Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Integration of a LITEE Case Study for a Freshman Level Mechanical Engineering Course at The University of Toledo
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to report the findings of the integration of a manufacturing case study to a freshman level mechanical engineering course at The University of Toledo. The approach to integrate this case study into the class was completed via weekly assignments analyzing the case, small group discussion, and weekly group discussion. The key findings from study demonstrate that the integration of the case study into this course improved the students attitudes towards engineering, higher-order cognitive learning, self-efficacy, ease of learning the subject matter, team working and communication skills. In addition, the retention rates in course improved by 4.5% and the final average grade improved by 3.3% over the previous year. The implications of these findings to educators are very positive. Based on student comments, the integration of the case study increased retention of the material and their satisfaction with the course and offered another mechanism for students to study and relate concepts of the course and understand its role in engineering and life. This, in turn, increased the students confidence in engineering and should help to improve graduation rates. One key contribution from this study demonstrates that the case study method can effectively be applied engineering courses with positive results.
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