Improving Multidisciplinary Understanding Through Interdisciplinary Project-based Learning Freshman Course
Creating modern systems with tightly integrated sub-systems relies heavily on multidisciplinary cooperation. Establishing an early value for other areas of expertise is crucial to encouraging later collaborations. This paper discusses the redesign of ECE 111, a 100-level, Fall term Electrical Computer Engineering course. This redesigned course emphasizes collaboration and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in engineering. The 10-week course contains engineering skills, tools, and concepts from three disciplines of engineering: Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Materials focus on how each discipline supports the other disciplines in modern engineering. Students attend one, one-hour lecture and two, two-hour labs per week. The lecture covers general engineering concepts including engineering process, design, and tools/skills. Student engineers work in teams of three, with each student focusing on a dif! ferent engineering discipline. Teams design, implement, and improve on a competitive robotic project. Assessment using student surveys shows a 13% increase in student’s ability to recognize and avoid personal and engineering discipline bias with a confidence interval of p=.005 using a two-tail T-test, when comparing student surveys from new course to those in the traditional course. Using student surveys and assignments additional preliminary improvements were seen in student’s ability to identify the need of another engineer/engineering profession to complete a portion of a project and understanding of other majors.
Major Advisor: Donald Heer
Committee: Jennifer Parham-Mocello
Committee: Nordica MacCarty
GCR: Oksana Ostroverkhova
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 2:00pm to 4:00pmVirtual Event