Engineering faculty awarded funding to transform courses in engineering technology and computer science

sstep2017As part of Wayne State University’s ongoing efforts to incorporate innovative teaching methods in STEM courses, two faculty teams from the College of Engineering were recently awarded funding from the university’s “Student Success Through Evidence-based Pedagogies (SSTEP)” program to transform classes in the engineering technology and computer science departments.

Emmanuel Ssemakula, Ana Djuric and Mohsen Ayoobi have developed a project called ALERT (Active Learning in Engineering Technology) to improve student success rates and nurture interest in targeted courses including statics, dynamics and thermodynamics. The project calls for the implementation of various techniques such as in-class experiments and having students as teachers. Departmental seminars and workshops will showcase the impact of adopting active learning.

Another project led by Daniel Grosu and Alexander Kotov will reform CSC 2200 – Computer Science II, a required foundational course for computer science majors and the gateway to all the higher level courses for computer science and information systems technology students. The team plans to introduce several evidence-based practices to transform the class into a student-centered learning environment.

The two projects received a combined $130,548 from the SSTEP committee led by Andrew Feig, associate dean of the Graduate School and principal investigator on the five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Both teams will also benefit from the support of the university’s Office of Teaching and Learning, which provides assistance with and assessment of content and facilitates interaction between SSTEP teams to share best practices.

The SSTEP program continues work begun with the WSU NSF-WIDER grant, a two-year self-study of teaching practices and an exploration of the opportunities and barriers toward the implementation of interactive, student-centered pedagogies on campus.