Design of a professional practice simulator for educating and motivating first-year engineering students

Naomi C. Chesler, Golnaz Arastoopour, Cynthia M. D'angelo, Elizabeth A. Bagley, David Williamson Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Increasingly, first-year engineering curricula incorporate design projects. However, the faculty and staff effort and physical resources required for the number of students enrolled can be daunting and affect the quality of instruction. To reduce these costs, ensure a high quality educational experience, and reduce variability in student outcomes that occur with individual design projects, we developed a simulation of engineering professional practice, NephroTex, in which teams of students are guided through multiple design-build-test cycles by a mentor in a virtual internship. Here we report on the design process for the virtual internship and results of testing with first-year engineering students at a large, public university. Our results demonstrate that the novel virtual internship successfully educated and motivated first-year-engineering students. Importantly, the virtual environment captures rich discourse that can be used to assess the process of student learning with tools from existing learning theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Engineering Education
Volume3
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 29 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Engineering education
  • Epistemic frame
  • Learning sciences
  • Virtual internship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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