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Enhancing Engagement in STEM Classrooms via the Project Based Inquiry Learning (5E) Model Suma Rajashankar, Ph.D. Department of Electrical Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing Engagement in STEM Classrooms via the Project Based Inquiry Learning (5E) Model Suma Rajashankar, Ph.D. Department of Electrical Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing Engagement in STEM Classrooms via the Project Based Inquiry Learning (5E) Model Suma Rajashankar, Ph.D. Department of Electrical Engineering Northern Illinois University

2 National STEM Crisis behind  U.S. behind in student indicators. ahead  Foreign nationals ahead in jobs and degrees.  Urban  Urban students are falling behind.  Many plans exist to address this.  New national STEM Initiative addresses programs and teachers.

3 Source: PISA, 2000, 2003 Courtesy of Cisco Systems Ranking of G8 countries: 10 th grade math & problem solving 30th 25th 20th 15th 10th 5th 1st 2000 2003 OECD Ranking 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th Math Science Reading Problem Solving 24 th 18 th 24 th 14 th 18 th 15 th

4 STEM Pipeline

5 Mission Statement - Association for American Universities (AAU) Reforming the Undergraduate STEM Education The AAU Initiative The goal of the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative is to help influence change in the culture of STEM departments at AAU universities so that they will use evidence-based, student-centered, active, sustainable pedagogy in their classes, particularly at the freshman and sophomore levels.

6  Workforce needs → Competitiveness  Desire for a scientifically-literate population  New scholarship on what works in the classroom: evidence-based teaching methods  Several AAU institutions are already at the forefront of improving STEM undergraduate education AAU Report Rationale

7  STEM completion rates not good  Research universities don’t produce as many STEM majors as other colleges and universities  Evidence-based teaching methods are not widely adopted. Why?  Teaching (and learning) are not effectively evaluated and rewarded AAU Report Problems present…

8 AAU Report Degree Completion Report

9 Graduate Student Training Recruitment/R etention of Women and URM Course Content/ Curriculum  Pedagogy  Faculty Development  Future Faculty Development (graduate student training)  Institutional/Stat e/Federal Policy  Course content/curriculum  K-12 Teacher Development  Workforce Development  Recruitment/retention of underrepresented student populations in STEM (including women and minorities) AAU Report Areas of STEM Reform

10 National Report from The National Academies !! THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES  National Academy of Sciences  National Academy of Engineering  Institute of Medicine  National Research Council

11 SOLUTION: Increasing retention of STEM majors from 40% to 50% would generate three-quarters of the 1 million additional STEM degrees over the next decade. “Many student who abandon STEM majors perform well in their introductory courses and would make valuable additions to the STEM workforce.” SCENARIO: Fewer than 40% of students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field complete a STEM degree. FUTURE NEEDS: 1 million more STEM professionals in the next decade than the U.S. will produce at the current rate if the country is to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology. “To meet this goal, the United States will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by about 34% annually over current rates.” CURRENTLY: ~ 300,000 bachelor and associate degrees in STEM fields annually in the U.S. National Report from The National Academies !!

12 National Report from The National Academies !! Solution? - RETENTION!! Retaining more students in STEM majors is the lowest-cost, fastest policy option to providing the STEM professionals  This will not require expanding the number or size of introductory courses, which are constrained by space and resources at many colleges and universities.

13 RETENTION has Problems…  Reasons for students leaving STEM (Push-Pull issue):  Discouraged/loss of confidence due to low grades in early years  Morale is undermined by competitive STEM culture  Curriculum overload, fast pace overwhelming  Poor teaching by STEM faculty  Inadequate advising or help with academic programs  Loss of interest in STEM, i.e., turned of by “SCIENCE” Reference: “Talk about Leaving: Why undergraduates leave the STEM disciplines? – Seymour and Hewitt, 1997

14 RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION AT THE UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL IN STEM DISCIPLINES IS AN ISSUE !! April 2013, report by NSF shows:  Recruitment and retention in the first two years in STEM disciplines, specially in Physics is a problem.  Many undergraduates come to college not well prepared in physics and mathematics, a problem that is partially linked to K-12 STEM teacher preparation.  The freshmen physics curriculum has remained static, is often not very exciting. RETENTION has Problems…(Contd.)

15 Job Requirement: 20 th Century21 st Century 1 – 2 Jobs10 – 15 Jobs Critical Thinking Across Disciplines Integration of 21 st Century Skills into Subject Matter Mastery Mastery of One Field Subject Matter Mastery Number of Jobs: Teaching Model: Subject Matter Mastery Integration of 21 st Century Skills into Subject Matter Mastery Assessment Model: Courtesy of Dorrington Group Need for 21 st Century skills, Why?

16 20 th & 21 st Century skills framework!! 20 th Century Education Model 21 st Century Learning Model Ref:

17 STEM tied to acquisition of 21 st Century skills! Ref:

18 Relation between Engagement & Retention! Engagement RETENTION

19 Student’s “Engagement” in Engineering – University of Ulster, UK Report

20 Typical class contact (hours): 18 – First Year 18 – Second Year 15 – Final Year How many hours do students spend on their studies outside timetabled classes? Student’s “Engagement” in Engineering – University of Ulster, UK Report (Contd.)

21 Student’s “Engagement” in Engineering – University of Ulster, UK Report (Contd…) Survey of easy to learn situations/activities!!

22 1. Real-life assignments, engineering activities Material is more interesting when we see its relevance. Lecturers should relate lecture material using real-life examples/anecdotes. Assignments and exercises should be related to ‘real’ engineering. Company visits - to see what engineering is about - what jobs engineers do. Science and maths is easier to understand when we see where it is used in everyday situations. Student’s Survey Responses – University of Ulster, UK Report (Contd…)

23 2. Lecturer attributes Like to feel that our lecturers care about us and make an effort to be helpful. Good if he/she can relate classroom material to real-life engineering problems. Humorous Classes are more interesting if the lecturer uses a variety of media, e.g. videos, software, demonstrations. Approachable, available outside class and provides good feedback on our assignments. We like a lecturer that encourages interaction and allows us to ask questions. Student’s Survey Responses – University of Ulster, UK Report (Contd…)

24 3. Team-working Enjoyable – provided we have clear outline of what’s expected. Good if all team members contribute equally. We see the benefit of ‘team-work’ for industry. Put good students together in groups. We don’t like group work in final year. We like ‘shared experience’ of working together in small group tutorial. Makes you feel part of a team. Student’s Survey Responses – University of Ulster, UK Report (Contd…)

25 Authentic Learning is an approach to teaching in which the students work on realistic problems participate in activities that solve real life problems create products that have real life meaning. The learning environments are multidisciplinary, similar to a real world application ( managing a city, building a house, flying an airplane, setting a budget, solving a crime). Learning Styles What is Authentic Learning?

26 Characteristics of Authentic Learning  Learning is real-world oriented  Learning is often interdisciplinary.  The classroom is learner centered and allows for a variety of learning styles.  Students have ownership of their learning.  Instruction uses hand-on approaches  Learning is active and student driven.  Teachers act as coaches or learning facilitators.  Learning uses real-time data, which students investigate and from which they draw conclusions.  Team working important aspect.  Students produce a product that is directed toward a real audience.

27 Comparison of the two forms of Authentic Learning Project-based learning (PBL) Essential Question 21 st Century skills not primary focus Presentation an option Multidisciplinary Field Trips are optional 5E instructional strategy optional Project-based Inquiry learning (PBIL) Core problem embedded in scenario 21 st Century skills primary focus Oral and written presentations required Multidisciplinary with a focus on STEM connections 5E Instructional Strategy required Field Trips are required

28 5E’s Instructional Model Engage Explore Explain Extend Evaluate The 5E model was originally proposed by the BSCS (Biological Science Curriculum Study)

29 5E Learning Model Flow of Core-problem

30 5E Learning Model - Planning tool for Instructors  Proposed by Roger Bybee and colleagues at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)  This model has been used to develop many BSCS curricular materials and textbooks for biology teaching and learning as well as for aspiring k-12 teachers.  This model is based on both:  Conceptual change model of learning  Constructivist view of learning.

31 Strategies for using the 5E Model to align teaching with learning!! Instructor dilemmas:  “I have heard about all these innovative teaching strategies being used in biology, but I just don’t know where to start to change from only lecturing”  “I feel like I have all sorts of teaching tools that I have learned about, but I cannot figure out when to use which ones” Potential 5E Strategy: Design class sessions to have at least two components of the 5E model, even if you can’t hit all five in a given class meeting. Reference: Kimberly Tanner, CBE Life Science Education, 2010 9(3), p159-164

32 Strategies for using the 5E Model to align teaching with learning (Contd.)!! Instructor dilemmas:  “I don’t have time to connect the biology I teach to real life. I have too much to cover to do that and its not needed – majors are already inherently interested in the biology I am teaching”  “What I'm about to tell students is not something they're going to have any prior experience with, so it doesn't make sense to ask students to think about what they know before I start lecturing.” Potential 5E Strategy: Start your class session with something that engages students and/or elicits their prior knowledge. Reference: Kimberly Tanner, CBE Life Science Education, 2010 9(3), p159-164

33 Strategies for using the 5E Model in Engineering!!  This 5E model is a wonderful tool that could be integrated within any existing course delivery in engineering at the freshman and the sophomore levels.  The 5Es provide the framework for utilizing everyday engineering examples to progress around the learning cycle. In this process, students are engaged by demonstration of an everyday example. Reference: E.A. Patterson, European Journal of Engineering Education, 36(3), 2011, p 211-224

34 VIBRATING RULER  For Junior Dynamics  Topic: Free and Forced Vibration Activity:  Clamp one end on the bench and flick the free end of the ruler so that it vibrates. Slide it onto the bench so that the pitch of the noise changes the frequency will go up.  Show the students how to equate kinetic and strainenergy to find the natural frequency.  Ask students to repeat the analysis for a whip aerial with a ball on the tip. Everyday Examples in Engineering E 3 5E Model embedded!!

35 Engage Engineering !!

36 What is ENGAGE?  Extension Services Project funded by the National Science Foundation  The overarching goal of ENGAGE is to increase the capacity of engineering schools to retain undergraduate students by facilitating the implementation of three research-based strategies to improve student day-to-day classroom and educational experience.  The ENGAGE project team and participating Engineering Schools work together to improve student day-to-day classroom and educational experience, and to increase engineering schools' capacity to retain undergraduate students.

37 As a result of the project, engineering schools are expected to: Integrate Everyday Examples in Engineering (E 3 s) into selected ENGAGE targeted courses Identify students with weak spatial skills and effectively support student spatial visualization skill development Effectively build and support faculty knowledge and skill to better engage and interact with students inside and outside of the classroom Establish processes to sustain project efforts What is ENGAGE? (Contd.)

38  70 schools are currently participating in this program ENGAGE Schools!!

39 Mini-grant Opportunities in ENGAGE !!

40 Conclusion  In order to increase the recruitment and retention of students in the STEM disciplines, 21 st century skills must be incorporated.  Retention in STEM disciplines will increase if students are “Engaged”  To enhance Engagement, 5E Instructional strategy needs to be implemented  5E Learning model is centered around active learning which eventually leads to greater engagement in the STEM discipline resulting in higher retention rates.  All lesson plans for Everyday Examples in Engineering (E 3 ) from ENGAGE program are prepared using the principle of the 5E’s  All E 3 lesson plans, solutions and topics are listed by course area in:

41 Questions?


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