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ENE Faculty candidate seminar

Event Date: February 14, 2008
Speaker: Stephanie Rivale
Speaker Affiliation: University of Texas-Austin
Time: 3:30-4:30
Location: ARMS B071
Contact Name: Alice Pawley
Contact Phone: 6-1209
Contact Email: apawley@purdue.edu
Open To: Faculty, graduate students, staff
Challenge Based Instruction in Biotransport Courses: Opportunities for Learning and Equity

My research program has two distinct but related strands. The first strand focuses on improving curricula for core content courses in engineering in ways that promote the development of adaptive expertise in students. The second strand focuses on how differences in curricula and teaching methods impact diversity and persistence. Traditional teaching methods in engineering education train students to efficiently solve routine, textbook-like problems but often fail to prepare students to use their knowledge flexibly in novel situations. Practicing engineers must constantly strengthen their knowledge base, become more efficient in applying this knowledge, and use both new and existing knowledge to solve novel and innovative problems. As part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center, my previous research has been conducted in a Challenge Based Instruction (CBI) Biotransport course that incorporates principles from How People Learn (HPL). This research has found that the CBI increases both efficiency and innovation dimensions of adaptive expertise and is equally effective for students of both genders. In this talk, I will address the theoretical contributions these studies have made to the construct of adaptive expertise, the positive learning results we have found in comparisons of CBI and traditional teaching methods, and how this curriculum effects students of under-represented groups.

Stephanie Rivale is a doctoral candidate in Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester and her MS in Chemical Engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder. Her main research interests are improving access and equity for women and students of color in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology and evaluating and improving student learning in college engineering classrooms in cooperation with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center.