The Academic Enhancement Program: Evaluation of Expansion to the School of Engineering Science

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipients: Diana Cukierman, School of Computing Science, and Donna McGee Thompson, Student Learning Commons

Project team: Sheryl Guloy, Piper Jackson, Maggie Karpilovsky, and Farimah Salimi, research assistants

Timeframe: Spring 2012 to Spring 2013

Funding: $10,000

Final report: View the final project report (PDF).

From the final report: "Overall, the findings so far suggest that students have become aware that they can take control of their learning experience, as all of them have used or considered using self-regulation learning strategies (e.g., setting specific short-term goals or selecting strategies appropriate for the discipline) after AEP workshops (See Figure 1)." Figure 1 is found in the full report.  Read more >>

Poster presentation: View a poster (PDF) describing this project from the 2012 Symposium on Teaching and Learning.

Description: SFU's Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) is a collaboration between the School of Computing Science (CS) and the Student Learning Commons. Its goal is to help students succeed in their studies by incorporating workshops with content such as basic learning theory and self-reflection activities within their core first-year CS courses, and by providing additional resources.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) plans to introduce the AEP to the School of Engineering Science (ENSC) to support student retention initiatives within the school. The present Larger Teaching and Learning Development Grant project is being undertaken at the invitation of FAS and ENSC in order to evaluate the new implementation and ensure a successful expansion of the AEP.

This project will build on previous work partially funded by SFU's Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines that allowed us to identify the learning outcomes of one AEP workshop (AEP 101) and develop survey instruments in alignment with those learning outcomes. Data collected from these surveys provided evidence regarding the positive impact and student appreciation of the program. We are now proposing to extend and further develop this methodology to assess the expansion to engineering.

Questions addressed:

  • As we are planning to expand the Academic Enhancement Program to SFU's School of Engineering Science, how effectively does the program support student learning within the school?
  • Based on the outcomes of this inquiry, how could the AEP be improved?

Knowledge sharing:

Cukierman, D. (2015). Predicting success in university first year computing science courses: The role of student participation in reflective learning activities and in I-clicker activities. Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (pp. 248-253), Vilnius, LT.

Cukierman, D., & McGee-Thompson, D. (2012, May). The academic enhancement program: Evaluation of expansion to the school of engineering. Poster session presented at the Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Leading Change @SFU, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Cukierman, D., McGee Thompson, D., Guloy, S., & Salimi, F. (2014, May). Challenging first-year computing science and engineering students' ideas about learning. Workshop presented at the Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Provocative Pedagogy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Cukierman, D., McGee Thompson, D., Guloy, S., Salimi, F., & Karpilovsky, M. (2014). Addressing challenges students face in first-year university computing science and engineering science courses: Overview of a needs assessment and workshop. Proceedings of the 19th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Science Education (WCCCE 2014) (pp. 4-5), Richmond, BC.  

Guloy, S., Salimi, F., Cukierman, D., McGee-Thompson, D., & Karpilovsky, M. (2014, August). What kind of learning? Exploring faculty and student perspectives on learning strategies and attitudes in engineering and computer science. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI 2014) Conference, Leuven, BE.