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Community Service Learning In a First-Year Engineering Communication Course Laura Patterson Senior Instructor School of Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Service Learning In a First-Year Engineering Communication Course Laura Patterson Senior Instructor School of Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Service Learning In a First-Year Engineering Communication Course Laura Patterson Senior Instructor School of Engineering

2 Outline Identity, Engagement, Empathy Service Learning and Sustainability Service Learning, Engineering Education, and Technical Communication APSC 176 Team Fundraising project Next Steps

3 Acknowledgements Lori Field of Community Service Learning Program http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/students/cslprogram/welcome.html

4 Issues: Identity, Engagement, Empathy Engineering identity Student engagement Service course Spinuzzi: Psuedotransactionality Engineering empathy Cech: Culture of Disengagement in Engineering Education

5 Service Learning Experiential learning Lima and Oakes (2006) identify the following four key characteristics to effective service learning education: service academic connection reciprocal relationship reflection

6 Service Learning Service learning in Technical Communication » Since 1997 » Balance with Cargile Cooks (2002) Layered Literacies Engineering Education » Newest and fastest growing division in ASEE

7 Service Learning and Sustainability Service learning can: Engage students Increase retention of women, international students Address psuedotransactionality Increase empathy? How can community service learning be sustainable?

8 Three iterations to date Action research Paper presenting to ASEE is focussed on pedagogical sustainability of service learning for large numbers of students and lessons learned

9 Purpose adapt a community service learning project originally designed for 60 students to 220 students maintain the academic robustness of the proposal assignment maintain the good will of the partnering community organizations

10 The Assignment Team Fundraising Proposal Project Fundraising idea for not-for-profit organizations Presentations to organizations Reflection assignment

11 First iteration (2011) 2 sections, one instructor Approx 60 first year engineering students put into teams of 4-5 8 of organizations Students met organizations out of class Presentations in class Written team fundraising proposal

12 Second iteration (2012) 8 sections, three instructors Approx 200 first-year engineering students put into teams of 4-5 8 organizations Meet the Organizations night Presentation night Written team fundraising proposal

13 Limited interactions with organizations Diffused experience somewhat Student competition Best Presentation Debrief conversations with organizations wanted better quality ideas and more interaction with students

14 Third iteration (2013) Approx 200 first-year engineering students put into teams of 4-5 8 sections, three instructors Approx 200 first-year engineering students put into teams of 4-5 8 organizations Meet the Organizations night Presentation night Written team fundraising proposal

15 More in-class instruction and support of brainstorming Less rigidness in interactions with clients Anecdotally, better responses from both organizations and students

16 Fourth iteration? (2014) Yes May just go back to my sections Execution is running smoothly Work on fine tuning assignment to keep improving the quality of the proposals Worksheets In-class exercises Meetings with the organizations

17 Universality of project appeal Logistics and negotiating relationship Lori Field Planning, planning, planning Time consuming for instructors, but engaging for students

18 Next steps Ethics approval of surveys Student perceptions Client perceptions Develop this work into a doctoral program

19 References Cargile Cook, K. (2002). Layered literacies: A theoretical frame for technical communication pedagogy. Technical Communication Quarterly. 11(1). 5-29. Cech, E. (January 2014). Culture of disengagement in engineering education. Science Technology Human Values vol. 39 no. 1 42-72. Lima M., Oakes, W. C. (2006). Service-Learning: Engineering in Your Community. New York: Oxford University Press. Spinuzzi, C. (2004). Psuedotransactionality, activity theory, and professional writing instruction. Teaching Technical Communication. Ed. James M Dubinsky. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's. 337-347.


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