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Results of Exit Survey: Engr1 - Introduction to Mechanical Engineering (Fall 1999) D.L. Hitt Prepared: January, 2000
Background As most of you already know, Jay Sullivan and I developed a new curriculum for the Intro to Mechanical Engineering installment of Engr 1. This new approach was implemented this past fall with the new freshmen class (~100 or so students). Entitled “A Manufacturing Process-Based Introduction to Mechanical Engineering”, our goal was to introduce and expose the new students to the diversity of subdisciplines within mechanical engineering using a “learning vehicle” which was tangible to the student- the fabrication of a simple metal specimen of the type shown below.Two methods of fabrication (casting and CNC milling) were discussed and presented over the two 50-minute contact periods with each group of students.
Background (cont’d) Through the discussion of these two fabrication methods and associated video demonstrations, a variety of aspects of solid mechanics, thermo-fluid mechanics, and manufacturing ideas were able to be presented in context. It is important to assess the success of this approach in impacting the first-year students; the contact time, though very limited, remains of great importance in attracting and/or retaining students in the engineering program. In an attempt to assess our degree of success, a 10-question “exit survey” was developed and required of all students. Before continuing, however, you will probably find it useful to skim through the slide presentation for the two-class meetings. This can be found on the web under the “Course Notes” link which is given on the following page. This online presentation is an exact copy of the notes that were presented in class; these were supplemented by two short videotaped demonstrations of the casting and milling processes and a live demonstration of a MTS tension test for the two specimens which was performed in the Structures Laboratory during the second class meeting.
Background (cont’d) After looking at the course notes, you should read over the contents of exit survey, the link to which is also given below. Link for Course Notes: http://prometheus.emba.uvm.edu/engr1/index.html Link for Exit Survey http://motted.hawaii.edu/~quizuser/quizzes/darrenhitt/Engr1Survey.html On the pages to follow, graphs showing the tabulated responses are given for the seven of the ten questions which had quantitative replies.
#1: Entering into this semester, rate the overall probability of you choosing to pursue a major in Mechanical Engineering
#2 Rate the future impact of this two-class introduction to mechanical engineering on your decision-making about which major to pursue
#3. If your answer to the previous question was that our presentation will make an impact on your major decision, was it towards Mech. Engr or away from Mech. Engr? If there was no impact, select "Not Applicable"
#4. How did the material and descriptions in this class compare with your preconceived notions about Mechanical Engineering coming into this semester?
Compilation of Individual Responses The individual responses to Questions #5, 6 and 10 have been compiled in report form and can be viewed at the links below. #5. Summarize briefly what aspect(s) concerning Mechanical Engineering that you learned that you weren't aware of coming in to this class. Click Here for the Results #6. What was the single most interesting thing that you learned in this two-class presentation? Click Here for the Results #7. Please briefly describe any ideas that you might suggest to have improved your experience. What would you have liked to see or heard about? Click Here for the Results
Epilogue • The responses to this survey do provide some food for thought in terms of future planning for the content, goals and especially format/structure (the limited contact time) of Engr. It might be appropriate to discuss these results at a future department meeting. • The “grading” for the ME component was pass/fail: if the student took the online exit survey by the stated deadline, they received a PASS…otherwise they received a FAIL. Perhaps the most interesting (revealing?) statistic is that only 64 students out of the registered 99students took this online survey.