Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2001 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition

First Page


Last Page


Conference Title

2001 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Conference Date

June 24-27, 2001


Albuquerque, NM


The Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) has created a successful learning community for incoming ABE students. In this paper, we provide an overview of our learning community structure and describe the collaboration between the departments of ABE and English that has fostered a cross-disciplinary initiative that includes students writing papers relating to agriculture and engineering in composition and using newly learned technical writing skills for report writing in engineering graphics and design and engineering problem solving. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to assess the ABE Learning Community. Results are reported, including survey data which reveals that on average, students agreed or strongly agreed that they developed or enhanced their team skills through collaborative assignments in their learning community classes, and on average, students agreed or strongly agreed that they are excited to be a part of the field of engineering and technology. Focus group data are also reported.


This proceeding is published as Harms, Patricia C., Steven K. Mickelson, and Thomas J. Brumm. "Using learning community course links to bring meaning to the first-year engineering curriculum." 2001 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Albuquerque, NM. June 24-27, 2001. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Society for Engineering Education



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