Authentic Engineering Experiences for First-Year Engineering Students: Intentional Design and Assessment for Learning - Seminar

Event Date: October 20, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Heidi Diefes-Dux
Speaker Affiliation: School of Engineering Education, Purdue University
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Forney Hall, G124
Contact Name: Dr. Demetra Evangelou
Contact Phone: 494-4158
Contact Email:

Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) were first implemented ten years ago to provide first-year engineering students with authentic problem-solving experiences. These open-ended, user-driven, authentic problems, their implementation, and their assessment comprise an instructional system that is a manifestation of the models and modeling perspective.  Research-informed revisions to the MEA instructional system have steadily increased the learning potential of MEAs.  

As a result, MEAs have moved from being a course add-on to being an integrated and integral component of Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program course sequence, where they not only support early development of the abilities and skills required by ABET but also support the Purdue Engineering of 2020 program outcomes.

The principles for MEA design and the MEA classroom implementation strategies employed seek to exploit the inherent complexity and nature of engineering problems to expose students’ thinking and conceptual understandings while promoting both learning across a wide a variety of learning objectives and the attainment of engineering “habits-of-mind”.  In this seminar, the research-informed evolution of MEAs in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program will be highlighted along with future research directions.