A peer-led team learning program for freshmen engineering students: Impact on retention

Pilar Pazos*, Denise Drane, Gregory Light, Annette Munkeby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper evaluates an innovative instructional approach based on peer-led team learning available to freshman students in the Engineering School at an R1 university in the Midwest. The paper builds on results of a previous study which found a positive impact of the program on grades, an effect that was particularly significant for women. In an attempt to go one step further in evaluating the program's impact on academic success, we assessed the impact on student retention in a four course engineering sequence. The Workshop Program itself consists of small, diverse groups of students meeting weekly to tackle conceptually-based, challenging problems related to their classes. The program aims to promote conceptual learning and high academic achievement using a collaborative environment and is optional and complementary to the lecture classes. Retention was evaluated based on completion of a 4-course required sequence that is a core component of the engineering curriculum. Logistic regression analysis was conducted using incoming math SAT to control for pre-existing differences in students academic ability. Results indicate that students in the workshop have a significantly higher probability of completing the four-course sequence. Findings indicate that a workshop program using undergraduate leaders is an appropriate model for increasing students' academic success in freshmen undergraduate engineering courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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