Development of a First-Year Engineering Course Classification Scheme

This study will result in a classification scheme for courses meant to introduce engineering to students in their first year of study in engineering.  The classification scheme is meant to be applicable to courses such as “Introduction to Engineering”, “Engineering 1”, etc.  Our intent is not to report on specific institutions or individuals, but rather to develop a classification scheme applicable to different institutions.

You have been invited to participate in this study given your interest in first-year engineering education.  . If you volunteer to participate, you are asked to complete three rounds of survey items featuring a series of open-ended questions via the Internet. The link to the initial round will be sent to participants in early December; the second is expected to be sent in mid-January and the third in early March.  Each round of the survey may require 20 or more minutes to complete. Following these Internet surveys, a workshop will be held at the First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) conference in Pittsburgh, PA, Aug 8-9, 2013. [Information on FYEE:]  Participants who participate in the workshop will be eligible for reimbursement of some travel and/or registration fees.  Faculty who do not respond to the survey by a certain date will automatically be sent a second link to the survey via email. You may choose whether or not you want to participate in this study and you may withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time. Whatever decision you make, there will be no penalty to you. Your completion and return of the survey questionnaire indicates your consent to participate in the study.

The classification scheme is expected to be of value to institutions as they evaluate transfer credit for students who may have credit for courses with similar names, but covering different content.  Further, it is expected to e valuable to faculty and institutions as they develop first-year curriculum, collaborate with colleagues and/or seek funding for innovations in the first year.  Participants should benefit from the opportunity to reflect on and investigate new innovations for instruction in the first year engineering curriculum.  Further, the opportunity to participate in a community with similar interests at the FYEE should prove valuable.

There could be survey items that you are uncomfortable answering or to which you would simply prefer not to respond. Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary, and you will be under no obligation whatsoever to answer any questions that you are not inclined to answer.

Please note that your responses will be used for research purposes only and will be strictly confidential. Completed survey information is on the password protected Qualtrics account of the investigator and will be accessible only to the researcher and research assistants.  Any information that is obtained in connection with this study and that can be identified with you will remain confidential and will be disclosed only with your permission or as required by law. Once the study has been completed, the identifiable records (hard copy and electronic copy) of faculty who have not given permission to retain their contact information for potential future follow-up research will be destroyed.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please contact Dr. Kenneth Reid at:College of Engineering
Ohio Northern University
525 S. Main St.
Ada, OH 45810
Phone:  419-772-2383

If you have questions about your rights while taking part in this study, or if you have concerns or suggestions and want to talk with someone other than the researcher about the study, please contact Dr. Eric Baumgartner, Dean of the College of Engineering, Ohio Northern University, at

NSF The researchers wish to acknowledge the support provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award No. DUE-1042030).