Reinvigorating classroom engagement and performance in an advanced energy systems course

Ryan Falkenstein-Smith, Jeongmin Ahn, Ryan J. Milcarek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Today, the technology landscape is at a highly competitive playing field forcing companies to seek engineers who can provide the upper hand over others through innovative thinking. This study presents a Fuel Cell Science and Technology course focused on encouraging innovative thinking by adopting a T-shaped philosophy through the principles of incorporating greater perspectives, active learning environments, and practical lectures into the classroom. The course was offered for two years in which 67 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled. During that time, student performance and engagement was monitored using standard course evaluations, anonymous surveys, and classroom observations. Course evaluations and survey results found that all participating students were able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the course content. A discrepancy between undergraduate and graduate students’ survey responses were also observed, possibly suggesting a difference in student engagement based on student background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Advanced energy course
  • Innovative course curriculum
  • T-shape philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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