First year students taking Introduction to Engineering (ENGR 100) were introduced to FirstBuild by Speed alumna, Amelia Gandara. FirstBuild (located on the north end of campus) is a partnership between GE Appliances and Local Motors whose mission is to create a new model for the appliance industry be engaging a community of industrial designers, scientists, engineers, makers and early adopters to address engineering challenges and new innovations. Students were encouraged to participate in the online community by generating ideas or to visit the microfactory to see how they could get involved in a “hand-on” fashion.
Drs. Jeffrey Hieb and Patricia Ralston (Engineering Fundamentals) and Dr. Keith Lyle (Psychological and Brain Sciences) have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study a potential means of helping first-year Engineering students learn and retain calculus knowledge. The project will compare a typical classroom procedure, in which knowledge of a given course objective is tested primarily on a single quiz, with a procedure in which the same knowledge is tested on multiple quizzes spaced out throughout the course. The latter procedure–known as spacing– has been found to enhance learning and memory in many laboratory studies, but has rarely been applied in the classroom or to mathematical knowledge.
Drs. Patricia Ralston, Jeff Hieb, Jim Lewis and Angela Thompson (Engineering Fundamentals) along with Dr. Nora Honken (research collaborator) attended the National American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exhibition held in Indianapolis, IN, June 15-18. Together, they presented five papers in three different divisions of ASEE; Educational Research and Methods Division, First-Year Programs Division, and Mathematics Division. In addition to sharing their research, these faculty gained additional ideas and updates on the latest trends in engineering education. Dr. Jim Lewis completed two years of service of Program Chair for the Computers in Education Division and will serve as division chair for the next two years. Drs. Patricia Ralston and Nora Honken received the First-Year Program Division “Best Presentation Award” for their presentation at the 2013 ASEE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
A group of 7 faculty members from Speed are participating in a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on Collaboration that is sponsored by the Speed School Center for Teaching and Learning Engineering. Drs. Marie Brown (Delphi Center) and Patricia Ralston (Engineering Fundamentals) are facilitators. The FLC is exploring ways to bring evidence-based collaborative learning techniques to engineering classrooms. By properly structuring learning tasks to implement collaborative learning effectively, faculty help students learn the benefits of working together to improve both individual and collective achievement.
Faculty played a spirited game of HiHo CherryO to prepare for their session. They played the collaborative version where the goal is for the group to pick the cherries from the trees rather than compete against teammates.
Because faculty now have access to instructional videos (See December Post) for approximately one third of the content that was formerly delivered by lecture in Engineering Analysis I, faculty have more exciting options for how to use that time! This semester, Dr. Jeff Hieb is using that time to have his students meet in the newly renovated classroom, JS LL16, where he is working to implement collaborative learning. Students work together on some homework problems and the number of problems they have to submit individually is reduced. The department is carefully studying this pilot group, and if this proves beneficial, we hope that eventually more EF classes will include collaborative learning.
As part of the strategic planning process, Speed School has recently established a Center for Teaching and Learning Engineering. The center works in partnership and collaboration with UofL’s Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning and is based in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. Already operational is a new instructional design studio. Drs. Tyler, Ralston, and Lewis have created video content for approximately 30 percent of the Engineering Analysis I course. This content was previously delivered in a class lecture, that time has now been returned to students, and they can view the videos at their convenience and as often as they like! Stay tuned – more exciting things are coming…
It is already week ten of fall semester and our freshmen are busy indeed. In their Introduction to Engineering Course ( ENGR 100), they have heard presentations from all seven degree-granting departments and now have a better idea of what engineers in each discipline do. They also learned about the ethical issues engineers face as they reviewed the engineering code of ethics and worked in groups to examine an ethical dilemma.