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  1. Chemical engineers frequently contribute to the advancement of the medical field; however, such applications are often not covered in the undergraduate curriculum until third- or fourth-year electives. We propose implementing a hands-on learning tool in an elective third- and fourth-year course and core third-year separations class to help undergraduate students apply chemical engineering concepts to biomedical applications. The hands-on learning tool of interest is used to introduce students to blood separation principles through a microbead settling device. See-through columns are filled with fluid and microbeads at various ratios to model the effect of hematocrit, or red blood cell fraction, on cell settling velocities and separation efficiencies. We hypothesize that the use of a biomedical hands-on learning tool will result in motivational and conceptual gains in comparison to traditional lecture and have significant effects on underrepresented minority groups in the class. Pre- and posttests will be used to assess conceptual understanding of separations principles with respect to biomedical applications across hands-on and lecture groups. Additionally, motivational surveys will be used to gauge levels of interactivity between the two groups, relating to the ICAP hypothesis. We plan to conclude the paper submission and presentation with theoretical and practical implications of our findingsmore »from Spring 2022 implementations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  2. The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce contributes to the U.S. economy by supporting 67% of jobs and 69% of the gross domestic product [1]. Currently, there is an increased demand for engineering and computer science (E/CS) professionals, particularly those from underrepresented (e.g., gender, racial, ethnic) and underserved (socio-economic, geographically isolated) groups who bring diversity of thought and experience to the national E/CS workforce [2]. Correspondingly, educational institutions are called upon to develop capabilities to attract, engage, and retain students from these diverse backgrounds in E/CS programs of study. To encourage and enable diverse students to opt into and persist within E/CS programs of study, there is a critical need to engage students in supportive and enriching opportunities from which to learn and grow. The importance of student engagement for promoting student growth and development has been researched to such an extent that its utility is widely agreed upon [5]. Importantly, it has been shown that both academic and extracurricular aspects of a student’s learning processes are characterized by engagement [6]. High Impact Educational Practices (HIP) provide useful opportunities for deep student engagement and, thus, positively influence student retention and persistence [4]. Kuh [3] identified eleven curricular and extracurricularmore »HIP (i.e., collaborative assignments and projects, common intellectual experiences, eportfolios, first year seminars and experiences, global learning and study abroad, internships, learning communities, senior culminating experiences, service and community-based learning, undergraduate research, and writing intensive courses). In computer science and engineering education fields, however, the extent to which HIP affects persistence and retention has not been fully investigated. This project aims to examine E/CS undergraduate student engagement in HIP and to understand the factors that contribute to positive engagement experiences.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  3. Hands-on experiments using the Low-Cost Desktop Learning Modules (LCDLMs) have been implemented in dozens of classrooms to supplement student learning of heat transfer and fluid mechanics concepts with students of varying prior knowledge. The prior knowledge of students who encounter these LCDLMs in the classroom may impact the degree to which students learn from these interactive pedagogies. This paper reports on the differences in student cognitive learning between groups with low and high prior knowledge of the concepts that are tested. Student conceptual test results for venturi, hydraulic loss, and double pipe heat exchanger LCDLMs are analyzed by grouping the student data into two bins based on pre-test score, one for students scoring below 50% and another for those scoring above and comparing the improvement from pretest to posttest between the two groups. The analysis includes data from all implementations of each LCDLM for the 2020-2021 school year. Results from each of the three LCDLMs were analyzed separately to compare student performance on different fluid mechanics or heat exchanger concepts. Then, the overall pre- and posttest scores for all three LCDLMs were analyzed to examine how this interactive pedagogy impacts cognitive gains. Results showed statistically significant differences in improvement betweenmore »low prior knowledge groups and high prior knowledge groups. Additional findings showed statistically significant results suggesting that the gaps in performance between low prior knowledge and high prior knowledge groups on pre-tests for the LCDLMs were decreased on the posttest. Findings showed that students with lower prior knowledge show a greater overall improvement in cognitive gains than those with higher prior knowledge on all three low-cost desktop learning modules.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  4. Our team has developed Low-Cost Desktop Learning Modules (LCDLMS) as tools to study transport phenomena aimed at providing hands-on learning experiences. With an implementation design embedded in the community of inquiry framework, we disseminate units to professors across the country and train them on how to facilitate teacher presence in the classroom with the LC-DLMs. Professors are briefed on how create a homogenous learning environment for students based on best-practices using the LC-DLMs. By collecting student cognitive gain data using pre/posttests before and after students encounter the LC-DLMs, we aim to isolate the variable of the professor on the implementation with LC-DLMs. Because of the onset of COVID-19, we have modalities for both hands-on and virtual implementation data. An ANOVA whereby modality was grouped and professor effect was the independent variable had significance on the score difference in pre/posttest scores (p<0.0001) and on posttest score only (p=0.0004). When we divide out modality between hands-on and virtual, an ANOVA with an F- test using modality as the independent variable and professor effect as the nesting variable also show significance on the score difference between pre and posttests (p-value=0.0236 for hands- on, and p-value=0.0004 for virtual) and on the posttest score onlymore »(p-value=0.0314 for hands-on, and p-value<0.0001 for virtual). These results indicate that in all modalities professor had an effect on student cognitive gains with respect to differences in pre/posttest score and posttest score only. Future will focus on qualitative analysis of features of classrooms yield high cognitive gains in undergraduate engineering students.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 3, 2023
  6. As this NSF LCDLM dissemination, development, and assessment project matures going into our fourth year of support we are moving forward in parallel on several fronts. We are developing and testing an injection-molded shell-and-tube heat exchanger for heat transfer concepts, an evaporative cooler to expand to another industrial-based heat exchange system, and a bead separation module to demonstrate principles of fluid mechanics in blood cell separations applications. We are also comparing experimental data for our miniaturized hydraulic loss and venturi meter LCDLMs to predicted values based on standard industrial correlations. As we develop these new learning components, we are assessing differential gains based on gender and ethnicity, as well as how students learn with existing LCDLMs in a virtual mode with online videos compared to an in-person hands-on mode of instruction.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  7. Student engagement, especially among Engineering and Computer science majors (E/CS), has been a priority for researchers. Although considerable efforts have been made to improve college students' engagement and interest, underrepresented minority groups and first-generation students are still at risk of dropping out of engineering majors due to lack of inclusiveness, motivation, and other related factors. According to Kuh (2008), student participation in High-Impact Educational Practices (HIEP) is correlated with student outcomes such as persistence, performance, achievement, and intent to complete their current major. The present study reviews the existing National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, 2012, 2017) data from two western land-grant universities to fully capture participation through the survey of first-year students and seniors (N = 674). The HIEP considered include service-learning, learning communities, research with faculty, internship or field experience, study abroad, and culminating senior experience. These practices are designed to encourage meaningful interactions between faculty and students, foster collaboration with students within different demographics groups, and facilitate learning outside the classroom. Insights were gleaned from how the students interacted with HIEP based on special characteristics such as sex, race, age, enrollment status, and residence. The purpose of the present study is to examine the extent to whichmore »E/CS students participate in HIEP and its effects on student outcomes. This study also offers comparisons or possible relationships between student demographics, student success, and HIEP involvement. For example, the participation rates of HIEP on different engineering and computer science majors, including civil, chemical, electrical, mechanical, and materials engineering, etc., are analyzed to examine the practices that work for a particular E/CS major. The present study reports findings from NSSE 2012 and 2017 surveys. Results show that among the E/CS seniors, service-learning, learning community, and study abroad program are the HIEP with the lowest participation rate with 41% (service-learning), 59% (learning community), and 68% (study abroad program), indicating that they do not plan to engage in these practices in their senior year. Conversely, internships and culminating senior experiences had the most participation among E/CS seniors with 52% (internships) and 68% (culminating senior experiences. Interestingly, first-year students showed a significant interest to participate in the following HIEP: internships, study abroad programs, and culminating senior experiences – with 76% (internships), 47% (study abroad program), and 68% (culminating senior experiences) indicating plans to engage in these practices. Finally, findings show that participation or engagement in HIEP is a significant predictor of student learning outcomes. Findings of this review may serve as a guide for future research in E/CS student participation in HIEP. The paper concludes with theoretical and practical implications of the findings on student engagement and learning. Key words: NSSE, high impact educational practices, Engagement« less
  8. Over the years, researchers have found that student engagement facilitates desired academic success outcomes for college undergraduate students. Much research on student engagement has focused on academic tasks and classroom context. High impact engagement practices (HIEP) have been shown to be effective for undergraduate student academic success. However, less is known about the effects of HIEP specifically on engineering and computer science (E/CS) student outcomes. Given the high attrition rates for E/CS students, student involvement in HIEP could be effective in improving student outcomes for E/CS students, including those from various underrepresented groups. More generally, student participation in specific HIEP activities has been shown to shape their everyday experiences in school, both academically and socially. Hence, the primary goal of this study is to examine the factors that predict academic success in E/CS using multiple regression analysis. Specifically, this study seeks to understand the effects of high impact engagement practices (HIEP), coursework enjoyability, confidence at completing a degree on academic success of the underrepresented and nontraditional E/CS students. We used exploratory factor analyses to derive “academic success” variable from five items that sought to measure how students persevere to attain academic goals. A secondary goal of the present study ismore »to address the gap in research literature concerning how participation in HIEP affects student persistence and success in E/CS degree programs. Our research team developed and administered an online survey to investigate and identify factors that affect participation in HIEP among underrepresented and nontraditional E/CS students. Respondents (N = 531) were students enrolled in two land grant universities in the Western U.S. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the proportion of the variation in the dependent variable (academic success) explained by the independent variables (i.e., high impact engagement practice (HIEP), coursework enjoyability, and confidence at completing a degree). We hypothesized that (1) high impact engagement practices will predict academic success; (2) coursework enjoyability will predict academic success; and (3) confidence at completing a degree will predict academic success. Results showed that the multiple regression model statistically predicted academic success , F(3, 270) = 33.064, p = .001, adjusted R2 = .27. This results indicate that there is a linear relationship in the population and the multiple regression model is a good fit for the data. Further, findings show that confidence at completing a degree is significantly predictive of academic success. In addition, coursework enjoyability is a strong predictor of academic success. Specifically, the result shows that an increase in high impact engagement activity is associated with an increase in students’ academic success. In sum, these findings suggest that student participation in High Impact Engagement Practices might improve academic success and course retention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.« less
  9. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic necessitated the transition of courses across the United States from in-person to a virtual format. Effective delivery of traditional, lecture-based courses in an online setting can be difficult and determining how to best implement hands-on pedagogies in a virtual format is even more challenging. Interactive pedagogies such as hands-on learning tools, however, have proven to significantly enhance student conceptual understanding and motivation; therefore, it is worthwhile to adapt these activities for virtual instruction. Our team previously developed a number of hands-on learning tools called Low-Cost Desktop Learning Modules (LCDLMs) that demonstrate fluid mechanics and heat transfer concepts—traditionally utilized by student groups in a classroom setting, where they perform qualitative and quantitative experiments and interactively discuss conceptual items. In this paper we examined the transition of the LCDLM hands-on pedagogy to an entirely virtual format, focusing on a subset of results with greater detail to be shown at the ASEE conference as we analyze additional data. To aid the virtual implementations, we created a number of engaging videos under two major categories: (1) demonstrations of each LCDLM showing live data collection activities and (2) short, animated, narrated videos focused on specific concepts related to learning objectives. Inmore »this paper we present preliminary results from pre- and post- implementation conceptual assessments for the hydraulic loss module and motivational surveys completed for virtual implementations of LCDLMs and compare them with a subset of results collected during hands-on implementations in previous years. Significant differences in conceptual understanding or motivation between hands-on and virtual implementations are discussed. This paper provides useful, data-driven guidance for those seeking to switch hands-on pedagogies to a virtual format« less