ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
June 22-26, 2020
Date of Presentation
Fulbright University Vietnam is Vietnam's first not-for-profit, independent university with a focus on liberal arts, sciences and engineering undergraduate programs. The curriculum is built on integration of these programs and incorporates active learning and experiential learning activities in courseware design. Experiential learning activities include student led research, examination of user centered design, and observational analysis of the environment. Active learning activities include think-pair-sharing, flipped classrooms, and sticky-note clustering. Complimentary to the active learning and experiential learning emphasis, the integration of engineering with liberal arts affords incorporation of concepts encompassing student-centric learning and allows community rather than content-based exploration of concepts. The interdisciplinary core of the first-year program introduces students to topics spanning the arts, humanities, engineering, and the social, natural, and computational sciences. The initial engineering focused course, Creating & Making, is focused on practicing skills in ideation, project scoping, project management, reporting, communicating, and other aspects of design methodology. The course content is community driven and while nucleated with concrete examples of course material from the instructors, allows the student body to explore and reflect upon the benefits and drawbacks of the provided examples and to organically investigate alternative approaches through their practice. In this approach, rather than outlining a discrete subset of material, the encompassed material is further refined with generational and cultural learning by the student community. Combining many aspects of pedagogical development in such a unique facility poses a challenge in breakdown and analysis of the effectiveness of these methodologies and learning environments. Granularity in perceived student valuation of concepts were investigated through application of a retrospective survey applied twice per term. The survey analyzed concepts related to active learning, course content and liberal arts and compared them to one another. The survey results are broken down to analyze which concepts the students found to be of most value in their learning, and to evaluate if there are discrepancies between previously reported challenges in acceptance of liberal arts or active learning concepts in relation to this community. Complementary to this analysis is reflective qualitative remarks from the student body in the form of individual comments submitted after course completion. Through analysis of results the refinement of the programming in this unique first year interdisciplinary program can be further data driven and hopefully lead to improved understanding of the intricacies of combined liberal arts-active learning-engineering environments.
Bruce, D. R.,
Exploring an active learning focus in a liberal arts engineering curriculum.
Paper presented at ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings in Virtual.