A framework for interpreting students' perceptions of an integrated curriculum

Ann McKenna, Flora McMartin, Youki Terada, Vanravi Sirivedhin, Alice Agogino

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Undergraduate engineering reform efforts to better integrate math, science and engineering courses have recently been conducted at the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1998, faculty from the mathematics, physics, and engineering departments at Berkeley have collaborated to restructure first year and lower division courses. Several changes were made to specific courses to improve students' integrative understanding of calculus and the physical sciences, and to emphasize applications to engineering. Various data have been collected to investigate the impact the reforms had on student learning, as well as to gain insight into students' experiences during their undergraduate engineering career. Interviews were conducted with engineering students and faculty to garner feedback about integration efforts and students perceptions of the curriculum. This paper describes the interview project and outlines the interpretive framework we established for the analysis of the interview data. Initial analysis suggests that students have difficulty understanding lower division math and physics courses because of the following reasons; 1) the pedagogical approach is inadequate for properly integrating and reinforcing the material, and 2) student perceptions and beliefs about the disciplines conflict with the goals of integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-358
Number of pages14
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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