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Another FaCTS Mellon Project

Instituting Critical Thinking and Self-Authorship in the Freshman Introduction to Engineering Courses

by Dr. Bryan Bilyeu

The two freshman-level, expansive core Introduction to Engineering courses are intended to provide an understanding of the field, methodology, and career expectations in engineering, but also to personally connect students to the field. Throughout both courses, they are asked to plan their education and career in engineering and to work on projects as if they were on an actual professional engineering team. In doing so, they must continually reflect and evaluate how they fit into and how they can adapt to the opportunities and challenges in engineering and then explain it. In ENGR 1000, the traditional lectures will be replaced with guided inquiry discussions for each chapter and the report guidelines will be modified to expand the self-authorship and personal connection, but the guest seminars by engineers and the topics of the three reports will remain the same. In ENGR 1100, the team-based projects will continue to be the structure, but changes will be developed based on the results from this semester. Both courses were offered for the first time this academic year, so with combining that experience with new ideas for enhancement should be very productive. Pre- and post-course assessment surveys will quantify the effectiveness of the courses and subsequent enhancements.

Start date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Finish date: Thursday, May 3, 2012