REDESIGNING THE UBC FIRST YEAR INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING: SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES

Peter M. Ostafichuk, Carol P. Jaeger, Jon Nakane, Susan Nesbit, Naoko Ellis, Jim Sibley

Abstract


A new first year introduction to engineering experience was developed at the University of British Columbia. This paper provides an overview of the two new courses and the lessons learned both in developing and delivering the courses. Several key problematic areas in the previous curriculum were addressed, namely, to improve student connection with the engineering profession, increase design and practical engineering experiences, more effectively integrate sustainability into the curriculum, and better emphasize the human and social connection to engineering.
The courses operate in a flexible learning framework with a sequence of online, lecture, and studio components arranged in a whole-part-whole format delivered to a class of 850 students. Elements of numerous effective course design, teaching and learning practices, including integrated course design, constructive alignment, components of Team-Based Learning, classroom assessment techniques, peer evaluation, and peer grading were incorporated into these courses. Student feedback
through surveys has shown that the new format has been highly successful in addressing most of the key high-level goals, such as establishing a student connection to the engineering profession, helping students understand what engineers do and how they do it, and providing an introduction and appreciation for design, sustainability, decision-making, professionalism, and ethics..

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