Published in Proceedings from the 1st International Conference on Research in Engineering Education: Honolulu, HI, June 22, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Chen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The goal of this work-in-progress is to improve student engagement and learning in courses that form the core of a discipline. Such gateway courses represent critical milestones in a student's academic career and have a strong influence on his or her attitude and future success in engineering. We contend that students who struggle in gateway courses do so because they are having difficulty with conceptual transformation, and this project aims to facilitate this change through the ideas advocated within Transformative Learning Theory. The essential elements of this project include the integration of information technologies, provision of rapid feedback to students and instructor, conceptual learning, and peer-assisted learning. This paper summarizes the theory, provides details of the project design, and describes preliminary results.