Overview of Thursday Opening Workshops


The Program begins Thursday morning with a series of highly interactive Workshop sessions - each topic area featured was selected for their timeliness and value related to topics in engineering education. The purpose of the workshops are to describe the main focus areas that most attendees are connected with in their present position. The sessions will allow people to meet others that work in their area and share common discussion topics.

The workshops will provide concentrated professional development and the range of topics offers opportunities for everyone from new faculty and staff members to the most experienced educators to expand their skills and knowledge. A list of the scheduled workshops is given below.

To download a copy of each workshop description see the Program schedule.


Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


Thursday, 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Thursday, 12:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Cancelled - Workshop 8 - Leveraging civic engagement opportunities to increase URM engineering students' science identity, belonging, and persistence: a workshop for faculty and advisors

Thursday, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


Thursday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Thursday Workshop Information

Workshop 1a: (Changed *) Thursday 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 
Developing ABET Confidence Workshop
Room: Salon Del Mar

James Warnock, Adjunct Director of Training and Instruction, ABET, jwarnock@abet.org
Dianna Vass, Manager, Professional Programs, ABET, dvass@abet.org

( Changed *) to : Nike tells you to “Just Do It”, BMW drivers have “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and ABET accredited programs can “Be Confident”. For prospective students and their parents, they can be confident that an ABET accredited program has sufficient faculty, and the necessary facilities and resources to provide a quality educational experience. For employers of graduates from ABET accredited programs, they are confident that their new hires will have the knowledge, skills and behaviors they desire for entry level employees. For ABET accredited program faculty, staff and administrators, they are confident that an efficient and effective process is in place to assess student education and continuously improve the program. 

This workshop is specifically designed to provide a brief outline for those new to program assessment of how to be confident that their processes and procedures are efficient and effective.  Participants will learn how to define their student outcomes so they can clearly articulate the skills and knowledge they expect students to attain as part of the program. Participants will also learn how and when to strategically collect data to optimize the assessment process. Finally, participants will learn different ways to “close the loop”.

Workshop 2: Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
Synthesizing Engineering Ethics and Communication Via Active Learning Exercises
Room: Salon del Mar

John Brocato, Mississippi State University, brocato@engr.msstate.edu

Enriching engineering courses and curricula with ethics- and communication-related content can be a challenge for even the most accomplished educators. While some institutions devote standalone courses to one or both of these subjects, others choose to infuse these subjects into existing technical courses, meaning the vehicles for such infusion must be portable and relatively simple. This workshop will discuss several best practices for engaging students in rich discussions of professional ethics and communication and will lead workshop participants through three brief, low-stakes, active-learning exercises: "The Propeller Car Letter: Writing to a Misguided Reader," "The Pendergrass Email: Choose Your Own Adventure!," and "Space Shuttle Challenger Document Analysis and Discussion." Although the workshop facilitator has devised and uses these exercises in a technical-communication course housed within a college of engineering, the exercises' portability and simplicity mean they can be easily imported into technical courses. Workshop participants will receive copies of all workshop materials, including the active-learning exercises, along with guidance on how to incorporate the materials into their own courses and curricula.

Workshop 3: Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 
The Freshman Experience: A modular Approach to Experiential Learning
Room: Conference 10

Afroditi Filippas, Virginia Commonwealth University, avfilippas@vcu.edu
Umar Hasni, Virginia Commonwealth University, hasniu@vcu.edu
Alen Docef, Virginia Commonwealth University, adocef@vcu.edu
Georgios Bakirtzis, Virginia Commonwealth University, bakirtzisg@vcu.edu
Angelica Sunga, Virginia Commonwealth University, ungaam4@vcu.edu
Hiba Nabi, Virginia Commonwealth University, nabih@vcu.edu
Arthur French, Virginia Commonwealth University, frenchaw@vcu.edu

We will train interested faculty in using our modular approach to the Introduction to Engineering course and demonstrate how it provides rigor and specific learning outcomes, while being appropriate not only for engineering freshmen but also for students from other disciplines who are interested in engineering or considering a change of major. The course provides rigorous and in-depth learning of important engineering fundamentals while clearly demonstrating the areas of interaction between all the engineering disciplines as well as the sciences and math. This is achieved through the implementation of simple but fun lab projects where students design and build working prototypes of simple machines.

Participants will be introduced to the challenges and benefits of putting engineering courses online (rampages.us/vcuengineering) and how MATLAB, LON_CAPA (a learning on-line network - loncapa.org) and an open-source electronics platform (Arduino) are used to supplement students' learning and mastery of fundamental concepts and engineering tools. Examples and training in the use of LON-CAPA to generate dynamic problem sets will be provided. One or two specific lab exercises with associated homework, lab work and innovative reporting modalities will be presented in detail. Participants will be able to experience the modal nature of these exercises, and see how they can use the specific resource or expand it by creating their own learning modules. We will also go through "Two weeks in the life of a 101 student", to present how the students are trained to stay in constant contact with the course through judiciously spaced homework and reporting exercises.

The purpose is to create a network of first-year instructors who prepare and share their learning modules, thus strengthening the first year experience for all as well as improving the pipeline into STEM through outreach to community colleges and high schools.

Workshop 4: Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 
TED-Ed Ideas Worth Sharing in Your Classroom
Room: Conference 8 + 9

Alicia Lane, District of Columbia Public Schools, Career and Technical Education, aliciaclane@gmail.com

In this workshop, Alicia Lane, TED-Ed Innovative Educator and Project Lead the Way State Leader for D.C., will expose participants to the vast and incredibly engaging TED-Ed community. This award-winning education platform serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week. Participants will learn how to curate, create and share TED-Ed's growing library of free original animated videos and interactive lessons. Alicia will also share how she has used TED videos and the TED-Ed platform to enhance her high school engineering lessons and camps. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets. A more detailed proposal can be viewed here: goo.gl/MrzEI1

Workshop 5: Thursday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Innovative Tools for Assessing Student Sustainability Knowledge
Room: Conference 8 + 9

Mary Katherine Watson, The Citadel, mwatson9@citadel.edu
Elise Barrella, James Madison University, barrelem@jmu.edu

A workshop will be conducted to introduce tools for assessing student sustainability knowledge. Given the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, this workshop is intended for faculty from across engineering disciplines. First, the need for sustainability assessment tools, with focus on ABET, will be presented. Next, concept maps will presented as a direct measure of students' conceptual understanding of sustainability. Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing knowledge that can be constructed by hand or using simple, free computer software. In this highly interactive portion of the workshop, participants will construct their own sustainability concept maps, as well as practice applying scoring methods. Given that scoring is the major barrier to application of concept maps in engineering education, an automated scoring program will be demonstrated and provided to participants. Finally, methods for assessing students' abilities to engage in sustainable design will be presented. Focus will be on a newly-revised, cross-disciplinary sustainable design rubric, which was developed specifically for student-level projects. The rubric is based on the Nine Principles of Sustainable Engineering, with additional criteria based on a systematic literature review and expert input. Participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the validity of the rubric, and they will be provided with documentation on how to apply the rubric in their own classes. Overall, participants will be provided with practical methods for assessing students' conceptual and applied understanding of sustainability in engineering contexts.

Workshop 6: Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 
A holistic workshop on flipped classes
Room: Conference 8 + 9

Autar Kaw, University of South Florida, kaw@usf.edu

When you complete this workshop, you will: 1) be prepared to teach an engineering course in flipped manner using evidence‐based best practices 2) know simple but effective technological tools to flip the classroom 3) be aware of the lessons learned by others in teaching a flipped classroom

With computers being affordable, smart phones becoming ubiquitous, and internet available at low cost, flipped classrooms are becoming more popular as a pedagogy in STEM classes. Flipped classrooms take the transmission of content from the classroom to home, and the assimilation of the content at home to the classroom.

In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the differences between traditional, blended and flipped classrooms, the tools and techniques used to teach a flipped classroom, the challenges and opportunities of teaching a flipped classroom, and the evidence or lack thereof of the effectiveness of flipped classrooms in higher education. The presenter has extensively taught blended, partially- and fully-flipped classes, and will also present the personal lessons learned in the process. Throughout the workshop, the audience will be engaged in developing an outline of how they would flip a classroom including student activities.

Cancelled - Workshop 8: Thursday 12:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Leveraging civic engagement opportunities to increase URM engineering students' science identity, belonging, and persistence: a workshop for faculty and adviso
Room: Conference 10

Pamela Leggett-Robinson, Georgia State University - Georgia Perimeter, pleggett1@gsu.edu
Brandi Villa, Belay Consulting LLC, brandi@belayconsulting.org
Naranja Davis, Georgia State University - Georgia Perimeter, ndavis41@gsu.edu

In this workshop, we propose to address the benefits and mechanisms of incorporating civic engagement opportunities into student support programs. We will present a literature-based overview and justification for inclusion of service opportunities in engineering programs. In particular, we will examine the effects of participating in volunteer opportunities that encourage students to draw upon their math and science expertise in ways that allow students to contribute to their communities. Furthermore, workshop participants will be exposed to the evidence for improved engagement and engineering identity as a result of these opportunities. Additionally, we will use case studies of student support programs that have integrated civic engagement to demonstrate the benefits to students and discuss challenges and successes of incorporating both compulsory and non-compulsory volunteer hours. Through active, facilitated discussion, we will explore the actual and potential civic engagement opportunities available to students of programs represented by workshop participants. Finally, as small groups, we will use the design thinking process to address the problem of incorporating and increasing service learning in these programs; faculty and advisors will exchange ideas about their programs and provide feedback to each other in this facilitated activity. Participants will leave the workshop with a valuable list of resources, an enhanced network, and a basic plan for integrating or improving civic engagement opportunities as part of the student experience at their institutions.

Workshop 9: Thursday, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 
How to improve engineering recruitment and retention
Room: Tropical

Paul Lin, Cleveland State University, p.lin@csuohio.edu

The United States accounts for less than 8% of new engineers globally each year. As of 2000, approximately 9% of high school students considering engineering as their future major in college. More specifically, only 4.5% of college students major in engineering, as compared to 12% in Europe and 40% in Asia. Furthermore, 50% of current engineers in US will retire by 2017. Clearly, shortage of engineers in US has become an emergent issue, which leads to a challenge in how to effectively recruit and retain engineering students. Recruitment and retention should not be treated as two separate issues. Without a sound strategy for improving retention rate, the effort of recruitment may be in vain. In comparison, improving retention is, indeed a more complex task, which has to do with student advising, student success, tutoring and first-year engineering programs.

The author's job responsibility is academic affairs at undergraduate and graduate levels, and would like to share some success in undergraduate recruitment, student advising and retention. Nevertheless, there are still challenges in many aspects of engineering recruitment and retention.

This proposed workshop intends to discuss the following issues:

  1. How to engage regional high school students earlier to let them know what engineering is all about; in other words, how to make engineering a more viable option as a field of study and career opportunity
  2. How to effectively recruit regional high school students to engineering
  3. How to effectively retain engineering students
  4. How to effectively use scholarships as a means to attract better students from high schools
  5. How much co-op and internship programs help recruit and retain students
  6. How to effectively recruit domestic and international graduate students

Workshop 10: Thursday, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 
Active Learning for Busy Skeptics
Room: Conference 8 + 9

Michael Prince, Bucknell University, prince@bucknell.edu

Active learning has consistently been shown to be more effective than traditional instruction for promoting learning, motivation and student retention in STEM programs. Despite this overwhelming research support, instructors have a number of significant concerns about adopting active learning techniques in their own classes. Common concerns include worries about preparation time, content coverage and student resistance to new teaching methods. This hands-on session is designed to introduce quick and simple active learning techniques that are effective, require little preparation or class time, and which generate little or no student resistance.

The workshop is relevant for all instructors, but especially those concerned with engaging and retaining students in STEM programs. The teaching practices discussed in the workshop have extensive research support and this research will be shared with participants as appropriate. But the focus of the workshop will be to provide several practical examples for how to translate the research on active learning to the engineering classroom. Instructors at all levels will be given time and coaching to develop active learning techniques that they can use in their own courses.

This workshop is part of ASEE's National Effective Teaching Institute, which has been offered to engineering audiences for over 20 years, with consistently positive reviews.

Workshop 12: Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 
Got an Education Project? How to Write Your Proposal for NSF and Where to Submit It
Room: Tropical

Elliot P. Douglas, National Science Foundation, EDOUGLAS@nsf.gov

Many faculty have ideas for new education projects but may not be sure of how to turn that idea into a fundable proposal. This interactive workshop will help engineering faculty understand the elements of a competitive proposal and get them started on preparing a proposal for submission. It will cover key elements of proposals, helpful hints and fatal flaws, and how the submission and review process works. This workshop will also describe current opportunities for funding of engineering education projects available through the National Science Foundation. NSF education programs span the range from foundational to scale-up research, and include opportunities for investigators new to educational research. There are also programs intended to support institutional change efforts.

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