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NMSU engineers present data-driven educational interventions

New Mexico State University College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi and Senior Data Analyst Sashidhar Chintalapati organized and led at two panel discussions in June. The panels were based upon their investigations on data-driven interventions employed by the College of Engineering at that have revealed positive impacts on student success.

Their studies, along with Gabe Garcia, associate dean of experiential learning, yielded data supporting the use of several strategies that improve student performance and retention: instructor changes in transition and key courses, course sequencing changes and the establishment of learning communities and leadership training. The effectiveness of these strategies was measured with D/W/F grades. Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of online initiatives and provided an opportunity to design them for Teaching/Learning success.

Reddi and Chintalapati organized a panel and led a discussion on “Usage of Data-Informed Online Technologies for Teaching/Learning Success” among panelists at the Experiment@ International Conference ‘23 (expat’23) hosted by the University of Évora in Évora, Portugal. The panel included experts from five U.S. universities who shared their own rich experiences in enhancing Teaching/Learning success. Among the panelists was Dr. Sherry Kollmann, NMSU associate vice chancellor of digital learning.

Expat’23 joins engineers, researchers and professionals from different areas with the goal to extend world capabilities and to develop collaborative work in immersive technologies needed to meet the demands of Industry 4.0/5.0, denoting the fourth industrial revolution.

Reddi and Chintalapati also organized and participated on a second panel discussion, “Integrating Non-Cognitive (soft) Skills in Engineering Education,” presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD. The discussion elicited an exchange of best practices in providing effective interpersonal and intrapersonal skills to engineering students.

Chintalapati and Reddi based their presentation on a study conducted with Dr. Rachel Boren, NMSU director of evaluation and effectiveness, on the effectiveness of the Seidel Engineering Leadership Institute, which integrates cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Now in its fourth year, the two-year program takes small cohorts of students through a series of hands-on opportunities to learn about, practice and apply leadership skills outside of the classroom. 

Presentations on this research at the 2022 World Engineering Education Forum and Global Engineering Deans Council conference in Cape Town, South Africa, this past fall attracted interest of other attendees. As a result, Reddi and Chintalapati were invited to develop panels for these two conferences.