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Engineering and Service-Learning: Improved Education, Improved Communities William Oakes EPICS Program Purdue University.

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Presentation on theme: "Engineering and Service-Learning: Improved Education, Improved Communities William Oakes EPICS Program Purdue University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engineering and Service-Learning: Improved Education, Improved Communities William Oakes EPICS Program Purdue University

2 Opportunities Students need more than disciplinary knowledge to succeed: teamwork, communication, customer-awareness, project management, leadership, ethics, societal context, professionalism Both local and global communities need access to technical expertise that is normally prohibitively expensive: improved, enhanced, new capabilities

3 Calls to Action U.S. National Academy of Engineering Studies: The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering How People Learn

4 Service-Learning Definition We define service learning as a type of experiential education in which students participate in service in the community and reflect on their involvement in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content and of the discipline and its relationship to social needs and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. - Hatcher and Bringle, 1997

5 Context: Learning Pedagogies Experiential education Active learning, Problem-based learning Inquiry-guided learning Design education Service learning Engagement in the community Tied to academic learning outcomes Reciprocity Reflection

6 Activity Take a few Post-Its and list example service or service-learning projects

7 7 Characteristics of Service-Learning Service – part of the service-learning experience involves service opportunities for students for the underserved in the local community. Academically-based - the service being performed by the students must provide reinforcement and connection with the subject material of the academic course. Students given credit for mastery of course content, not simply for the service they perform

8 8 Purdues EPICS Outcomes (Design) i. applies material from their discipline to the design of community-based projects ii. demonstrates an understanding of design as a start-to-finish process iii. an ability to identify and acquire new knowledge as a part of the problem- solving/design process iv. demonstrates an awareness of the customer in engineering design v. demonstrates an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams and an appreciation for the contributions from individuals from other disciplines vi. demonstrates an ability to communicate effectively with audiences with widely- varying backgrounds vii. demonstrates an awareness of professional ethics and responsibility viii. demonstrates an appreciation of the role that their discipline can play in social contexts

9 Classify the Project Ideas Curricular (C) STEM – related to learning science, technology, engineering or math (C-STEM) Other (non-STEM) (C-O) Extra Curricular (EC)

10 10 Characteristics of Service-Learning Partnerships – partnerships between those who serving and those being served. The students and community members are partners in addressing the community need The community, students and faculty benefit from the service learning

11 Adding Capacity through Partnerships Long-term partnerships Partnerships over several years oProjects may be short OR long term Deliver projects Establish relationships Provide services beyond delivery Move to the professional level of support Value Provided Effort Invested

12 Time Scales: Traditional Courses Student Learning Academic Calendar Project Student learning and project development are tied to academic calendar Semester/Quarter/Year

13 EPICS Decouples Timescales Student Learning Semester/Quarter Project Semester/Quarter Student Learning Project Community Receives Long-Term Support They Need

14 14 Characteristics of Service-Learning Analysis or Reflection Participants are intentionally guided through activities to analyze and reflect upon the work that is being performed and the larger social issues.. Metacognitive activities including reflection improve learning Metacognition can help students understand academic material covered by the course Activities for analysis and reflection can take several forms

15 Benefits to Learning Learners of all ages are more motivated when they can see the usefulness of what they are learning and when they can use that information to do something that has an impact on others – especially in their local community – Bransford et al., How People Learn A similar phenomenon occurs when students are able to marshal a body of knowledge to solve problems presented in class but fail even to see a problem, much less the relevance of what has been learned, in a different setting. The new situation does not provide the cues associated with what has been learned; the key words from the classroom are not present in the wider environment. A service-learning student will have more ways to access this understanding. – Eyler and Giles, Wheres the Learning in Service- Learning

16 Reflection is needed To make the connections for students between the learning and the service Students will treat as separate To guide appropriate learning and to catch unintended and/or inappropriate learning Students may not learning intended ideas simply through the service Students may learn unintended things during service

17 Service-Learning and Diversity Research on science education suggests that context is important to students. Image is increasingly being cited as a deterrent to attracting women in the U.S. Cultural context for developing technical solutions

18 Educating Citizens Our responsibility to educate the whole person Educating future professionals Educating future community members Engaged/educated citizens Future neighbors Lifelong impact Career choices Outside interests or activities

19 Entrepreneurship and EPICS Service-Learning Develops Core Skills of Entrepreneurs Identify needs Develop solutions to meet those needs Implement those ideas How to spread the impact of innovations? EPICSThe Community Needs, Ideas Ideas, Products

20 Student Quotes (S-L) completely changed my opinion of engineering. Working on this project has helped me guide the rest of my course work and ideas for a future profession. Other engineering courses only directly benefit me. (S-L) benefits everyone involved. I have learned that engineering includes more than theory, it includes teamwork, communication, organization and leadership. It made me understand how every aspect of engineering (design, implementation, team work, documentation) come together. No longer is engineering just a bunch of equations, now I see it as a means to help mankind. Opened my heart.

21 Service vs Learning service learning Service and learning goals are separate SERVICE- learning Service outcomes are primary; learning goals are secondary service- LEARNING Learning goals are primary; service outcomes are secondary SERVICE- LEARNING Service and learning goals have equal weight; each enhances the other for all participants

22 Group Activity Get in groups of about four Take your Post-Its with service projects and put them into the four service-learning categories Put the projects into the category Be prepared to give an example for each category oModify the projects if needed to get at least one example from each


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