This paper presents a study on the academic engagement issues of the upper level engineering students in an HBCU (name of the university will be added later) and strategies implemented to overcome these issues using brain based learning principles as instructional delivery protocols. Although student engagement issues inside engineering classrooms have several components, we focus our attention in this paper mainly on two issues: the dis-engagement arising due to the lack of understanding of pre-requisites and insufficient mathematical skills of students reaching junior and senior engineering classes. A previous pilot study confirmed that a large fraction of students who reach junior and senior level classes require repeated review of pre-requisite concepts and need assistance in reviewing their basic and essential mathematical skills before they can successfully engage in their classes. To address these issues, an instructional delivery framework titled “Tailored Instructions and Engineered Delivery Using PROTOCOLs” (TIED-UP) has been designed and explored, where mandatory brain-based learning procedures were used along with a media rich online delivery strategy. This paper summarizes the efforts currently undertaken to develop this framework based on brain-based learning theories to address some of these issues. In this framework, each course concept is broken down to interconnected sub-concepts. Short conceptual videos that use a number of mandatory instructional protocols were developed for the instruction of each of these concept and sub-concept. The study shows that such an intervention has significantly increased students’ academic success as measured by grades and caused a substantial decline in their failure rate, when compared against a control group.
John Solomon, Vimal Viswanathan, Eric Hamilton, and Chitra Nayak. "Improving Student Engagement in Engineering Using Brain-Based Learning Principles as Instructional Delivery Protocols" ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition (2017).