, industry partners, and other students who provide periodical feedback. Industry experts would then meet with students to discuss the pros and cons of the solutions from a real-world perspective. Currently, the efficacy of the EXPLORES model is being investigated in two courses; namely, Manufacturing Processes and Engineering Statistical Methods. The EXPLORES model is a concrete implementation of the problem-based learning pedagogy in a well-designed learning environment. Requiring students to post the procedures they used for solutions allows instructors to use "diagnostic teaching" to achieve learner-centered education. Mapping real-world problems to key engineering concepts in the entire curriculum and sub-problems to courses help students "learn their way around" the Mechanical Engineering discipline; thus achieving knowledge-centered education. During the learning process, faculty members and industry partners provide periodical review and feedback (formative assessment); in the meantime students also learn to assess their own work and that of their peers to help everyone learn more effectively. Finally, faculty members working with industrial partners and students solving real-world problems that address local industry wants and needs provides a connection to the broader community. Although inclusion of real-world industrial problems into engineering curriculum is not a new invention, the EXPLORES model is unique in the following aspects: (1) the problems span multiple courses so students need to have the ability to synthesize knowledge acquired from different courses in order to develop complete solutions; (2) industry partners are an integral part of the education process by providing problem design, periodical feedback, and expert solution; and (3) an on-line virtual company framework is used to facilitate information sharing and motivate student learning.
- Teaching Business Analytics
- An increased number of businesses are using computerized system to gain competitive advantages and make decision, given continuous large amount of data collected from consumers, employees, suppliers, competitors and product inventory. It is essential to prepare students with knowledge and skills in area of business analytics (BA) which will help business to process data, find patterns and relations, develop insights from past transactions, and make prediction. We aim to teach business analytics to students in Computer Science, Information Technology, and Software Engineering disciplines using hands-on labs. Our hands-on labs can be adopted in courses such as database systems, data warehousing, data mining, etc. We use enterprise BA tools including MS SQL Server Business Intelligence and Cognos 10 platforms, which are essential to increase student interests, improve student learning, and enhance student confidence. Our hands-on labs contain three parts with one is built upon another: 1) Data integration; 2) Data Warehouse; and 3) Business analytics. Student will first experience generation of data mart and Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) processes in data integration part. ETL is important because it lifts data from transactional systems to operational data stores, data warehouses, and BA platforms. In the part of data warehouse, students will exercise with data warehousing, data dimension, cube and online analytical processing (OLAP). Students create, edit, import, export, and deploy cube models over the relational warehouse schema to perform deeper multi-dimensional analysis across multiple business variables and large data sets. Students also use optimization techniques from cube to improve the performance of online analytical processing (OLAP) queries. In the part of business analytics, students will be taught data mining and artificial intelligence (AI) concepts and algorithms which are then used in decision making. Students use data mining models (clustering, associations, classification, and prediction) to gain business insights. Students also experience rich presentation components, visual analysis of data mining results and interactive tools. BA helps students to apply techniques to assist decision making in business relevant fields. The innovation of our hands on labs on business analytics lies in engagement of students into enterprise products with real-world business settings, exploration of efficacy of BA as an inter-disciplinary field, and sharpening student skills by data sets with real-world relevance.
- Authentic Learning of Mobile Security with Case Studies
- This work-in-progress paper presents an approach to authentic learning of mobile security through real-world-scenario case studies. Five sets of case studies are being developed to cover the state-of-the-art of mobile security knowledge and practices. Some of the developed case studies are being implemented in related courses and the preliminary feedback is positive.
- Developing a remote release mechanism in support of unmanned aerial systems: A comparison of two separate approaches in freshman engineering design
- As restrictions on operating small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) in the United States national airspace system (NAS) have compounded, university researchers in this discipline have had to react by developing increasingly more novel ways to collect remote sensing data. Current restrictions by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) require universities to apply for a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to operate any remote control device for the purposes of research. Previously, many universities operated under Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57 (for model aircraft operators). University research does not fall under this circular and therefore, alternative methods of gathering aerial images in support of the universities remote sensing projects needed to be explored. The freshman engineering design course at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is a multidisciplinary and collaborative effort between the Engineering Program and Aviation Sciences Program faculty. Introductory engineering design process theory is taught by engineering faculty while students engage in an experiential exercise in problem solving with the Aviation faculty serving the role of a client with a specific problem that needs to be remedied. This paper outlines the freshmen engineering design process from the introduction of the initial problem statement, mid-term review and final product delivery of a remote release system for a non-powered glider sensor system. The aviation faculty serving as the client is involved with the class from initial team selection to evaluation of the final product and student's presentation abilities. A brief review of the current restrictions on sUAS operations on campuses will be discussed. Students were asked to design a remote release system that would support the deployment of the client's glider platform from an existing kite lifting device. The freshman design class was divided into two groups and asked to design systems that would meet the clients design criteria. The authors present an in depth comparison of design approaches, execution and lessons learned. Group leadership dynamics are considered.
S2E: Industry Partnerships
- A Community College Blended Learning Classroom Experience through Artificial Intelligence in Games
- We report on the experience of teaching an industry-validated course on Artificial Intelligence in Computer Games within the Simulation and Game Design department at a two-year community college during a 16-week semester. The course format used a blended learning just-in-time teaching approach, which included active learning programming exercises and one-on-one student interactions. Moskal's Attitudes Toward Computer Science survey showed a positive and significant increase in students in both interest (W(10) = 25, p = 0.011) and professional (W(10) = 49.5, p = 0.037) constructs. The Felder-Soloman Index of Learning Styles (n = 14) failed to identify any statistically significant differences in learning styles when compared to a four-year CS1 class. In the final class evaluation, 8 out of 13 students (62%) strongly or very strongly preferred the blended learning approach. We validated this course through four semi-structured interviews with game companies. The interview results suggest that companies are strongly favorable to the course content and structure. The results of this work serve as a template that community colleges can adopt for their curriculum.
- An Agile Translation Process for Complex Innovations: an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Case Study
- An analysis of hiring patterns showed emerging trends: the complexity of information technology (IT) is shifting from development to post-deployment and integration needed for services. Given the complexity of deployed service systems, generated big data, and the national dialogue on educating engineers, we asked ourselves related questions. Do our graduate students have evaluation skills needed to work at the most advanced level of Bloom's taxonomy? Can they learn to frame and solve the problems within complex industry environments while applying the current research? How do we structure a graduate curriculum and an environment that provides experiences in innovation within the constraints of the academic calendar? Here we present an interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of three components: a service interaction blueprint for framing the industry problem, agile principles focusing on aspects of the solution, and Christensen's theory-building to frame the next iteration of research. The environment for industry problems was created through an National Science Funded Industry & University Cooperative Research Center. The feedback from a pilot graduate-level class is positive and provides insights for further research. We show through feedback discussions that it is possible to have translational activity at the industry-university enterprise boundary resourced in by advanced experiential learning.
- Bringing Adjunct Engineering Faculty into the Classroom: Opportunities for Enhancing the Practice
- This paper examines the status quo of adjunct faculty in engineering institutions and argues that adjuncts could enrich an academic engineering program by bringing in their practical experience and by introducing relevant applications and design venues to the classroom. Adjunct faculty members do also help in setting up linkages with the industrial sector, which often leads to: employment opportunities for graduates, co-op activities, and potential development of collaborative research programs. Nevertheless, the present status of most adjunct faculty is tenuous, subject to shifting enrollment, and considered as a temporary arrangement, or until a "full-time" faculty is appointed. Unfortunately adjuncts, often with proven records of excellent teaching, are marginalized by the academic systems in place today; and their efforts and contributions to the academic process are undervalued. If fair treatment, and proper recognition are accorded to adjuncts; then, their morale, loyalty to the institution, and their teaching effectiveness would improve markedly. Next, the paper reports on a success story of an adjunct, a practitioner with excellent credentials, who "teamed-up" with a "full-time" faculty, in an attempt to bring-in the "practice" to 4th year students in a geotechnical/ foundation engineering class. The success achieved in meeting stated objectives, i.e., including students' exposure to the "practice", was attributed, in large measure, to the proper coordination that preceded course delivery. The paper sheds light on this experience, and focuses on the contributions and effectiveness of the adjunct in: course planning, delivery of "practice-related" material, organizing instructional activities, as well as adjunct's ability and effort in engaging students, in and outside the classroom. The positive outcome of this experience has lead other faculty members to follow the same path, i.e., by searching for practitioners-as adjunct faculty- to assist in bringing the practice into the classroom, in partnership with "full-time" faculty. The paper stresses the need to search for qualified adjuncts, provide them with the tools to develop and improve their teaching skills, affirm their value to the department by recognizing the contributions these individuals make, and provide the opportunities to bring them fully into the learning community.
- Investigating the Attributes and Expectations of Engineering Ph.D.s Working in Industry
- Many engineering Ph.D.s are finding career opportunities in industry. Despite the increase in number of Ph.D. engineers working in industry, there is little research on what it takes to be a successful engineering Ph.D. in industry. This study explores the characteristics, and expectations of engineering Ph.D.s by interviewing ten engineering Ph.D.s working in industry. These preliminary findings reveal that responsibilities of engineering Ph.D.s in industry include more than research and development. Among other things, engineering Ph.D.s that work in this sector are expected to communicate effectively and teach others. The characteristics that engineering Ph.D.s need to possess to be successful in industry are also discussed.
S2F: Ethics and Moral Reasoning
- Grading by Experience Points: An Example from Computer Ethics
- In most of education, courses are graded based on percentages—a certain percentage is required for each letter grade. Students often see this as a negative, in which they can only lose points, not gain points, and put their class average at risk with each new assignment. This contrasts with the world of online gaming, where they gain "experience points" from each new activity, and their score monotonically increases toward a desired goal. In the last two or three years, several instructors have moved to grading by experience points (XP). In Fall 2012, the author switched to grading by experience points in his Ethics in Computing class. Students earned points for a variety of activities, mainly performing ethical analyses of various issues related to computing, and participating in debates on ethics-related topics. The course is a required one-credit course for Computer Science majors at our university. The course has often been plagued by low attendance. We wanted an approach that would make students delve into the very relevant and often very interesting issues of law, public policy, and personal morality. Experience points seemed like a logical choice. Students could gain XP for each topic that they wrote on (scaled by their score for that contribution). Specific numbers of XP a for each letter grade (for example, 2600 points for an A, 2300 for a B), and, if students need to earn extra points to reach their desired grade, they would merely need to perform additional activities, like analyzing more issues, or reviewing analyses done by other students. In effect, all work is treated as if it is "extra credit," having a particular point value. Students could write a maximum of six analyses during the semester, but doing only three analyses put them on track to earn an A, provided they did "A work" (receive ≥ 93% of the 400 possible XP for the analysis). Students were encouraged to work in pairs on the analysis. Each member of the pair received as many points as a sole author would for the same work. Results indicated that the students appreciated the ability to earn extra points by performing extra activities (rated 4.02 on a Likert scale of 1 to 5). But they were less likely to complete analyses after signing up to do them than were students in a traditionally-graded class. The students also seemed to strive for quantity of work, not quality, as their average score on analyses declined markedly at the end of the semester. However, they did more peer reviews (for which they earned up to 50 XP) toward the end of the semester. It was also difficult to set the various grade thresholds correctly. Based upon the thresholds given at the start of the semester, nearly half of the class ended up with either an A+ (28% of the class) or an F (20%). Student comments indicated that their biggest concern was rapid grading turnaround, so they would know where they stood in the class at all times.
- A Qualitative Study Exploring Students' Engineering Ethical Reflections and Their Use in Instrument Validation
- The development of ethical awareness and ethical reasoning is a critical part of engineering education. Appropriate assessments are needed to determine if the educational interventions are effective in developing these skills. Although there are measures to assess general moral reasoning (e.g., DIT2), they do not take into consideration the peculiarities of handling ethical situations in engineering rather than ethical situations in general. In addition, because most undergraduates learn to apply ethical reasoning to engineering through design courses that are taught in teams, it is important to understand the team ethical climate. To address this need, our research team is developing instruments to assess both individual moral reasoning and team ethical climate in an engineering context. As part of the validation efforts, we have conducted individual interviews and team observations to triangulate data from other sources and aid in data interpretation. In this work-in-progress research paper we present an overview of the instruments and our qualitative study design including our interview protocol and analysis approach. At the FIE conference, we will present initial findings from the analyses and discuss how these results are being used to validate and/or modify both the individual engineering ethical reasoning and team climate instruments being developed.
- Ethics in Engineering Education: A Literature Review
- Engineering Ethics is an important topic to be developed in engineering education curriculum. Despite its importance, ethics is not much investigated in engineering education as compared to other disciplines, in particular medicine or biology education. In this paper, a comprehensive review on engineering ethics is provided. The review covers three main topics: 1) Attributes of ethical engineers, 2) Content, logistics and pedagogy of engineering ethics, and 3) Assessment of engineering ethics. A particular focus is given to the Defining Issues Test (DIT) and the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT) that is considered a promising instrument to assess moral judgment development of science and engineering students. Final remarks and future works will conclude the paper.
- Using scaffolded, integrated, and reflexive analysis (SIRA) of cases in a cyber-enabled learning infrastructure to develop moral reasoning in engineering students
- Each year thousands of new engineers join the workforce and face novel issues raised by radical technological advances. Concurrently, changing societal responses to new technologies introduce novel conflicts in research and development that challenge the scope of established professional codes of ethics. These issues create a critical demand for new approaches for developing moral reasoning for ethical decision-making. Our multidisciplinary team of engineering, communication, and ethics educators has developed and tested a novel pedagogical framework of Scaffolded, Integrated, and Reflexive Analysis (SIRA) of ethics cases to enhance development of moral reasoning that extends beyond case-based analyses. Implemented as a series of two-week cyber-enabled learning modules, with cases from several engineering disciplines, this theory-based, data-driven, cyber-enabled framework for ethics education has applicability across a broad spectrum of disciplines and provides engineering educators with limited ethics training a tested framework and set of resources and modules to adapt and use in their own disciplines. In this paper, we discuss our work in progress on the SIRA framework, its implementation, and our assessment of changes in moral reasoning and student satisfaction when utilizing this model.
S2G: First and Second Year Programs IV
- Development of a Classification Scheme for "Introduction to Engineering" Courses
- "Introduction to Engineering" courses are often designed from scratch and can become a grab-bag of unrelated topics. They are often designed by instructors to cover what they feel is important. Therefore, while they may be prerequisites to second-year courses, first-year engineering programs are not necessarily integrated into the curriculum. Further, since they are often designed with little consideration for existing models, overall outcomes and content may vary widely. The results include an issue of course developers "reinventing the wheel" as successful models are not adequately disseminated. Results of multiple methods of investigation are presented. An analysis of syllabi for Introduction to Engineering courses identified course learning objectives, and these objectives were grouped to establish an initial classification scheme. A workshop in which objectives were discussed was held at a national conference and a separate draft classification scheme was proposed. A concurrent effort uses a Delphi procedure to define and categorize expected outcomes in first-year courses. Survey data from the Delphi study has been collected toward a single, final classification scheme. This paper will present results of the first two components of the study and the initial high level classification scheme identified as the Delphi analysis begins.
- A Survey on the Mathematical Emphasis in Brazilian Computer Science Curricula
- A recurring question raised by professors and undergraduate students involves the distribution of basic and practical - or professional - courses. Some authors defend a curriculum with more basic courses in order to create a solid background. Moreover, there is a growth of academic exchange programs all around the world, which requires a common learning base. The goal of this paper is to analyze the amount of the courses related to Mathematics in different CS undergraduate curricula. In this work are analyzed the lecture hour load dedicated to Mathematics courses on eleven Brazilian CS undergraduate programs. To allow this comparison, it was established a definition of what was considered a lecture hour of Mathematics. For a reference point, such programs were compared with two reference curricula in the area: The Brazilian Computer Society (SBC) and the Computer Science Curriculum 2008 made by the IEEE Computer Society and ACM joint task force. The curricula presented in the official sites of the selected universities in 2012 were analyzed and it was possible to conclude that more than half of the programs don't achieve the minimum amount of Mathematics study hours necessary during undergraduate studies according to IEEE/ACM's reference curriculum.
- Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Assistants' Perceptions of Their Responsibilities - Factors That Help or Hinder
- Effective teaching assistants (TAs) are crucial for effective student learning. This is especially true in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, where TAs are enabling large programs to transition to more student-centered learning environments. To ensure that TAs are able to support these types of learning environments, their perspectives of training, their abilities, and other work related aspects must be understood. In this paper a survey that was created based on interviews conducted with eight TAs is discussed. The survey has four primary categories of content that are critical for understanding TAs' perspectives: (1) background, (2) motivation, (3) training, and (4) grading and feedback. This research team is first utilizing this survey at Purdue University to test for validity and reliability of the instrument, as well as identifying ways to improve the experiences and effectiveness of the First-Year Engineering Program's TAs' support system, training, hiring process, and any other relevant components of the infrastructure. The more generalizable goal of this research is to further develop this survey to be used by any STEM program as a diagnostic tool for identifying opportunities to enhance the TA support systems and therefore improve student learning.
- Engineering Virtual Studio: Online context and community for underclassmen engineers
- Myopia on foundations early in undergraduate work is pandemic throughout STEM undergraduate training. This "sink or swim" foundational approach begets attrition and reduced motivation, engagement, and performance for those rugged students who stay in the major. Current approaches to alleviating this myopia, including integrative curricula and extracurricula, provide some context and community, but require great faculty and staff effort, and often requires onerous changes to the base curriculum, while leaving students stranded segueing into the sophomore year. Here we introduce and report on an initial pilot of an online alternative. Our one-credit, pass/fail course, Engineering Virtual Studio (EVS), provides explicit connections between foundational courses and real-world products and problems. The course also fosters both scholarly and pre-professional identity building as constant processes. We report on the course design, work in progress in our pilot year, and opportunity for improvement.
- Development of a Flash Drive Design Project for Engineering Graphics and Design
- A major challenge in engineering graphics is the development of semester-long projects which both support curricular goals and engage students. In this paper, we will describe a process for project creation and a series of reusable units for the delivery of the project. The specific goal of this development process was to create a project suitable for the graphics component of Texas A&M University's Freshman Engineering and first year engineering design graphics courses. These courses serve several thousand students per year, in sections approaching one hundred students. On this scale, minor issues in the curriculum have can cause significant disruption in the course. Therefore, the curriculum was developed in phases, with revisions at the end of each phase. The phases were: (1) Creation and testing of the design project, its components, and a project manual, (2) scale-up of the curriculum to increasing numbers of students and revision of the project manual and (3) full-scale implementation of the project. The authors chose to adopt the "independent project method" described by Lee (2009). As noted by Bell et al. (2010), a well-designed scenario has the potential to: (1) "provide opportunities for students to integrate the learning outcomes from the lecture and laboratory-based teaching sessions," (2) "enhance generic skills such as teamwork, problem solving and communication," and (3) "extend their knowledge using some of the principles of [Problem Based Learning]." Further, their results "demonstrate the value of a hybrid approach to an engineering curriculum, which embeds elements of problem- and project-based learning alongside traditional lecture and laboratory teaching." In our exemplar, the scenario was structured around client's to develop a themed set of flash drives and a presentation case suitable for use as a gift to outstanding employees and high value clients. The project was implemented as a series of team and individual assignments throughout the semester. The product of those assignments was presented to the instructors in memo format. After the project's completion, each student printed one flash drive casing using a rapid prototyper. As noted by Barr et al. (2002), the availability of cost effective rapid prototypers allows a single engineer (or engineering student) to move through the entire design process from idea to part. Further, by linking student designs to a physical product, we were able to inject real-world constraints into the design The project is currently in the second phase of development. In this phase, most design issues have been resolved. However, curriculum changes are needed in response to student conceptual problems. A challenge has been the development of three dimensional spatial skills. The students have difficulty designing layered structures, particularly those securing the electronics within the casing. Further, having students following detailed instructions has been a challenge. While these a normally grading issues, the drive casings are prototyped directly from the designs, so errors are particularly evident in their design product. Major successes of the project have been increased student satisfaction and the movement of their skills from re-creation of existing drawings to the development of novel designs.
S2H: pK-12 STEM IV
- Enhanced STEM Learning with Online Labs: Empirical study comparing physical labs, tablets and desktops
- India's educational challenge includes a large school going population, shortage of science teachers and lack of science labs in many schools. To counter this challenge, the Online Labs (OLabs) pedagogy is designed as a complete learning environment with tutorials, theory, procedure, animations, videos and simulations while the assessment includes conceptual, experimental, procedural and reporting skills. We discuss two separate empirical studies using OLabs to study the performance gains, student attitudes and preferences while using physical labs, desktops and tablets. The first study was at a school that compared students who learnt individually with OLabs on desktops, to students who learnt with the traditional teacher led physical labs. The second study was at a science camp and compared OLabs on desktops to OLabs that were context adapted for android tablets. There were significant differences between the physical labs and the self study mode using OLabs on desktops, but no significant differences between OLabs on desktops compared to OLabs on tablets.
- Outcomes of a Three-Year In-Service Secondary Teacher Training Program in Engineering Design
- We have developed and implemented a comprehensive, extended professional development program for in-service secondary teachers to prepare them to teach engineering design and problem solving, and to use design-based teaching approaches in their science curriculum. The program uses a constructionist, immersion pedagogy and a three-phase learning cycle. There is universal agreement that the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects in U.S. schools must be improved. A National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council report says that introducing engineering concepts into K-12 education has the potential to improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, and increase the number of students entering STEM careers. However, few teachers are prepared to use such techniques, and only limited data exist to support such claims. We describe a three-year professional development program for a single cohort of in-service secondary school teachers funded by the State of Texas. The program consisted of intensive summer workshops followed by monthly one-day workshops, school visits, and support activities during the academic year. The goals of the program were: (1) to give teachers the skills needed to deliver project based learning lessons, open-ended activities, and design challenges in science courses; (2) to provide teachers with the skills necessary to guide students through engineering design problems that integrate science and mathematics concepts, and (3) to familiarize teachers with engineering professional practice, different engineering disciplines, and the nature of various engineering degrees and their requirements, so that they can advise students regarding STEM careers. We believe this infusion approach to including engineering habits of mind into schools is more practical than implementing new curriculum or stand-alone courses that require structural changes. This paper will describe the program and its outcomes using both qualitative and quantitative data from the participants and from observations of changes in classroom practice. The results, taken together, indicate that the workshop pedagogy and professional development structure were successful in meeting the goals and desired outcomes of the program. Best practices, lessons learned, and remaining challenges will be discussed.
- Young People's Perceptions of Computing Careers
- Recruitment into computing-related undergraduate degree courses is challenging in several countries. This is despite employers reporting skills shortages, and the sector generally offering better salaries than for graduates of more popular courses. This paper describes a study (n=111) of the interest of 16 and 17 year olds in taking Computing-related degrees, particularly those that lead to user experience (UX) careers, where there is both a local and global skills shortage. The picture that emerges is of surprisingly pronounced and entrenched attitudes, which are worthy of a more detailed study. Only one of eight typical computing job roles (Tester) was familiar while the term UX was almost unknown. The females in this study expressed antipathy even towards finding out about computing careers. An unexpected additional finding is the commonplace, and apparently inappropriate, use of Myers- Briggs-style questionnaires in offering careers advice on computing to local school children. This paper will be of interest to those who seek to progress professionalism in the field of computing and to recruit (particularly female) school leavers into computing degrees.
- Teaching Computer Programming Based on Patterns with Activities and Collaborative Games Using Concrete Materials for High School Students
- The courses in computing, especially those focused on software development, requiring many skills of novice students in computer programming. Because it is a new area for most students novices, they demonstrate great difficulty in initial courses in this area, especially in the ability of abstraction and specific skills in computer programming. These difficulties often lead students to drop out of courses, especially the lack of motivation for the activity of programming. Programming patterns has been explored by many researchers, especially in the teaching and learning of algorithms and computer programming. Through patterns, novice students have the opportunity to reuse knowledge of experienced programmers to solve both simple problems, as more complex problems, using this combination of patterns. Research indicates that the use of patterns in teaching programming lead to good results when included in the curriculum of high school students. However, only the use of patterns may not be enough to motivate students to learn programming. This work demonstrates the results obtained by combining the teaching of programming patterns-based, along with games using concrete materials based sports activities and collaborative, in non formal spaces for computer programming, with high school students in the Integrated mode. In this mode, students attend classes in both disciplines of common area such as History, Geography and Mathematics, the disciplines of technical education, as in the case of the course Computer Technician, Computer Programming, Database and Computer Networks. The study was conducted in a Brazilian public school, with high school students at the Instituto Federal de Mato Grosso, campus in the city of Barra do Garças, state of Mato Grosso. The study involved 30 students of the first year of high school, discipline Algorithms and Computer Programming, the second semester of 2012. In the computer lab, were presented and discussed nine programming patterns, utilized in teaching algorithms. Besides the practical classes in computer lab, students created games using concrete materials, especially several sports balls. In creating these games, connecting with programming patterns should be explored. The results show an improvement in student motivation, leaving the abstract that normally addressed in traditional teaching programming, focusing on syntax and semantics of a particular programming language, for the work of programming logic using concrete materials.
S2I: Interdisciplinary Programs I
- The Digital Culture Degree: a competency-based interdisciplinary program spanning engineering and the arts
- This paper describes the Digital Culture BA degree: an engineering-arts undergraduate curriculum that combines competency-based education (CBE) and knowledge-oriented education (KOE) structures and related Pull-Push approaches. The degree has been offered for three years at Arizona State University, has 200 enrolled students and is continuing to grow. The degree embeds nine knowledge-oriented concentrations, each offered by a relevant participating department, within an interdisciplinary CBE context. The CBE part of the degree provides customized access to 40 interdisciplinary digital culture courses from 12 different academic units by connecting these courses through a set of core competencies. Access to courses is not determined by fixed prerequisites but rather by having one of several possible combinations of lower level competencies. This flexible curriculum is attractive to students, promotes integrative collaborative learning that inspires innovation, and prepares the type of engineering-arts experts and complex problem solvers that are currently needed in creative industries. This type of degree also presents several important challenges for educators and administrators. To address these challenges we developed project based assessment approaches, custom web-based software for advising a very diverse student body, as well as online tools for facilitating peer critique and feedback in large creative classrooms.
- Developing an Interdisciplinary Health Informatics Security and Privacy Program
- Health informatics is one of the nation's largest growth industries. With the government's increasing interest in electronic health records and growing investment by healthcare organizations in technology, there is a large demand for a health informatics and health information technology workforce. To protect health information systems, it is highly important for health informatics professionals to be well educated and trained in information assurance, and to understand the many concerns of security, privacy, integrity and reliability. To meet this demand, we are creating a new, interdisciplinary curriculum model of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) concentration in Health Informatics Security and Privacy (HISP) at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University (NC A&T). This project is the joint effort of the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Management at NC A&T. To establish this BSCS concentration in HISP, we developed a new course on health information systems in the Department of Computer Science, a new course on Mathematics for Health Informatics in the Department of Mathematics, and modified an existing course in the Department of Management to include topics on business practices relating to health information technology. We also developed three course modules on health informatics security and privacy and are integrating these course modules in the existing computer security and information assurance courses in the Department of Computer Science. Such a curriculum will produce computer science graduates who have skills in health informatics, as well as skills in security and privacy in health information systems. It will also allow students in the field of nursing or health care to learn about health informatics and health information systems, allow students in mathematics to apply mathematics to health informatics, and allow students in management to learn about the business aspects of health informatics. This paper describes the three new courses we developed, the three new course modules, our teaching experience of these new courses and course modules, and the new curriculum of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science concentration in Health Informatics Security and Privacy at NC A&T. The curriculum model and instructional materials produced through this project can be adopted by educators in multiple disciplines such as computer science, information assurance, health informatics, information technology, mathematics, and business.
- AIRSPACES: Air-propelled Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platform(s) for Assateague Coastline Environmental Studies - A Multidisciplinary Experiential Learning and Research Project at a Minority Serving Land Grant Institution
- Agricultural needs and environmental concerns are of utmost importance in the rural setting of University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and its proximity to some of the pristine coastal bays. AIRSPACES (Air-propelled Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platform(s) for Assateague Coastline Environmental Studies) project funded by Maryland Space Grant Consortium (MDSGC) provides a model platform to involve a multidisciplinary team of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM) students in a challenging experiential learning and research endeavor that promotes active learning in field and laboratory settings. Core motivation for the project is to enable assessment of nutrient run-off from agriculture, poultry farms and other anthropomorphic factors that are threatening the health of the eastern shore bays. The overarching goal of the project is to develop an autonomous surface vessel to collect and map selected water quality variables, geo-located with GPS sensors in lakes and ponds in campus, as well as Assateague and other nearby coastal bays for further scientific analysis. The project has been adapted for undergraduate students; however outreach efforts by engineers and scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility (GSFC/WFF) have provided an overview of expanded scope of the goals and objectives that may be addressed in a professional setting. ROVER (Remotely Operated Vehicle for Environmental Research) and OASIS (Ocean Atmosphere Sensor Integration System) are ongoing projects at NASA GSFC/WFF that are strongly related to the scope of the AIRSPACES project. Besides several STEAM students at UMES, a summer exchange student from University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) also worked on the project in the 2012 summer and made significant contributions. Johns Hopkins the lead institution of MDSGC coordinates a summer exchange program for engineering students for minority serving institutions (MSI) in Maryland- Morgan State, UMES and UMCP. In 2012 summer the exchange program supported two students from each campus to work on ongoing NASA related project in one of the other campuses. The project leaders at UMES have also integrated developmental and field activities related to the AIRSPACES project in the Instrumentation (ENGE 380) and Marine Botany ( Biol 202) courses that they are offering this fall semester at UMES.
- Integrating design and bridging activities of the engineering and the design college: Merging language cultures, creativities, and perspectives
- This paper describes a unique and an innovative pedagogical experiment conducted between engineering and design faculty. The goal of the experiment is to create innovative bridges between student design and creative activities and projects that would converge and unify two different approaches: Engineering and Industrial Design. In this class, third and fourth year students from Material Engineering, and Electrical and Computer engineering Engineering are teamed up with the students from the graduate level Industrial design Design studio. Together the teams are assigned to a major industry sponsored design project. This paper discusses the class concept, execution, outcomes, reflections, surprises, and will provides discussions on designing, implementing, and modifying such classes. The paper describes the goal of the experiment, the implementation, and the unique findings of the experiment. In particular, this paper focuses on early results of this pedagogical experiment.
Saturday, October 26, 13:00 - 14:30
S3A: Mini-Workshop: Integrating International Students' Contests with Software Engineering Courses: Lessons Learned and Best Practices
- Integrating International Students' Contests with Software Engineering Courses: Lessons Learned and Best Practices
- There are many general computer contests targeting undergraduate and graduate students. The prizes vary from cash, trip, fame, conference participation and others. Contests can be class, school, national, regional or global. This workshop aims to share the knowledge and experience of different educational institutes of integrating students' contests with academic software engineering courses. The main goal is to identify, discuss and promote best practices to properly benefit from such integration.
S3C: Student Beliefs, Motivation & Persistence III
- Individual Sustainability: Preliminary Research
- All societal change begins with the individual. One cannot do for a community what one cannot do for one's self. The topic of Individual Sustainability is a controversial one, as students often appear to be unable to align their demonstrated behaviors with their admirable values related to sustainability. Individual behavior creates the foundation for action in social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and potentially guides our ability to work with one another to make life-affirming decisions. In short, it is a matter of aligning our day-to-day behaviors with our well-stated values that will result in greater sustainable community action. The general objective of this research is to help students align their behaviors with their values. This change is a necessary precursor to demonstrating sustainable community behavior. We believe that creating a "cognitive dissonance" between an individual's values and behaviors tends to encourage her to balance more effectively the self-knowledge that motivates intentional personal development towards more sustainable behavior. While most students indicated they believed their behaviors consistently reflected their values, the students' broad range of responses and survey responses revealed behaviors quite in conflict with their values.
- Associations of Students' Creativity, Motivation, and Self-Regulation with Learning and Achievement in College Computer Science Courses
- The need for more post-secondary students to major and graduate in STEM fields is widely recognized. Students' motivation and strategic self-regulation have been identified as playing crucial roles in their success in STEM classes. But, how students' strategy use, self-regulation, knowledge building, and engagement impact different learning outcomes is not well understood. Our goal in this study was to investigate how motivation, strategic self-regulation, and creative competency were associated with course achievement and long-term learning of computational thinking knowledge and skills in introductory computer science courses. Student grades and long-term retention were positively associated with self-regulated strategy use and knowledge building, and negatively associated with lack of regulation. Grades were associated with higher study effort and knowledge retention was associated with higher study time. For motivation, higher learning- and task-approach goal orientations, endogenous instrumentality, and positive affect and lower learning-, task-, and performance-avoid goal orientations, exogenous instrumentality and negative affect were associated with higher grades and knowledge retention and also with strategic self-regulation and engagement. Implicit intelligence beliefs were associated with strategic self-regulation, but not grades or knowledge retention. Creative competency was associated with knowledge retention, but not grades, and with higher strategic self-regulation. Implications for STEM education are discussed.
- An Evaluation of Freshman Engineering Persistence Using Expectancy-Value Theory
- The number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates in the United States has not met or come close to the perceived need for producing individuals that could compete on a global stage. Continuing research within engineering education has focused on factors that affect recruitment and retention. Motivation of the students in STEM disciplines has been credited in being a significant contributor to the success of recruiting and the retention of engineering students. The research described within this paper utilizes a learner-centered framework that underscores the value, the perception, and the expectation of being "successful" that the students place on learning tasks within engineering. We employed the expectancy-value model of achievement performance in order to investigate the factors that affect recruitment and retention of students entering into an engineering curriculum as freshman. Specifically, the intent was to capture the view of the students in terms of their beliefs in being successful at a given activity and the value that is placed on the activity that may influenced the choice to stay in engineering (persisters) or leave engineering (switchers). The theory emphasizes two components: expectancy and value. The expectancy component centers on the students belief that they can be successful at future tasks that will motivate them to complete the effort. The value component corresponds to the perception of the student that the task is worth doing. What we hypothesized is that between the persisters and switchers there exists fundamental similarities and differences related to perception of cost. We believe that those students who are switches are more likely to see costs in intrinsic, utility, or attainment aspects of achieving the degree rather than as benefits. Our primary goal in this research is to be able to better advise students to remain in a STEM related discipline by focusing advising efforts on informing the switchers as to the value in those items which they perceive as costs. In this paper we present results based on the analysis of twenty students who entered an engineering program initially; ten of which transitioned to another non-STEM major while ten persisted.
- First-Generation Engineering Transfer Students: A Qualitative Study of Social and Cultural Capital
- We present the preliminary results of interviews of 18 first-generation engineering transfer students at two institutions. We employ a unique method for categorizing students according to generation status and then examine whether their experiences differ from one another. We then describe the different experiences of transfer students based on parental education status, with a focus on negotiating the transfer process, involvement in extra-curricular activities, the use of study strategies, and assistance received from families. Our early results suggest that it is useful to make finer distinctions between the various levels of parental education (i.e., use three rather than two categories). support for navigating the complex transfer and higher education pathways.
- A New Vision: Changed Engineering Outcome Expectations through EWB-USA
- With the growing demands for additional and diverse engineers, the atypical gender balance experienced by Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) is a unique engineering education research setting. Exploring the gender balance of this organization could assist the field's efforts in better recruiting and retaining female engineers. In this work-in-progress study, a social cognitive career theory framework is used to explore the engineering outcome expectations of engineers both involved and not involved with the organization. Qualitative methods were used to gather outcome expectations of male, female, professional, and student engineers, and initial case-based and thematic coding was performed. Preliminary results suggest that EWB-USA members have unique engineering outcome expectations that are often influenced by their organizational involvement. This study may identify ways in which the larger engineering field can replicate similar alternative expectations, particularly to aid the recruitment and retention of a more gender balanced engineering population.
S3D: Computing Pedagogy Research
- Expectations of Computing and other STEM Students: A Comparison for different Class Levels, or (CSE /= STEM - CSE)|Course Level
- Students begin each new course with a set of expectations. These expectations are formed from their experiences in their major, class level, culture, skills, etc. However, faculty and the students are often not on the same page with respect to expectations even though faculty provide students with course syllabi. It is crucial for faculty to understand students' expectations to maximize students' learning, satisfaction, and success. Furthermore, it would promote classroom transparency. There would be no hidden unstated expectations; disappointments during the course can potentially be minimized. We present the results of a survey focused on understanding student expectations. Specifically, we focus on examining the differences in expectations of the students of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) courses and non-computing STEM courses. We present our analysis and observations of the results using aggregate data for all students at all class levels. We observe various differences and similarities among the STEM fields. Identifying differences is crucial since many non-computing STEM majors are enrolled in computing courses, especially in the lower level courses. We provide a detailed comparison among sophomore and senior level courses in computing, biology and chemistry courses. We also compare sophomore and senior CSE courses. Finally, we discuss the importance of paying attention to all students' needs and expectations. Armed with this knowledge, faculty members can increase transparency in the classroom, student satisfaction, and possibly student retention.
- Teaching Teaching Software Maintenance with Open Source Software: Experiences and Lessons
- Software Engineering (SE) careers overwhelmingly involve maintenance and evolution of existing large software systems. Code comprehension, especially with inadequate documentation and support, is a key challenge in conducting such maintenance. SE courses must thus prepare the students to meet these industrial challenge. Open Source Software (OSS) furnishes a valuable source of realistic, sizeable projects to inculcate the appreciation and skills involved in code comprehension and evolution. This paper describes our experiences and lessons in integrating open source software projects in an introductory, sophomore-level software engineering class, to emphasize software code comprehension, maintenance and evolution. A manual search of the Sourceforge repository subject to a set of criteria designed to ensure that the chosen projects were of suitable and uniform size and complexity produced a collection of 20 projects. These projects formed the basis of a series of laboratory assignments, which required each student team to understand, analyze and extend a project of their choice. The paper reports how OSS projects can effectively emulate maintenance and evolution challenges by observing that the students: (i) undertake a range of enhancements, which offer extensive opportunities for deep involvement with the code; (ii) express frustration at the difficulties of comprehending code written by others, without any meaningful documentation; (iii) demonstrate the ability to exploit and reuse existing code while implementing their chosen enhancement; (iv) comment upon the central role of the project architecture in supporting/hindering the extension; and (vv) show immense satisfaction, sense of achievement and pride upon completing the enhancement. It further discusses how not all OSS projects hold the same appeal , and project characteristics which determine its susceptibility to being extended could be a measure of its suitability to teach software maintenance. Projects incorporating a layered architecture, that could be reused and providing multiple implementations of an interface to these supporting layers, lend themselves well to extensions. Partial implementations of a well-planned and documented project, though appearing more daunting to the students, yielded excellent results in student imagination, accomplishments, and pride. By contrast, finished, polished projects were more difficult to modify. Thus, in summary, OSS projects selected with an eye on these attributes can be effectively used in academic settings to impart the skills and attitude necessary for software maintenance and evolution.
- Mathematization in Teaching Pumping Lemmas
- Theory of Computation provides students of the computing disciplines with understanding that some problems are not solvable, and that there is a range of complexities of problems, in terms of significant resources, including but not limited to time and memory. Theory of Computation acquaints students with reasoning processes by which they can know (for some cases) the complexity class of a given problem, and by which they can, for some problems they might find in the future, determine the complexity. People formulate these reasoning processes in symbols, and use logic with quantifiers; an example of this is the application of the pumping lemma for regular languages. We categorized the errors students made in applying the pumping lemma for regular languages, to develop an understanding of the possible misconceptions, in turn, to improve teaching.
- Assessing Individual Performance in Agile Undergraduate Software Engineering Teams
- The Agile Software Development (ASD) process is at the forefront of rapid product development driven by changing customer requirements and a trusted, self-organizing development team. Scrum has become a viable model of ASD focusing on determining immediate deliverables and structuring short timelines, called Sprints, for designing, implementing, and providing them for testing by the customer. While these practices are being adopted by organizations, there is significant difficulty in scaling them to the classroom. Once in place, it is a complex task to evaluate individual student performance based solely on the product outcome and Sprint grade. Thus, there is limited opportunity to catch performance problems that may lead to missing deliverable deadlines or decreasing team trust. In this paper, we impose ASD using Scrum on a senior software projects course in Computer Science. Using a collaborative environment that embeds a social network, project management modules, and event capture system, we perform broad data and event capture and analysis to investigate metrics that are relevant to assessing individual performance aspects related to functioning on an Agile team for software development. Our results suggest that predictive data is available after each Sprint to ascertain individual performance attributes and their relationship to product outcomes.
- Exploring Student Representational Approaches in Solving Rechargeable Battery Design Problems
- Research in how people learn and solve problems suggest that formulating effective solutions to design problems involves effective problem representation in addition to the application of conceptual knowledge and inquiry strategies. This study investigates students' use of computational tools to represent knowledge to inform their problem-solving processes. The research question is: What is the interplay between students' representational artifacts and students' solution processes in solving problems using computational tools? Specifically, how are representational artifacts informing students' strategies to develop and articulate solution procedures? Participants of this study were drawn from a population of 24 graduate students from a materials science engineering course titled Introduction to Rechargeable Batteries. In this case study, our experiment was developed such that two groups of participants were required to employ different computational resources: one group used a computer simulation tool while the other used a written analytical solution. Results indicate that students' use of computer simulation tools contributes further to the internalization of connecting the representational media, as they are present as abstract models for students to reason with and express their understanding without the need to reproduce them.
S3E: Engineering in International Contexts I
- Health Clinic Infrastructure Design across Cultures in a High School Biology Course
- A design project is a great way to engage and interest students about engineering subjects. This paper describes an engineering design project intended for use within the high school classroom that transcends global boundaries. The main goal of the project is to give students a better understanding of engineering, and introduce students to the concept of engineering design. Students assume the roles of engineers, first designing, and then building a small model of a health center. This paper describes the design project, as conducted in East Africa, which has a similar component implemented within the United States. Project implementation in East Africa occurred over a two-week period, while the project is designed to last for a longer period in the United States. Survey results and classroom observation from the East African component reveal project efficacy in the areas of student engineering awareness, engineering interest, engineering efficacy, and cross-cultural sharing.
- A Comparative Study of Motivation and Learning Strategies Between American and Chinese Undergraduate Engineering Students
- This paper presents the results of a comparative study of motivation and learning strategies between American and Chinese undergraduate engineering students. A total of 109 sophomore engineering students from two American and Chinese universities responded to a Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) survey. The survey includes six motivation scales (totaling 31 items) and nine learning strategy scales (totaling 50 items). Descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests are performed to analyze students' responses to each MSLQ scale. The results show that statistically significant differences exist in three motivation scales and six learning strategy scales between American and Chinese students surveyed. Overall, American students exceed Chinese students in motivation, but fall behind in learning strategies.
- A Comparative Study of Learning Style Preferences Between American and Chinese Undergraduate Engineering Students
- This paper presents the results of a comparative study of learning style preferences between American and Chinese undergraduate engineering students. A total of 132 sophomore engineering students from two American and Chinese universities responded to an Index of Learning Styles (ILS) survey. The survey is a 44-item, self-scoring questionnaire that assesses learning style preferences on four pairs of dimensions of the Felder-Silverman model: active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global. Descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests are performed to analyze students' responses to the survey. The results show that statistically significant differences exist in four dimensions (reflective, sensing, visual, and verbal) between American and Chinese students. Overall, American students show higher preferences in all four of these dimensions than do Chinese students.
- Development of a Smart Building Wireless Sensors Network: Cooperation between University of Washington Tacoma and Brazilian Universities
- The Institute of Technology at the University of Washington Tacoma - UWT is expanding its international cooperation by hosting Brazilian undergraduate and graduate students in the Computer Engineering and Systems program. In the first research project originated from this cooperation we propose a generic and scalable system, based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). Using the data acquired from the sensor nodes this system will be able to take simple decisions, such as turn on/off heater and lights and help in other more complex decisions, such as rearranging rooms based on the occupancy. These actions aim to save resources and make buildings more comfortable and efficient. In this paper we describe how this research project is being structured and conducted in order to maximize the cooperation between Brazilian and UWT researchers. Also, we show which strategies are being adopted to make the project scalable and generic. This will allow us to aggregate multi-disciplinary people and make the knowledge and technology produced to be reusable by future project members.
- Social Engineering Program - MBA level: Designed for Global Education Demand
- Following the new trend in education, more focused on a global perspective, COPEC - Science and Education Research Council is offering an MBA, online, in Social Engineering for all Countries of CPLP - Portuguese Language Countries Community. The goal is to cover these countries' engineers, which are also seeking for opportunities, as the majority are countries of growing economy based on their very rich resources. The idea of an online program is the possibility of reaching a broader audience and at the same time of enriching the experience of offering and implementing a program that can disseminate ideas and concepts, which fits the needs of the target audience. The Education Research Team of COPEC is convinced that Engineers with proper knowledge and skills can take action in order to solve social problems, as engineers are problem solvers.
S3F: Assessment II
- Using Computerized Lexical Analysis of Student Writing to Support Just-in-Time Teaching in Large Enrollment STEM Courses
- We have been exploring a variety of computerized techniques for analyzing student writing in introductory biology. We achieve computer-to-expert inter-rater reliability (IRR) on par with expert-to-expert IRR (> .8). In Fall, 2012, we piloted the use of automated text analysis to facilitate the use of written formative assessment for Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) in a large-enrollment introductory biology course at a large public Midwestern university. A total of 12,677 student responses to 15 online homework questions were collected in three 300+ student course sections with four instructors. We used automated analysis to create feedback for instructors before the next class period (less than one working day), so that instructions could use this feedback to inform their instruction. Instructors used many of the questions pre- and post-instruction and the reports we provided to them allowed them to see how their students' answers changed as a result of their instruction. Focus groups with the instructors revealed that they already knew some of the topics that challenged students, as revealed in previous semesters with multiple-choice examinations. However, the instructors pointed out that the written assessments were particularly important for gaining insight as to why students have struggled continuously with these ideas.
- A Comprehensive ABET-focused Assessment Plan Designed to Involve All Program Faculty
- In this paper, we present a comprehensive and innovative assessment plan and continuous improvement process used by one of the newest engineering programs in the United States. The program was developed from the ground up to have a strong culture of assessment in preparation for ABET. In developing the assessment plan and continuous improvement process, one design requirement was that the assessment plan involve all faculty in the program in order to establish a strong assessment culture. The assessment plan includes both direct and indirect assessment measures, as well as quantitative and qualitative evaluations of student outcome attainments. The assessment plan targets not only program-level continuous improvement, but also course-level continuous improvement. Course-level continuous improvement involves Course Evaluations and Course Assessment and Continuous Improvement (CACI) Reports, which are prepared by the faculty and serve to document direct assessments of course outcomes and student outcomes. Program-level continuous improvement involves evaluation of the collection of CACI Reports that feed into the Student Outcome Summary Reports (SOSR), which are annually prepared by the Assessment Committee members. Methods developed as part of our assessment plan are generalizable and included in the paper.
- Peer Assessment in Experiential Learning: Assessing Tacit and Explicit Skills in Agile Software Engineering Capstone Projects
- To prepare students for real-life software engineering projects, many higher-education institutions offer courses that simulate working life to varying degrees. As software engineering requires not only technical, but also inter- and intrapersonal skills, these skills should also be assessed. Assessing soft skills is challenging, especially when project-based and experiential learning are the primary pedagogical approaches. Previous work suggests that including students in the assessment process can yield a more complete picture of student performance. This paper presents experiences with developing and using a peer assessment framework that provides a 360-degree view on students' project performance. Our framework has been explicitly constructed to accommodate and evaluate tacit skills that are relevant in agile software development. The framework has been evaluated with 18 bachelors- and 11 masters-level capstone projects, totaling 176 students working in self-organized teams. We found that the framework eases teacher workload and allows a more thorough assessment of students' skills. We suggest including self- and peer assessment into software capstone projects alongside other, more traditional schemes like productivity metrics, and discuss challenges and opportunities in defining learning goals for tacit and social skills.
- Assessment of Engineering Faculty Performance in the Developing Academically Autonomous Environment - VIT, Pune, India - A Case Study
- The necessity of Documenting and quantifying the accountability of faculty in Higher Education Institutes (HEI) is gathering momentum in countries all around the globe. In India, where Academic Autonomy is slowing spreading its wings outside the Indian Institute of Technologies, National Institute of Technologies and Government Engineering colleges, into the group of Private unaided Engineering Institutions, the need is felt to develop a rubric for assessing faculty performance in a Quantitative manner. Addressing to that need, various attributes are identified which are essential for assimilating a 'complete faculty performance'. This paper details out these efforts and its outcomes in one of the leading Private Engineering Autonomous Institute in the academically progressive western part of the country. The teaching performance of the faculty along with academic, co-curricular, extension and research activities is quantified into a credit based assessment system (CBAS). This system is run under Quality Management Systems adopted at the Institute. This faculty performance assessment is observed to have helped in identifying better performing as well as poor performing faculty. Also the targets for the subsequent Academic year can be set up with clarity and transparency
- Risk management in scientific research: a proposal guided in Project Management Book of Knowledge and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
- The achievement of different university degrees (from graduate to the specialization, master's and doctoral) usually is related to the development and presentation of research results conducted by an academic advisor. However, their finalization or the results may be adversely affected by the lack of identification and / or risk management (whether negative or opportunities) that may present themselves during the process of construction and development of the research. To minimize these impacts, the present study was based on the alignment and adjustment of steps present in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), guide that consolidates the best practices of project management from the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the use of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). The FMEA is a framework that aims to prevent failures in systems, processes, etc., providing a method of analysis that can be used to map the aspects that are intertwined in the development of scientific research. In the academic context, then, it is essential not only to identify potential risks depending on the type of research conducted, but also the analysis of their impact and the probability of occurrence in order to establishment of prevention strategies and monitoring. Therefore, it is also necessary to work with the recognition of the factors that may be the generators of such risks, analyzing their dynamics over time to define mechanisms of prevention, mitigation and transfer. From such elements and the identification of factors relevant to the educational institution involved and the processes related to the advisory and development of scientific research, it was sought to build a proposed risk analysis in the academic, called Academic Project Risk Management Plan (APRMP). This aims to contribute to the discussion and gathering information that can support the advisor and the student at all stages of the research (planning, development and conclusion) that downside risks are avoided or minimized and that opportunities become clear and effective possibilities.
- Assessing Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics
- Modern mathematics careers are now requiring conceptual skills such as, critical thinking, modeling, and application of the content. This change in skillset needed for careers has strongly impacted mathematics curriculum and assessment. Meaningful assessment involves examining students' ability to inquire, to reason on targeted questions or tasks, and to promote conceptual understanding, not just focusing on discreet facts and principles. Mathematics assessment tools still focus solely on this procedural side of understanding mathematics instead of the equally important conceptual aspect of learning mathematics. Given that math is an active process that encourages higher-order thinking and problem solving, an assessment focusing on the growth of conceptual understanding is required. The proposed research focuses on the development of a tool that will be used to assess current U.S. calculus students' ability to apply their conceptual understanding of a mathematic concept to scientific phenomena through modeling. The assessment using Netlogo would be very useful for math educators to have good tools to assess students' conceptual understanding, as well as to develop instructional strategies used.
S3G: Energy Engineering Education II
- Sustainable Energy Engineering Internships for Community College and High School Students
- As a result of a partnership between the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) and a Hispanic-serving Institution, Hartnell College, a micro-grid and test bed facility are being constructed at Hartnell's Alisal campus. The facility will provide a real-world student training center on renewable energy technologies where students can participate in research to develop new, experimental renewable energy generation systems. Over the next several years, Hartnell's Sustainable Engineering laboratory courses will be transitioned to focus on the microgrid and test-bed. Related courses and lab modules developed at UCSC will also be integrated into the program. An early outcome of this collaborative partnership was the internship support of teams of high school and community college students working with UCSC graduate students on several different sustainable energy projects over the summer of 2012. Program mentors and interns all reported a high degree of satisfaction with their internship experience.
- System Normalization and Iron Saturation Based on Generalized Coupled Circuits Analysis as Fundamentals for Electric Machines Modeling Course
- Magnetically coupled electric circuits are central to the operation of transformers and electrical machines. A good understanding of the theory underlying magnetically coupled circuits greatly simplifies both the teaching and the learning of transformers and electrical machines. Therefore, for energy engineering students, special attention should be paid to teaching magnetically coupled circuits, with an Magnetically coupled electric circuits are central to the operation of transformers and electrical machines. A good understanding of the theory underlying magnetically coupled circuits greatly simplifies both the teaching and the learning of transformers and electrical machines. Therefore, for power and energy engineering students, special attention should be paid to teaching magnetically coupled circuits, with an emphasis on their electrical machine structure, as the first chapter of the electrical machines course where transient modeling and simulations are included. The modeling of the equivalent electric circuits of electrical machines is based on magnetically coupled circuits. The reciprocal per unit (pu) system normalization is generally mentioned without more details to power engineering students during the one-phase transformers course of electro-technique. As frequently presented, the concept is vague to many students. In this paper, the equal mutual flux principle applied to generalized coupled circuits is used to provide more clear analysis and application of the so-called reciprocal per unit system normalization. Since the equivalent circuit models of electrical machines are mutually coupled circuits, the paper provides to undergraduate students comprehensible insights and fundamentals on building per unit system equations in electric machines dynamic modeling and simulation course. Numerical simulation examples are performed and discussed to assess the effectiveness of the tutorial approach developed and to provide students with applications. The course on magnetically coupled circuits offers interesting opportunities to introduce the fundamentals of electrical machines modeling and simulation. General common concepts to all electrical machines analysis such as model, equivalent circuit referred from stator or primary side, motor and generator modes, iron saturation, reciprocal per unit system normalization, numerical simulations and validation are introduced in a course on magnetically coupled circuits to facilitate the understanding and interest of future power engineering students commencing the study and analysis of electrical machines. Repeating these concepts over time in electrical machine course, by analyzing every type of electrical machine (redundancy principle) will increase the student's understanding which is at least the pedagogical objective to be achieved.
- Real World Photovoltaic Energy Engineering
- Photovoltaic solar energy has recently enjoyed a technical and economic progression achieving a high level of reliability. With the aim of obtaining a better knowledge of this type of energy by part of the students from the Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering Degrees of the School of Design Engineering ETSID in Valencia, Spain, they are offered an elective subject in which they are asked to conduct a "field practice" in which they design an isolated installation that will fully supply the house in which they live including. In addition they perform a photovoltaic installation connected to the electrical network. In both cases students must obtain market prices and find out the supply equipment commonly used. With this data they should develop a proposal similar to the one supplied to a customer requesting an installation of this kind. Hence this is a field project where factual data is required and enables students to talk to companies supplying the electrical and photovoltaic materials. These assignments include the final assessment of the cost of the power generated, so that students can identify if the final price in photovoltaic is higher or lower than the cost of electricity supplied by the electricity distribution companies.
- An online simulator for thermoelectric cooling and power generation
- We present an online simulator that can be used to teach the principles of thermoelectric energy conversion, and analyze the detailed performance of Peltier coolers or thermoelectric power generators with simple user interfaces. The simulation tool is implemented on nanoHUB.org, so it can be run on any web interface without the need to install commercial software. The simulation tool solves the heat balance equations at the top and bottom sides of the thermoelectric device using 1D thermal network model and the electric circuit model to analyze the steady-state temperatures of the device and the thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency. Both cooling and power generation modes can be solved upon user's input. Using this simulator, users are able to optimize the performance of a thermoelectric device with a variety of different design parameters such as the device dimensions and material properties. In particular, this simulator can be very useful to teach the importance of the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, of the material used on the performance of the device. This simulation is also instructive to show that as material properties improve Carnot limit can be achieved at negligible output power, while efficiency at maximum output power converges to Curzon-Ahlborn limit.
S3H: pK-12 STEM V
- Remote Experiments in Secondary School Education
- This paper describes current influence of remote laboratory on practical learning aspects of secondary sector. The key challenges faced by teaching of science include insufficient hands-on laboratory usage in classrooms. The main objective of the paper is presenting adaptation and usage of WebLab-Deusto remote experiments in secondary school. The activity was organized in collaboration with teachers of P. Andrés Urdaneta School. The teaching of Ohm´s Law in Physics curriculum of secondary school was one of the topics executed during this research. The remote laboratory assignment for students was developed on VISIR. The existing remote laboratories are more or less copies of hands-on ones. VISIR is a remote laboratory created by BTH for designing, wiring and measurement of electric circuits. This main feature of VISIR allows one building a scenario of performing basic DC and low frequency AC circuits experiments related to Ohm's and Kirchhoff's laws. Moreover, the students will become familiar with instruments, components, manuals, data sheets, circuit wiring, and other laboratory work. In the paper the main principle of VISIR will be presented; the remote experiments executed by students will be shown. Finally, the result of integrating of remote experiments for study in Urdaneta School will be discussed.
- Infusing system design and sensors in education
- INSIGHT, an innovate graduate STEM Fellowship Program integrates sensor technology and computer science within in a K-12 standards-based science, technology, and engineering curricula. Graduate STEM Fellows are teamed with science, technology, and physical education teachers for two years to carry out hands-on classroom activities utilizing technology and engineering practice with a focus on the use of sensors, computing, and information technology aligned with K-12 state curriculum standards. One of the project's main goals is the establishment of sensor, computing, and information technology as a foundational high school skill by accelerating the integration of sensor technology content into K-12 classrooms. This project encourages participation in engineering and technology from a wider, more diverse group of students from rural Kansas. This paper shares detailed examples of summer institute and academic-year K-12 activities that have been successful. It also provides a preliminary assessment of the project.
- Integration of Sensors and Electrical Engineering into Secondary Geometry Curriculum
- Several studies have reported on the potential benefits of integrating engineering education in K-12 curricula. Such benefits include: (i) an improved student learning and achievements in mathematics and science, (ii) an increased awareness of engineering and what engineers do, and (iii) an interest in pursuing engineering as a career. To help realize these benefits, the goals of the University of Texas-Pan American Research Experiences for Teachers in Emerging and Novel Engineering Technologies (RET-ENET) program are to: (i) engage math and science teachers in engineering research during the summer for the period of six weeks, and (ii) support the recruited teachers to translate their engineering research experiences into hands-on engineering-inspired curricula that they implement in their classrooms during the academic year. Using specific examples from the 2012 RET-ENET program, this paper discusses the activities conducted by a team of teachers who worked on a radar imaging research project and the process that led to the development of hands-on geometry lessons inspired by the research experience. The observation of the implementation of the lessons in the teachers' classrooms and the results of student assessments showed that the engineering-inspired hands-on lessons engaged students and increased their interest in learning the geometry concepts.
- This IS child's play Creating a "playground" (computer network testbed) for high school students to learn, practice, and compete in cyber defense competitions
- The IT-Adventures program is designed to increase high school students' interest in information technology (IT) as a career. It allows them to learn about IT in non-threatening, extracurricular IT-Club activities using inquiry-based learning. The IT-Clubs have four tracks from which students can select to study: cyber defense, game design programming, robotics, and multimedia. This paper focuses on the cyber defense venue and the need for students to have equal access to computing equipment on which to learn about computer operating systems, networking, and information security prior to competing in a cyber defense competition (CDC) at the end of the academic year. The creation of a remotely located and managed "playground" provides uniform access to equipment across schools. This paper shares our knowledge and experience in creating the "playground".
S3I: Software Engineering, Computing & Informatics Education II
- A Curricular Framework for Critical Infrastructure Protection Education for Engineering, Technology and Computing Majors
- The 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the US Department of Homeland Security employ many engineering, technology and computing graduates who increasingly face critical infrastructure protection (CIP) issues. However, most undergraduate curricula in these disciplines do not incorporate CIP in any meaningful way. This paper proposes a flexible curricular framework for integrating CIP into undergraduate education via self-contained inter-disciplinary CIP course modules; a course module is a distinct curricular unit such as a lab or teaching component for use by an instructor in existing courses without requiring any course or program modifications. The proposed course modules cover physical, human, and cyber aspects of CIP. The framework is designed for use in multiple disciplines, and the modules are designed for presentation at different levels of the undergraduate experience, with subsequent modules building on those presented earlier. This approach is intended to prepare students for careers solving problems in design, implementation, and maintenance of robust, sustainable infrastructure assets.
- Simulating Industry: An Innovative Software Engineering Capstone Design Course
- Universities are required to produce graduates with good technical knowledge and 'employability skills' such as communication, team work, problem-solving, initiative and enterprise, planning, organizing and self-management. The capstone software development course described in this paper addresses this need. The course design contains three significant innovations: running the course for two cohorts of students in combination; requiring students to be team members in 3rd year and team leaders in their 4th (final) year; and providing assessment and incentives for individuals to pursue quality work in a group-work environment. The course design enables the creation of a simulated industrial context, the benefits of which go well beyond the usual, well-documented benefits of group project work. In order to deliver a successful outcome, students must combine academic theory and practical knowledge whilst overcoming the day-to-day challenges that face project teams. Course design enables the blending of university-based project work and work-integrated learning in an innovative context to better prepare students for participating in, and leading, multi-disciplinary teams on graduation. Outcomes have been compellingly positive for all stakeholders - students, faculty and industry partners.
- Using a threaded framework to enable practical activities in Operating Systems courses
- Teaching Operating Systems (OS) is a rather hard task, since being an OS designer is not a desired goal for most students and the subject demands a large amount of knowledge over system's details. To reduce the difficulty many courses are planned with laboratory practices, differing in how the practices are designed. Some try to implement next-to-real kernels, others use simulators, and even others use synthetic kernels. In this paper an approach based on synthetic kernels is described. It uses thread programming in order to establish control over the operating system components. This approach allows the kernel to grow following the materials presented in the course. It has been successfully applied in two different courses at our University, the first one being a basic OS course and the second one an upper level course. Results from these applications are presented.
- Bug of the Day: Reinforcing the Importance of Testing
- Software engineering students typically dislike testing. In part this is due to the simplicity of the programming and design exercises in introductory computing courses - the payoff for thorough testing is not apparent. In addition, testing can be seen as tangential to what really matters: developing and documenting a design addressing the requirements, and constructing a system in conforming to the design. Such dismissive attitudes do not accord well with the realities of commercial software development. The cost of fixing, repairing and redistributing a flawed product can dwarf that of development. The Software Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) teaches (and requires) basic testing as part of its foundation courses in the first two years. In addition, it offers an upper division course on testing, giving an in-depth treatment of best-practice tools, techniques and processes. Recently we've incorporated a "Bug of the Day," which serves to broaden student awareness of the cost of software flaws. Class discussions focus on the cost of the bug, its root causes, and how it might have been discovered and repaired prior to product release.
- Didactic and Interdisciplinary Experiences in a Software Engineering Course
- Didactic experiences are very important in a Software Engineering course. We think they help to achieve at least six objectives of the course: to identify fundamental concepts of software engineering, to recognize software life cycles, models and methodologies of software development, to perform analysis of software products requirements, to design and develop a software product, to use the methodical processes of a real-world project, and to implement solutions following specific methodologies. In this paper we will show our didactic experiences in the Software Engineering Processes course. We developed a sequence of learning activities and their application (extracted from real requirements of clients and users) in different contexts such as environmental, medical and social, which results in higher levels of learning, interdisciplinary exercises and practices close to what students will face in their professional lives.
Saturday, October 26, 15:00 - 16:30
S4C: Student Beliefs, Motivation & Persistence IV
- Self-affirmation and Success in Undergraduate Computer Science
- This paper reports on the category of "self-affirmation", one of the key abstracted categories identified in a qualitative study that sought to examine the factors that influence student perception of success in undergraduate Computer Science. Self-affirmation is the process whereby an individual focuses on important and positive aspects of their life with the aim of affirming their sense of self-worth and value. This positive self-regard makes individuals more accepting of negative feedback. The grounded theory approach employed in this substantive study provides a unique insight into the students' perspective of the key factors that influences their perceived success. Self-affirmation processes emerged as a key element of this theory and merit inclusion in future efforts to support and scaffold freshman learning in computer science.
- Deciding to Stay: The Intersection of Sex and Race/Ethnicity
- While much of prior research has focused on understanding the reasons students leave engineering, and therefore talk to those students who switched out of an engineering major, this study contributes the new perspective of students who seriously considered leaving but ultimately decided to stay in their engineering major. The qualitative analysis suggests that about one-third of students seriously considered leaving engineering but ultimately decided to stay. The reasons students decided to stay in engineering fell into eight main categories, with the most common reasons being the rewards that will come with an engineering degree; enjoyment of engineering; or an aversion to quitting or desire to prove that you can do it. Differences in rationales were discovered between males and females, between different race/ethnicity groups and at the intersection of sex and race/ethnicity.
- Examining the Correlation between Religion and Social Responsibility in Engineering
- The development of social responsibility, both personally and professionally, is critical in the movement toward developing more holistic engineers, as called for by many professional engineering societies to address the complex problems that face our society. This paper presents correlations between engineering students' religious beliefs and their views of personal and professional social responsibility. Data were gathered from 895 engineering respondents to the Engineering Professional Responsibility Assessment tool and from 25 semi-structure interviews with engineering students. It was found that students who considered themselves 'very active' in their religious preference had stronger beliefs of their ability and personal obligation to help others, and in a professional sense of obligation to help others as engineers.
- An Examination of Students' Motivation in Engineering Service Courses
- To increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates, educators need to identify ways to increase student persistence from entry until graduation. The objectives of this study are to determine (1) if motivation affects learning outcomes in engineering service courses and (2) whether students' level of motivation tracks with specific engineering disciplines. Students enrolled in a sophomore level engineering service course were surveyed to examine their motivation in engineering service courses and to assess the relationship between their motivation and their achievement and desire to persist in the engineering discipline. The survey measures for self-efficacy, task value, and achievement goals in engineering were created and evaluated during an initial pilot study. Initial results showed internal consistency among the items in each measure.
- Measuring Student Engagement in Thermodynamics Courses
- This paper will discuss an on-going NSF-CCLI grant that addresses improvements in student pedagogy and educational materials for the engineering thermodynamics curriculum by completing development of an online material titled "Engaged in Thermodynamics". The Engaged material is a textbook supplement based on actual engineering facilities and equipment. During Fall 2012 an engagement Opinionnaire was administered in two separate, and distinct, thermodynamics courses. Results indicate a student perception that preparing better for a course leads to improved performance in the course. However, there was no correlation between students' desire to learn and the amount of questions they ask in class. Regarding student interest, the results indicated it was higher for the course that used the Engaged material. Additional data collection and student focus groups will be ongoing.
S4D: Computing II
- The Effects of Extra Credit Opportunities on Student Procrastination
- Many techniques have been attempted to encourage students to exercise better time management on class projects, such as staging an assignment into multiple deliverables, requiring students to keep records of the time they spend, and offering extra credit for early completion. This paper reports on a study of the effects of offering extra credit for early completion. Students in an introductory course completed four programming assignments throughout the term. For two assignments, no extra credit was offered. For the other two, students were offered a 10% bonus if they finished at least three days before the deadline. While one might expect this incentive to encourage students to shift their work habits, we found that there was no positive change in their time management. In fact, students started on the assignments where extra credit was offered later than on those where it was not offered. This leads us to believe that there were other pressures or concerns that outweigh the possibility of earning a bonus on an assignment, so that this kind of incentive only helps students who already manage their time well.
- Using Open Source Projects in Software Engineering Education: A Systematic Mapping Study
- Context: It is common practice in academia to have students work with "toy" projects in software engineering courses. One way to make such courses more realistic and reduce the gap between academic courses and industry needs is getting students involved in Open Source Projects with faculty supervision. Objective: This study aims to summarize existing information on how open source projects have been used to facilitate students' learning of software engineering. Method: A systematic mapping study was undertaken by identifying, filtering and classifying primary studies using a predefined strategy. Results: 53 papers were selected and classified. The main results were: a) most studies focus on comprehensive software engineering courses, although some papers deal with specific areas; b) the most prevalent approach was the traditional project method; c) surveys are the main learning assessment instrument, especially for student self-assessment; d) conferences are the typical publication venue; and e) more than half of the studies were published in the last five years. Conclusions: The resulting map gives an overview of the existing initiatives in this context and shows gaps where further research can be pursued.
- A Tale of Two Projects: A Pattern Based Comparison of Communication Strategies in Student Software Development
- Preparing students for the communication realities of the software industry is difficult, as communication between people can be complex and nuanced, with effects that are not immediately or accurately measurable. Our earlier work reported on the merits of using "home grown" student capstone project case studies as an instrument to expose students to the communication that takes place in the course of a student software project. Students analyze stories of real people in real projects engaging in sophisticated communication practices, and take a rhetorical view of communication as complex problem solving. To guide students in the analysis of software project communication, we introduce a pattern language for classifying and describing communication strategies. Communication Patterns serve a dual purpose as an approach for rigorous qualitative analysis and as a library of established practices that students can draw from. With patterns, students can critique past projects, and see patterns and their consequences in action. In their own project work, they can use and extend patterns in the communication scenarios that they encounter. The focus of this paper is the qualitative and quantitative analysis of software projects using Communication Patterns. We illustrate the approach by considering two closely related case studies from our repository. Through detailed ethnographic accounts from our library of student capstone projects, we are able to examine communication at various granularities, ranging from strategic to tactical. Using relatable stories of student projects, students can identify themes in the communication. The two case studies have a great deal of overlap in objectives, stakeholders, responsibilities and timescales, but the outcomes are drastically different. On close examination of the informal and formal communication, we find major differences in the communication style and content. In this paper, we share examples of strategic and tactical differences in the communication between our two sample projects. We discuss our attempts to expose students to Communication Patterns in the classroom in an effort to sensitize them to their communication choices. We describe some of the activities constructed as part of a team software project course, and conclude by discussing the challenges of placing this material in the software engineering curriculum.
- Can Natural Language be Utilized in the Learning of Programming Fundamentals?
- The complexity and importance of learning programming fundamentals (i.e., sequences of sentences that express actions, conditions, and repetitions in computing) for undergraduate students has motivated the development of an intense educational research area. One frequently studied problem is the difficulty in the learning of traditional context-free grammars which are present, for example, in programming languages such as Pascal and C. This study experimentally investigates the use of natural language in the learning of programming fundamentals by two groups of undergraduate students without prior knowledge of programming and compares its use with that of a traditional grammar language. Results suggest that the use of natural language is a good alternative, despite the small differences, to the use of traditional programming languages defined by context-free grammars. This alternative is attractive and promising because the student does not need to learn a formal grammar to learn the fundamentals of programming.
- Dynamic programming - structure, difficulties and teaching
- In this paper we describe action research on our third year Algorithms, Data structures and Complexity course, in which students have considered dynamic programming hard in comparison to the other topics. Attempting to amend this, we wanted to know which difficulties the students encountered, where they gained their knowledge, and which tasks they were most certain that they could perform after the course. We identified subtasks that could be taught separately, and adapted the lectures to Pattern Oriented Instruction in order to help students cope with the cognitive complexity of solving problems using dynamic programming. For this, we prepared new clicker questions, visualisations and a lab assignment. We also constructed self-efficacy items on the course goals for dynamic programming, and administered them before and after the teaching and learning activities. Among the self-efficacy items, determining the evaluation order and solving a problem with dynamic programming with no hints had the lowest score after the course. As for the activities, arguing correctness of a solution was something many students claimed that they did not learn anywhere. Students considered the lab exercise most useful, but they also learned a lot from the other activities.
S4E: Engineering in International Contexts II
- Outcome Based Engineering Diploma Curriculum - 2012 Gujarat Experiment
- In India the universities have numerous engineering institutes affiliated to them that are geographically spread across large provinces. Gujarat Technological University (GTU) is one such example. Since examination and certification is the main responsibility of the University, it becomes necessary to conduct centrally administered end-of-the term examinations every semester. This necessitates the curriculum for each program to be same in all the institutes affiliated to the University. In 2012 NITTTR Bhopal, one of the four premium institutes established by the Government of India for quality improvement of the technical education systems, was assigned the task to completely re-design the curricula of twenty five engineering diploma programs to produce 'work ready' personnel by GTU. The authors who were core members of the team undertook this task of evolving this innovative outcome-based curriculum model to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the engineering education system due to fast changes taking place in society, industry and education. This paper discusses the various facets of the philosophy, approach and structure of this model. It also briefly describes the planning, designing, implementation and evaluation of the curriculum development process, and the strategies adapted to render it outcome-based to satisfy all the stakeholders.
- Women in Computing: A Case Study About Kuwait
- Female under-representation in the field of computing has been a global concern. According to recent research studies in the US, females are less likely than males to consider a career or a degree in computer-related fields. Opposite trends have been appearing in other parts of the world showing a high female turnout in computer studies. One of those countries is Kuwait, a small country situated in the Persian Gulf. According the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the percentage of female graduates in tertiary education in Kuwait has reached 69% in 2009 (80% in science related disciplines). Female undergraduate enrollment in computing studies in Kuwait is in the range of 40 to 50 percent, which is considerably high compared to other parts of the world. In this paper, we present a case study about women in computing in Kuwait, through which we highlight their motivations for studying computer science and information systems. A survey was conducted among male and female university students in Kuwait about attitudes and perceptions on females in computing and reasons for joining computer studies. The results were analyzed and compared to similar studies in the US.
- Preliminary Analysis of an Appealing Program for Outstanding Students at the School of Design Engineering (ETSID) of Valencia
- During the 2010/2011 academic year, the Universities of the Valencia region (Spain) started up a pioneer experience in Spanish Higher Education: the High Academic Performance Groups (in Spanish, the so-called ARA groups "Grupos de Alto Rendimiento Académico") aiming to support and attract the brightest students with the best skills, so that they can achieve a high academic performance. The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), as a result of its commitment to promote its quality and internationalization, has taken part in this project from the dawn of its implementation. Since then, ARA groups have been set up in five of the UPV Bachelor Degrees, two of them being offered at the School of Design Engineering (ETSID). In this work, we analyse the implementation process of the ARA groups at ETSID since 2010/2011, outlining some of the future strategies that should be taken into account for their consolidation.
- Introduction of Entrepreneurship and Innovation subjects in a Computer Science course in Brazil
- The recent global chances in current world order stands out new challenges and opportunities to the computer science education. The existing environment is very different from one decade ago. The technologies, processes, methods and tools have been changing with the globalization, research and development. New interdisciplinary fields like sustainability, social remarks, bioinformatics and robotics has become reality to the computing and is even more influenced by Communication and Information Technology (CIT). On the other hand, young people face to several challenges in your lives; the rapid technologic advanced, multifaceted carrier, the life style changes and assume greater personal responsibility for achieving "success" in his personal and professional life. Young people need a higher education background, which will give them the qualities, skills and personality to mitigate the challenges during the professional timeline. In Latin America, the young has a big responsibility to achieve successful and is almost inadmissible fail, whether in choice of profession or in whatever segment. Related to these challenges, the computer industry is one of the most dynamic and it is becoming reality to several different areas. So, the introduction to the entrepreneurship education in computer science curriculum could be significant effect in creativity, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship intentions to the students. Historically, the entrepreneurship education has fueled the generation of innovation and technological advantages. Therefore, the entrepreneurship education for computer science curriculum significantly increases the ability of the students lifelong and desire to innovate. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the lack of education is the main barrier to the entrepreneurship. The problem in computer science degree is that the curriculum focus in technical lectures instead of complementing with business lectures in order to instigate the business creation during the course. Fry and Leman comment that nowadays the renowned university in US, Europe and China solving this problem introducing lectures in the context of entrepreneurship in curriculum. Additionally, a research about entrepreneurship formal education and preview experience in entrepreneurship related that its increases the self-reliance in students, either to a job in a company as creating your own business. In this context, this paper presents one initiative of computer science degree from UFSCar (Federal University of São Carlos), Sorocaba campus, in development of a lecture about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in CIT (Communication and Information Technology) such as the impact that could be observed during theses 3 years in this lecture. Besides describes the teaching methodology, this paper presents the main results and lessons learned achieved during the course.
- Establishing a Global Software Development Course: A Cultural Perspective
- Global software development (GSD) is one of the main practices in software industry. The ability to outsource and manage software development at remote sites allows organizations to benefit from GSD since they get access to a wider and more economically feasible pool of developers. Recently, global software engineering courses are being introduced at academic institutes as part of computer science and software engineering degree requirements. There are many challenges associated with managing and executing globally distributed software projects in academic settings. In this paper, we will attempt to analyze the framework and components of a collaborative global software engineering course from a cultural perspective. We examine the different challenges related to team-setting, grading, communication tools, gender issues and associated risks. A discussion of how cultural differences may affect setting up the course is included. The uniqueness of the proposed research lies in two main areas: it examines collaboration between Kuwait, USA and Poland; and it investigates the proposed topics from a cultural perspective.
S4F: Assessment III
- Critical Support for Upper Division Transfer Students in Engineering and Computer Science
- A Motivated Engineering Transfer Students (METS) Program at Arizona State University (ASU) was established to aid the transition, retention, and graduation of engineering and computer science community college transfer students. The METS Program provides critical support in the form of an Academic Success and Professional Development (ASAP) Class and a METS Center to help provide academic and social support, as well as scholarships. In this paper, we look specifically at the impact of the METS Center for transfer students and the impact on transfer students of the $4K per year scholarship funded by NSF grants. The ASAP Class transfer students were surveyed to evaluate the Center and scholarships. The transfer students were asked: "How does the METS Center help you?" and "How did the METS scholarship help you?" The top three identified benefits of the METS Center were: a place to meet/connect with other transfer students, the use of computers and free printing, and the ability to get information about internships. The top student benefits of the METS scholarship are not having to work as much, not having to take out a loan and, for some students, not having to work. The scholarship benefits did not differ by gender.
- Improving Student Results in a Statics Course using a Computer-based Training and Assessment System
- One of the main causes of university desertion in engineering programs at EAFIT University (Medellin, Colombia), is the poor student academic performance in basic courses. One of these courses is Statics for mechanical, civil and production engineering, which is taught at the undergraduate level. Between the years 2009 and 2011 about 51% of students did not get a satisfactory score to pass the course and a high percentage of these students deserted from their engineering program. This paper describes the results of using a computer system to support training and assessment processes to convey concepts as related to a Statics course uses an existing open source tool and implements a dynamic assessment generation scheme (generation of multiple versions of the same problem using algorithms with variables).This system has been used in the Statics courses during two academic periods in the year 2012 involving the participation of 250 students from 7 different groups. The results of this experiment are compared with performance results from other groups of students from previous years who used traditional practice and assessment methods. Results have had a positive impact in student retention.
- Search Engine for Engineering Education Assessment Instruments
- The Engineering Education community increasingly is asked to assess impacts of educational programs and offerings to demonstrate instructional effectiveness, justify adoption of new educational materials or approaches, and document student outcomes for program accreditation. Because most engineering educators are unfamiliar with assessment principles and the range of assessment and evaluation instruments available, they struggle to identify suitable instruments for their assessment needs. In many cases, they create their own assessments or use instruments of which they are aware. Consequently, their assessment results lack the validity and reliability necessary to make definitive statements about program or student outcomes. A multidisciplinary team of engineering educators and evaluation professionals has developed a search engine website designed to empower the engineering education community for effective assessment of outcomes important to them. This website catalogues assessment and evaluation instruments to aid users in identifying available instruments that possess characteristics necessary for an envisioned assessment task. Website features and design have been developed with extensive input from the user community to ensure that issues affecting adoption of innovations are addressed fully. Usability testing has been employed to identify and resolve operational issues for the website. The site is being populated with detailed information about instruments suitable for assessing a wide range of behaviors, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and other outcomes of interest to engineering educators. The prototype website will be described in this work-in-progress paper to inform potential users and invite feedback before the site is launched publicly in late 2013. The audience is invited to critique website search functionality, instrument characterization and reviews, user rating of instruments, user proposal of new instruments for inclusion, and community building features of the site. The authors also will explore with the audience ways in which the user community can contribute to the development of a vibrant assessment and evaluation community that sustains and grows the value of this assessment and evaluation resource. The end result will be an engineering education community with enhanced knowledge about effective assessment procedures, ability to select suitable instruments, and access to community members with expertise to elevate the quality of assessment and evaluation conducted. The enhanced evaluation capacity of the community will support more effective engineering student development, more credible program evaluation, and more objective judgment of impacts from research investments.
- A Methodology to Teach Exemplary Coding Style Considering Students' Coding Style Feature Contains Fluctuations
- Readable source code should contain a relatively small amount of latent bugs and should be easy to maintain. However, it is difficult for a teacher to teach all students to write code in accordance with a certain coding style because each of them naturally has his/her own different coding styles, and the teacher needs to advise them considering their original coding styles. To deal with this issue, the CM algorithm is introduced, which was originally developed to detect source code plagiarism in Java programming classes. It quantifies a student's coding style feature by using a set of hidden Markov models called coding models. Coding models quantify a person's code writing style as that person's coding style feature. In this paper, an attempt to apply the CM algorithm for facilitating coding style instruction is reported. Experimental results showed that the coding models provided information that was useful for teaching coding styles.
S4G: Distance Education II
- Teaching an Introductory Programming Course Using Hybrid e-learning Approach
- The usefulness of hybrid delivery in education has long been realized, and with the advancement of computer and communication technologies and the introduction of Web-based authoring tools, its effectiveness has been further extended. In this regard, it has affected traditional distance learning by transforming the learning experience from a static videotape delivery to a more dynamic format by adding/substituting the web as the delivery media. In this paper, we report our initial results based on offering an introductory computer programming course for engineers using Matlab; via hybrid e-learning including virtual face-to-face, for distance course delivery. We present the challenges that teaching a programming course brings about using a hybrid methodology with synchronous online delivery component. Details of this work, including design and delivery issues, student and course assessment, and required technology, as applied to a computer programming course, are included in the paper.
- An online e-Learning authoring tool to create interactive multi-device learning objects using e-Infrastructure resources
- Education can take advantage of e-Infrastructures to provide teachers with new opportunities to increase students' motivation and engagement while they learn. Nevertheless, teachers need to find, integrate and customize the resources provided by e-Infrastructures in an easy way. This paper presents ViSH Editor, an innovative web-based e-Learning authoring tool that aims to allow teachers to create new learning objects using e-Infrastructure resources. These new learning objects are called Virtual Excursions and are created as reusable, granular and interoperable learning objects. This way they can be reused to build new ones and they can be integrated in websites or Learning Management Systems. Details about the design, development and the tool itself are explained in this paper as well as the concept, structure and metadata of the new learning objects. Lastly, some real examples of how to enrich learning using Virtual Excursions are exposed.
- Scaffolding online laboratory experiences as inclusive and motivational tools for students and teachers
- The ability for accessing learning tools at any time and from anywhere is highly increasing. Technologies such as Internet and mobile devices provide universal integration of teaching and learning. For scientific or engineering subjects, the use of real resources through on line laboratories is another step towards bringing the students to the practical laboratory sessions. These platforms show how teacher and student share a common work space in which they work together to solve problems. UNED (Spanish University for Distance Education) is working on the development of techniques that facilitate the building of remote laboratories and their access, both for students and for teachers. Current experience shows that the interaction of the students with these tools makes them more receptive to learning, regardless of their age. It also helps them to understand more easily abstract concepts in engineering and science subjects, associating these abstract concepts with daily life. It is also relevant that students can commit mistakes without any real risk. Moreover as the system will facilitate the building of customized reusable laboratory practices for teachers, these will be motivated to use them in their classrooms whenever possible. Both effects reinforce learning and reaffirm the position of teacher-student couple.
- Online Engineering Course Design, Part I: Toward Asynchronous, Web-based Delivery of a First Course in Thermodynamics
- As part one in a series of two, this paper describes the development of a web-based  first course in thermodynamics. The course is conceptualized, designed and course materials are introduced to engineering students by a team of practitioner - researchers. The course builds from previous work concerning the development of web-based thermodynamic cycle teaching modules for undergraduate mechanical engineering students  and relevant educational literature. The design goals for the online course are that it a) be delivered primarily through asynchronous means and b) fulfill requirements of ABET accredited degree programs in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering as is accomplished by the face-to-face course. The course design team, consisting of engineering faculty, administrators, and instructional design professionals, used a collaborative approach to move the online course through concept, development to initial introduction. As constructed, example segments ("exemplar modules") were introduced within the current face-to face Thermodynamics I course to witness student reactions and solicit feedback. Once this feedback is filtered back and addressed in the design, the course will be implemented and evaluated in whole within the civil, electrical and mechanical undergraduate engineering programs. The full implementation, evaluation and results will be the focus of a part two paper.
- An Autonomous Articulating Desktop Robot for Proctoring Remote Online Examinations
- In this paper we describe a new low-cost, autonomous desktop robot for proctoring examinations in online/distance learning courses. The robot is attached to the student's computer via a USB port and monitors the examination environment using a webcam that articulates in both altitude and azimuth together with an array of acoustic sensors that provides audio directionality. The examination may be monitored in real time by a live proctor via the Internet or the data may be recorded for future review. Authentication of the identity of the test taker is accomplished using the webcam and simple, reliable ear recognition techniques. This eliminates the need for expensive digital fingerprint hardware.
S4H: pK-12 STEM VI
- Changing Perceptions: Do Engineering Activities Make a Difference in K-12 Environments?
- K-12 educators often incorporate projects into the science curriculum. Students conduct the activity, fill out a corresponding lab sheet, discuss the results, and then move on to a new topic. With such an abrupt change in pace, this raises a question: do these activities have a lasting impact on student learning or are these labs extraneous additions to the general curriculum? In an effort to integrate engineering concepts into a middle school environment, 6th graders were tasked with a design lab popularly known as "the marshmallow challenge." In this lab, the class was divided into teams of three to four, and teams competed to build the tallest free standing structure out of uncooked spaghetti, tape, and string in less than 18 minutes. However, in a twist, a requirement that the marshmallow must be at the highest point was added, or the tower would be disqualified. Instead of beginning the challenge right away, a brief 10 minute lesson was included to give perspective to the lab. Each section was presented with subtle changes to the challenge, such as offering a reward for the winning team in the second class. During the lab, each team was observed to some degree for certain qualities and actions. A brief synthesis of the section-wide performance reveals a trend where later classes produced taller and overall better structures than earlier sections. Approximately 2 months after the activity, the students who participated were asked to take a survey with four components: identification, opinion, open ended, and objective. The fifteen question survey was designed to satisfy the following outcomes: • Determine if students enjoyed the activity and felt engineering was presented in a way they could understand. • Evaluate the students' ability to retain information about basic engineering concepts. • Determine if the activity had an effect on the students' perception of engineering. The results for the objective portion were averaged between classes and compared; an analysis of these scores will be detailed in the paper. Also, commonalities between written student responses will be examined and discussed. These results will be applied to K-12 engineering as a whole to evaluate the effectiveness of brief activities similar to "the marshmallow challenge." This paper will be of interest to educators in the K-12 sector and can be applicable to staff or researchers in higher education. Those who favor integration of engineering into the K-12 environment will also find the information presented in this paper encouraging.
- Middle School Students' Conceptions of Engineering
- This study investigated middle school students' conceptions of engineering. Participants were sixth through eighth grade members of afterschool engineering clubs. Thus, the study contributes to understanding middle school students' knowledge of engineering, and also to how afterschool activities shape students' conceptions of engineering. Researchers have increasingly attended to students' perceptions of themselves as engineers, and their attitudes towards engineering majors and careers. However, little research has investigated middle school students' conceptions of engineering- what engineering is and what engineers do. The purpose of this study was to understand how middle school students who join afterschool engineering clubs conceptualize engineering and how engineering afterschool club experiences influence students' conceptions of engineering. The results of our study indicate that many participants had limited conceptions of engineering and suggest a need to connect design activities with knowledge of engineering.
- Learning to Manage Uncertainty in Collaborative Engineering Design Projects: Lessons from a fifth grade class
- Collaborative engineering design projects are fraught with subjective uncertainty associated with task issues ranging from understanding math and science concepts, to manipulating technological and digital tools and evaluating design ideas. Also, engineering design projects are contexts in which uncertainty is likely to stem from social issues as students encounter unfamiliar sociocultural practices and as individuals with diverse histories, beliefs, motivations, expectations, and values attempt to share the small space of a classroom. This qualitative discourse analytic study relies on observations and interviews to examine how social and task uncertainty management varied across three groups of students engaged in a collaborative design project. Specifically we asked, (1) how do groups vary in their management of uncertainty during engineering design projects; and (2) how does variation in uncertainty management influence groups' design practices and products? Data were drawn from a larger project that took place over one-school year in an ethnically and academically diverse public fifth grade class in the U.S.
- Pedagogical Application of RFID Technology for Hard of Hearing Children during Mathematics and Science Learning Activities
- The purposes of this work-in-progress paper are to explore the effect of using RFID technology to assist hard of hearing children learning mathematics and science and the pedagogical implications of using RFID technology to maximize conceptual understanding of mathematics and science for hard of hearing children. Taking into consideration the children's visual learning characteristics, we present a system that uses RFID-tagged lab objects to help young hard of hearing children do operation task during exploration. The preliminary experimental results and the questionnaire results to evaluate the effectiveness of using this system are discussed. Perceived benefits to hard of hearing children up to ten years of age are presented. The use of RFID technology can enhance instructional opportunities for educators in teaching primary STEM and extend learning opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing students.
S4I: Interdisciplinary Programs II
- General Engineering: An Innovative Program for the Region
- An innovative interdisciplinary general engineering program has been recently successfully initiated as part of the newly formed engineering department efforts at the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani (AUIS). The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani was established in 2007 and currently has enrollment exceeding 500 students drawn from all regions of the country with a projected steady growth in the coming years. The American University of Iraq - Sulaimani is situated on more than 400 acres plot of land and is Iraq's only private, not for profit university based on the American model of higher education, with all courses taught in English. There are also ambitious plans to soon adding degree programs in civil, mechanical, and petroleum engineering. The design of the general engineering program incorporates fundamental preparation that associates the traditional engineering disciplines (civil, chemical, electrical, and mechanical), includes a practical component in laboratory experiences to go along with course fundamentals, and presents capstone basics in the areas of design, economic evaluation and industrial practice. The program is also designed to house additional concentrations leading to postgraduate certificates in areas of focus and interest to the region, such as petroleum exploration and production. Recent developments include completion state of the art science building that houses the physics and chemistry laboratory, finishing up the engineering basement to house state of the art laboratories to accompany engineering fundamental and capstone courses, and hiring staffing needs. The objective of the program is to create an ABET accredited program that is unique to the region and will serve in the development of the regions economy and people. This paper describes the details of the general engineering program, curriculum development, laboratory facilities, experiences, faculty and staff needs. A concluding section is offered that presents the development and implementation of such a program in a rapidly developing post-conflict society in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
- Cell2ECG: A virtual laboratory to simulate cardiac electrograms
- The paper describes a virtual laboratory designed for the study of the generation of the electrocardiogram (ECG) based on cellular electrophysiology. In detail, the virtual lab includes (1) the introduction to biophysical models characterizing the generation and propagation of electrical excitation at the cellular level, (2) the formulation of the mathematical relationship between the biophysical parameters, (3) the determination of resulting extracellular potentials, and (4) the calculation of the ECG by a vectorial summation of extracellular potentials. Since (3) and (4) require specific presumption and knowledge concerning cardiac geometry, a model was constructed using anatomical stylized cross-sectional segments of the left ventricle. In order to verify the model and algorithms simulation results were compared against experimentally obtained action potentials, extracellular potentials and ECGs under various physiological conditions. Although there is considerable scatter in the measurements, the comparison indicates that a definite relationship exists between measured and computed waveforms. Simulations interactively show physiological and pathophysiological changes in ECGs for various user setting of the cell function. In conclusion, the interactive laboratory enables the user to study the relationship between the electric activity of cardiac cells and the resulting extracellular potentials as well as ECGs on the body surface.
- Interactive Tools for Global Sustainability and Earth Systems: Sea Level Change and Temperature
- Understanding global change is important for creating a sustainable environment, and is a key interest of the Earth systems science community. Here we present an educational tutorial that explores the relationship between sea level and global temperature using modern-day records and time-series analysis and the Java-DSP Earth Systems Edition (J-DSP/ESE) application. The objectives of the tutorial are to apply pre-processing steps based on signal type, perform spectral analysis and identify significant frequencies, perform coherency and cross-phase analysis between two records, and arrive at an informed understanding about the relationship between sea level and global temperature change. Preliminary student assessment indicates that students were comfortable using J-DSP/ESE, and quickly understood the signal processing concepts. The analysis reveals correlation between sea level variations and global temperature at inter-annual timescales related to the El Niño climatological phenomenon. In sum, the tutorial improved students' understanding of basic factors that influence global sustainability and habitability.
- A Computer Science Course in Cyber Security and Forensics for a Multidisciplinary Audience
- The preparation of a graduate level cyber security and forensics course in a computer science department that addresses theory, policy, and application for an multidisciplinary student audience can be daunting when the majority of students in the class do not have a computer science background. The course takes a holistic approach to broaden knowledge and deepen understanding of the domain of cyber security using cross disciplinary teams to gain understanding and experience taking theory to practice and practice to theory. A framework of understanding is built through the examination of the body of scholarly conceptual and technical works and hands on experience with hardware and software platforms and networks. Computer Science provides the theoretical underpinnings and technical details, methods, and tools to examine security concepts; Forensic Science provides the approach to critical analysis of digital evidence; and Behavioral Analysis provided a way to synthesize knowledge and scientific method to gain some understanding of criminal behavior as well as the breadth and economic impact of cybercrime. This approach resulted in students who gained technical proficiency and perspective and experience working with people with divergent backgrounds, abilities and knowledge sets.