Adaption of the Clinical Correlation Instructional Model for 2nd Year Engineering Science Courses

Alan J. Levy, Weilin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A study is described in which the clinical correlation/integration instructional model, currently employed by Medical Schools, is adapted for the 2nd year engineering science course Mechanics of Solids. The model consists of integrating into basic applied science courses (typically taught by researchers) a number of clinical correlation lectures (taught by guest clinicians/ practitioners) which illuminate the scientific principles. The idea is that this will: (i) increase student interest (which is largely in the "clinical" application and not in the theory), (ii) increase student motivation, (iii) enable students to differentiate between professional career paths, (iv) provide relevance by showing how course material can be used in practice, (v) increase student self-efficacyby providing a diversity of role models who are practitioners and not researchers. Five clinical correlation lectures were taught by dynamic, experienced, practicing engineering "clinicians" who formed a diverse mixacross gender, age, and race/ethnicity. Theseindividuals, all employedinindustry, were selected from the ranks of Department Advisory Board members and alumni. The program also contained a modest mentorship component although this is not discussed here. An evaluation program, which provides gender specific results, assessed aspects of student attitudes towards the program and their perceptions of engineering. The results overwhelmingly demonstrated (i) intense interest in the program and (ii) increased motivationinthe desireto become engineers. An increased understanding of career paths (differentiation) was also clearly demonstrated. Student understanding of their profession (relevance) increased and student comments on role model clearly indicated the positive effects of the program. Overall course performance improved as well, as indicated by a near halving of the drop and failing rates. The 1 year study clearly demonstrates the enormous potential of the model to positively impact engineering students in the critical 2nd year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1154
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Engineering science curriculum enrichment
  • Guest lecturers
  • Industrial case studies
  • University-industry collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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