The design4practice sophomore design course

Adapting to a changing academic environment

John Tester, Jerry Hatfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

At Northern Arizona University, an interdisciplinary sophomore design course - EGR 286 - has undergone a fundamental shift in its innovative and award-winning course structure. This shift is funded in part through a Hewlett Foundation-supported development effort to encourage recruitment and retention of engineering students, with an emphasis on under-represented student populations. This recruiting and retention effort is emphasized in light of historically declining enrollments on the campus as well as in some engineering departments. The course revitalization is centered on enabling more direct student participation in design projects. It begins with two-person design teams that design, build and test weekly projects involving LEGO® parts, sensors, and the Robotic Command explorer (RCX). The course progresses in the semester to finally encompass larger design teams of fourteen students, with each team designing a complex, autonomous, roboticstyled system. This revision was to enable a more flexible mix of engineering student majors (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Environmental), as some departments had different enrollments for each semester. Furthermore, the philosophy shifted from a primarily project management to a more technical design/build/test approach to design education. The students learn both technical and team skills incrementally by accomplishing new designs each week for nine weeks in teams of two to four students. In the final six weeks, the smaller teams are merged into a larger team of 14-20 students, such that they may then be better able to design a much more complex robotic system design. We detail the course restructuring, which includes the small-projects concept to build knowledge, the course management issues for the college, and the material costs incurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Pages2993-3004
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 12 2005Jun 15 2005

Other

Other2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World
CountryUnited States
CityPortland, OR
Period6/12/056/15/05

Fingerprint

Students
Robotics
Project management
Education
Systems analysis
Sensors
Costs

Keywords

  • Design education
  • Engineering education
  • Student retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Tester, J., & Hatfield, J. (2005). The design4practice sophomore design course: Adapting to a changing academic environment. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings (pp. 2993-3004)

The design4practice sophomore design course : Adapting to a changing academic environment. / Tester, John; Hatfield, Jerry.

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. 2005. p. 2993-3004.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Tester, J & Hatfield, J 2005, The design4practice sophomore design course: Adapting to a changing academic environment. in ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. pp. 2993-3004, 2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World, Portland, OR, United States, 6/12/05.
Tester J, Hatfield J. The design4practice sophomore design course: Adapting to a changing academic environment. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. 2005. p. 2993-3004
Tester, John ; Hatfield, Jerry. / The design4practice sophomore design course : Adapting to a changing academic environment. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. 2005. pp. 2993-3004
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