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Konak A.,Penn State Berks | Kulturel-Konak S.,Penn State Berks | Kremer G.E.O.,Pennsylvania State University | Esparragoza I.E.,Penn State Brandywine
Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE | Year: 2015

The complex and multidisciplinary nature of today's engineering problems demands that new graduates excel in not only technical knowledge but also teamwork skills. In fact, the lack of effective teamwork has been identified among the most important factors contributing to the high failure rate of complex engineering projects. In this paper, we focus on engineering students' attitudes toward teamwork, their self-efficacy and interest in teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities. Self-efficacy in a domain is an important construct that can predict whether or not someone is willing to undertake a challenge in that domain. Research suggests that the sufficient level of self-efficacy can encourage personal growth and skill development. The relevant research also points out that interest is a construct that can predict students' professional development in a domain. For example, as someone becomes an expert in a domain, his/her interest in the domain becomes individual, which means there is a long-term personal connection resulting in further exploration of the domain. In this paper, we postulate that the development of students in teamwork knowledge, skills and abilities can be tracked by the progress in their teamwork interest. In addition, we argue that interest development should be measured as a part of the assessment efforts to evaluate the professional skills development of students. We have developed and validated an instrument to measure teamwork efficacy and interest. The instrument was used to collect data in a geographically distributed university. The collected data were analyzed to identify the factors affecting students' attitudes toward interest and self-efficacy in teamwork as well as their relationships. The preliminary results indicated that students had a high level of self-efficacy and a low level of interest, which makes it challenging to improve students' teamwork skills. © 2015 IEEE.


Povelones M.L.,Penn State Brandywine
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology | Year: 2014

The mitochondrial genome of kinetoplastids, called kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) is a complex structure that must be faithfully duplicated exactly once per cell cycle. Despite many years of thorough investigation into the kDNA replication mechanism, many of the molecular details of the later stages of the process, particularly kDNA division and segregation, remain mysterious. In addition, perturbation of several cellular activities, some only indirectly related to kDNA, can lead to asymmetric kDNA division and other segregation defects. This review will examine unifying features and possible explanations for these phenotypes in the context of current models for kDNA division and segregation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kulturel-Konak S.,Penn State Berks | Konak A.,Penn State Berks | Kremer G.E.O.,Pennsylvania State University | Esparragoza I.,Penn State Brandywine | Yoder G.,Penn State Berks
IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014 | Year: 2014

Professional skills expected from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students are well-aligned with the broad learning outcomes defined by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). While acquisition of professional skills in our graduates is increasingly crucial due to global competition and intensifying pressures on companies, the absence of a robust assessment framework limits effectiveness of pedagogical efforts by faculty. Thus, there is a need for an assessment model, which can help assess students' professional skill development across multiple disciplines. In this paper, we introduce a web-based application, called Peer Evaluation and Assessment Resource (PEAR), to assist in assessing students' development in professional skills, and we illustrate how this tool can be used for teamwork assessment. PEAR intends to streamline the processes of peer evaluations. PEAR has been designed based on the theory of Model of Domain Learning (MDL), and thus can help explain the complex interactions among knowledge, interest level, and strategies with which knowledge is gained. We illustrate the workflow of PEAR and how MDL is integrated into the peer assessment process. We also discuss the advantages of the MDL-based assessment framework compared to a traditional assessment model.


Imler G.H.,Temple University | Lu Z.,University of Pennsylvania | Kistler K.A.,Penn State Brandywine | Carroll P.J.,University of Pennsylvania | And 2 more authors.
Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2012

Palladium and platinum metal complexes of 2,5-bis(α-pyridyl)- pyrrolate (PDP) are reported and characterized by spectroscopic methods, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and elemental analysis. The single-crystal X-ray structures of these complexes exhibit structural features indicative of significant φ-backbonding. To illustrate the effect, bond lengths are statistically compared to unmetalated PDP and to a previously reported Zn(II) complex that exhibits no backbonding. Density functional theory calculations are used to aid understanding of the electronic structural basis of the observed phenomena. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


De Rosa M.,Penn State Brandywine | Canudas N.,Simon Bolivar University of Venezuela | Arnold D.,Penn State Brandywine | Yennawar H.,Pennsylvania State University
Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2013

The chlorotropy observed by NMR in this study occurred by the rapid intermolecular transfer of a chloro group between 1-chlorobenzimidazole and benzimidazole in CCl4/CH3OH/K2CO3 solution. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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