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Educational Simulation and Pedagogies of Engagement: Encouraging the Academic Transition of First-Year Engineering Students Atsushi Akera (Rensselaer)

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Presentation on theme: "Educational Simulation and Pedagogies of Engagement: Encouraging the Academic Transition of First-Year Engineering Students Atsushi Akera (Rensselaer)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Educational Simulation and Pedagogies of Engagement: Encouraging the Academic Transition of First-Year Engineering Students Atsushi Akera (Rensselaer) Pamela Theroux (SUNY Albany / Rensselaer)

2 IHSS1975 Social Dimensions of Engineering

3 Origins of Social Dimensions of Engineering CORE Engineering Renaissance Integrative Studies Pilot Program

4 Rensselaers First Year Studies Program Reserved for First-Year Students Features –25 student sections –Close interaction with instructors Topics Courses –Minds and Machines –Living in Cyberspace –Social Dimensions of Engineering

5 Rensselaers First Year Studies Program Defined Pedagogic Strategies Faculty Development Workshops –2-day annual PAID workshops Faculty Advisory committee –Community of Teachers Critical thinking Writing & communications Teamwork & group work Personal instructional attention Focus on learning environment & community Diversity & diverse learning styles Appropriate use of instructional technology


7 Integrative Studies Pilot Program Proposed focus on a students academic transition Team-taught strategy –Humanities Faculty –Student Life Facilitator Self-reflections on learning process (6-10 sessions) –Goal setting –Reading –Writing –Class Discussion –Teamwork –Time management

8 Fall 2005 Courses / Collaborations Varieties of Religious Experience (Gordon/Gutmann & Virkus) Growing Up in America (Gowdy/Gutmann & Trahan) Minds & Machines (Van Heuveln - Masulo) Social Dimensions of Engineering (Akera - Theroux) Fall 2006 Courses / Collaborations Rhetoric, Democracy & Media (Haskins & Redding) Minds & Machines (Van Heuveln – Masulo) Social Dimensions of Engineering (Akera – Trahan) Actual Transition Topics 1.What are our goals for this course? (goals) 2.Whats the value of an academic text? (reading) 3.Why is it important to listen as well as speak? (discussion) 4.What makes for a good presentation? (oral comm.) 5.What is Dr. Akera looking for in the weekly thought pieces? (writing) 6.What makes group work work? (teamwork) 7.How do you deal with the mid- semester crunch? (time management) Integrative Studies Pilot Program

9 EC2000 CORE Engineering Renaissance

10 Core Engineering Renaissance School of Engineering Core Engineering Office Kevin Craig, Director Rensselaer Colloquium on Teaching and Learning May 10-11, 2004

11 Objectives of the CORE Engineering Renaissance Retention Engineering in first year Foundations –Fundamental body of knowledge –Foundational skills (modeling, analysis, measurement) Develop technical curiosity Engineering practice Professional breadth & development

12 Collaborative Pairing

13 Educational Simulation & Pedagogies of Engagement

14 Faustian Bargain

15 Educational / Entrepreneurial Simulation Course Design 50% Team Projects 50% Individual readings

16 Course ePortfolio

17 Technoscience and Heterogeneous Engineering

18 Peer Based Learning Substantial scale Open ended exercises Competitive modeling Diverse solutions Peer critique Past work archive

19 Self-Selected Units & Readings Paolo Freire

20 Self Selected Units & Readings

21 Schedule 2

22 3

23 Pedagogies of Engagement Appealing to student interests –Entrepreneurship –Technical content / reverse engineering Empowering students –Open ended exercises –Trust in ability to generate knowledge –Self-selected units & readings Working from student skills & abilities –Dont assume theyre illiterate / cant write –Peer modeling works well here

24 Pedagogies of Engagement Peer based learning –Major motivational strategy (peer impressions) –Demonstration of humanistic knowledge as valued Educational simulation –Brings real world knowledge to bear upon learning process –Synergistic with teamwork / group work strategies Self reflective sessions on learning process –Learning how to learn –Increased skills & tolerance for reading & humanities –Necessary for critical thinking & critical wisdom

25 Vehicle for the Delivery of STS Concepts Social construction Technoscience Valence Organizational dynamics in engineering Social relations of technology Ethics of complex systems Science & technology relation Historicizing engineering education

26 Associated Objectives Weekly writing assignments Oral communications & presentation Teamwork Economic globalization Interest in engineering practice Choice of engineering field & vocation Practical integration of STS concepts

27 Outcomes Assessment

28 Fall 2005 Assessment Criteria for Assessment Primary Objectives P1Critical Thinking P2Teamwork P3Synthesis & Retention Content Based Objectives C1Social Dimension of Engg C2Social & Professional Responsibility C3Sense of Engineering Workplace C4Engineering Identity FYS Objectives F1Writing F2Mentoring & Faculty-Student Relation ---Effective Teamwork (see P2 above) ---Professional Ethics (see C2 above) F3Community Building F4Diversity / Perspectives F5Engaged Learning F6Instructional Technology Academic Transition Objectives T1Reading Academic Texts T2Presentations T3Listening T4Time Management T5Learning Process / Reflexivity

29 Fall 2005 Assessment Assessment Instruments Pre-post comparative essays Synthesis essays Weekly thought pieces Team projects Class participation Focus groups Student survey Instructors survey

30 Fall 2005 Assessment Pre-Post Assessment

31 Fall 2005 Assessment Assessment Rubric Scale of +5/-5 assessment (for each objective) 5: Outstanding progress 4: Significant progress 3: Notable progress 2: Some progress 1: Negligible progress 0: No change -5: Complete disengagement -4: Significant regression -3: Notable regression -2: Some regression -1: Minor regression

32 Student work (examples) To the question: What is an engineer? (Post essays, Pre/Post Comparison) Engineers are driven both by an inherent desire to create and by the economic necessities of society. Thus, when the requirements of society are sometimes in conflict with the ideal of the engineer, the engineer is often required to determine how far from the engineering ideal the final artifact will diverge. The engineer is therefore not only a creator of technical change, but also an integral player in the development and evolution of society. These aspects of engineering are certainly visible in many of this semesters readings. -EB I may actually have a less clear picture of what exactly an engineer is after taking this course, than I did before. Though I knew there were several different types of engineering, I did not have the picture in my head of the broad range of careers that can be considered engineering. Engineers span from the computer nerds that sit busily typing away in the basements of companies, consumed by their work as in Kidders Soul of a New Machine, to Thomas Edisons charismatic nature in Hughes Networks of Power, which causes him to follow a product from its invention through its development, through the politics, to its widespread use. Engineering can fly off in a third direction again, where, as in Latours Science in Action, it begins to be confused with science. -HN

33 Student work (examples) Demonstrates: A reasonably developed sense of engineering identity Some facility with STS concepts (sociotechnical, mutually shaping, integral) Retention of knowledge But also… An engineer is a person involved in the design and construction of technical innovation. An engineer is someone inventive as well as a very technically based way of thinking. They are involved in the most important phase of construction. They are the ones who plan every thing out and design the initial basis for all aspects of construction. -IN An engineer makes society a better place to live in. An engineer develops products that either the market demands or some new technology that an engineer believes that society cannot live without. An engineer sometimes tries to beat nature for human needs. -SS

34 Fall 2005 Assessment (Outcomes) Primary Objectives Level 4-5Level 3+Regress (-1 or less) Critical Thinking (P1) 20%45%-- (0%) Teamwork (P2)10%55%-- Synthesis & Retention (P3) 21%47%--

35 Fall 2005 Assessment (Outcomes) Content-Based Objectives Level 4-5Level 3+Regress (-1 or less) Social Dim. of Engineering (C1) 30%80%-- Social & Profes- sional Resp (C2) 15%55%-- Sense of Engg Worksplace (C3) 30%60%-- Engineering Identity (C4) 30%55%--

36 Fall 2005 Assessment (Outcomes) FYS Objectives Level 4-5Level 3+Regress (-1 or less) Writing (F1) 0%50%-- Mentoring (F2) 11%26%10% Community (F3) 15%40%25% Diversity (F4) 5%15%5% Engaged (F5) 15%25%15% Technology (F6) (not adequately tested)

37 Fall 2005 Assessment (Outcomes) Integrative Studies Academic Transition Objectives Level 4-5Level 3+Regress (-1 or less) Reading (T1) 5%35%10% Presentation (T2) 22%56%-- Listening (T3) (not adequately tested) Time Mgt (T4) (not adequately tested) Reflections on Learning Proc (T5) 5%25%5%

38 Thanks… (questions?)


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