An assessment of the impact of exploring engineering through an experiential learning course on student attraction and retention

Julio Urbina, Hirak Patangia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

With funding from National Science Foundation, a project-based experiential course has been introduced at the freshman level to acquaint students with the engineering field, and to attract students into engineering technology from the general pool of undeclared majors at the university. The course also gives the student a head start for success in courses that come later in the curriculum with the expectation that early exposure to various topics in engineering will lead to improved student success and retention. The course has a heavy emphasis on laboratory activities with an equally strong focus on 'just-in-time' theory. The learning platform of the course is a magnetic ball levitator, and the course prepares the students to be able to design and construct the levitator system by the end of the semester. The engineering topics have been selected in a way that they are central to accomplishing the project goal, and the laboratory exercises provide them with the hands-on experience necessary to complete the project. The course has been offered six times so far, and data gathered through course evaluations suggest that it has been a successful course in preparing and exposing students to the field of engineering. Eighty nine percent of the students have indicated that the course 'enhanced their interest in engineering'. The paper presents a preliminary follow-up of our experience with the course and an analysis of data pertaining to student satisfaction and their retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-898
Number of pages6
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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