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Title: The honeycomb of engineering framework: Philosophy of engineering guiding precollege engineering education
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Engineering Education
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
19 to 39
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Community college engineering transfer programs prepare a significant fraction of the graduates from university engineering programs, yet face challenges from a fragmented lower division engineering core curriculum, limited scheduling options for students, and sometimes marginal enrollment patterns. In addition, most small college programs are run by one permanent faculty, making it difficult to provide lower-division engineering courses with the breadth and frequency needed for effective and timely transfer preparation. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program (NSF IUSE), three community colleges from Northern California collaborated to increase the availability and accessibility of the engineering curriculum by developing resources and teaching strategies to enable small-to-medium community college engineering programs to support a comprehensive set of lower-division engineering courses. These courses can be delivered either completely online, or with limited face-to-face interactions. This paper presents the development and testing of the teaching and learning resources for an online Engineering Circuits Laboratory class, a one-unit laboratory course offered alongside the circuit theory course, which is already available in an online format. The class materials cover the use of basic instrumentation (DMM, Oscilloscope), analysis and interpretation of experimental data, circuit simulation, use of MATLAB to solve circuit equationsmore »in the real and complex domain, and exposure to the Arduino microcontroller. A systems approach to selected topics is also introduced as a way to contextualize student exposure to the material. The paper presents the results of the pilot and a second implementation of the curriculum, as well as a comparison of the outcomes of the online course with those from a regular, face-to-face course. Additionally, student surveys and interviews are used to determine student perceptions of the course resources, student use of these resources, and overall satisfaction with the course.« less