Research Publications

Stanton, Ken, & Siller, Tom (2011).  A Pass/Fail Option for First-Semester Engineering Students: A Critical Evaluation, Paper presented at Frontiers in Education Conference, 2011, Rapid City, SD.

Stanton, Ken, & Lindsay, Euan (2011).  A Preliminary Motivational Evaluation of Milestone-Based Laboratory Assessment, Paper presented at Frontiers in Education Conference, 2011, Rapid City, SD.

Stanton, Ken (2011). Engineering Faculty Motivation for and Engagement in Formative Assessment. PhD Dissertation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. Retrieved from Virginia Tech Dissertations [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken, & Goff, Richard (2010).  Faculty’s Self-Determined Engagement as the Key to Advancing a Culture of Assessment, Paper presented at ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference, 2010, Blacksburg, VA. [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken (2009). Increasing Assessment Effectiveness in a Time of Decreasing Budgets,  Paper presented at Frontiers in Education Conference, 2009, San Antonio, TX. [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken (2008). Work in Progress: Enhancement of Problem Solving Techniques with Tablet PC-based Learning Technologies, Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008, Sarasota, NY. [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken, & Lai, Jai-Sheng (2006). Dynamic PEM Fuel Cell Model for Power Electronics Design with Temperature Consideration, submitted to IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Nov 2006. [Publication was not pursued further as I changed my studies to Engineering Education, but this is an improved version of the conference paper below.] [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken, & Lai, Jai-Sheng (2005). A Thermally Dependent Fuel Cell Model for Power Electronics Design, Paper presented at Fuel Cell Seminar 2004, San Antonio, TX & Power Electronics Specialists Conference, 2005, Recife, Brazil. [see abstract]

Stanton, Ken, Schenck, Mike, & Lai, Jai-Sheng (2004). Fuel Cell Converter/Inverter Interactions, Fuel Cell Seminar, 2004, San Antonio, TX. [see abstract]

Newspaper Articles

Stanton, Ken (2009, August 31). Banning laptops in the classroom not a solution.  Collegiate Times (Blacksburg, VA).

Stanton, Ken (2009, July 29). Getting things done: Organize, succeed. Collegiate Times (Blacksburg, VA).

Stanton, Ken (2009, July 8). Exploring solutions to procrastination. Collegiate Times (Blacksburg, VA).

Stanton, Ken (2009, June 17).  The ultimate question: So you think you can learn? Collegiate Times (Blacksburg, VA).







Engineering Faculty Motivation for and Engagement in Formative Assessment

The purposes of this study were to conduct an exploratory study of the status quo of engineering faculty motivation for and engagement in formative assessment, and to conduct a preliminary validation of a motivational model, based in self-determination theory, that explains relationships between these variables. To do so, a survey instrument was first developed and validated, in accordance with a process prescribed in the literature, that measured individual engineering faculty members’ motivational traits and engagement regarding formative assessment, as no such instrument existed. The survey asked engineering faculty about their satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs, degree of self-determined motivation experienced, and engagement, all relative to formative assessment of student learning.

Data from the final instrument were obtained from a stratified national sample of approximately 2,500 U.S. engineering faculty, attaining 223 responses, and was first evaluated for validity and reliability. The major validity check utilized was to review two examples of formative assessment that respondents provided and then discard data from invalid responses; over 70% of responses qualified as valid. Only responses with valid examples of formative assessment were used, indicating that the inferences drawn from this study only directly pertain to faculty who understand formative assessment, a subset of the U.S. engineering faculty population. The reliability of instrument constructs was evaluated through use of Cronbach’s Alpha, including removal of low-scoring survey items. Following, the remaining data were analyzed with descriptive statistics to evaluate trends and with linear regression to validate the motivational model.

Results show that, for the subset of engineering faculty studied, engagement in formative assessment is positive, motivation for it is self-determined and largely derives from faculty identifying its contribution to teaching and learning, and needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are moderately to highly satisfied. Further, from testing of the motivational model, it can be reasonably concluded that faculty engagement is significantly predicted by self-determined motivation, but the prediction of self-determined motivation by motivational needs has a caveat: the self-determined motivation of male engineering faculty was predicted by autonomy and relatedness, but by autonomy and competence for females.







Faculty’s Self-Determined Engagement as the Key to Advancing a Culture of Assessment

Faculty are under immense pressure today, asked to handle increasing enrollments, shrinking budgets, increased demands for research, and rising expectations of teaching quality, and balancing it with their personal lives. With the rising expectations of teaching quality lies assessment, a movement that is gaining momentum quickly. This movement has matured from an initial push via regulation to a more natural growth through autonomous creation of a culture of assessment. This paper explores the latest approach to integrating assessment into the educational culture by exploring the background of and progress towards cultures of assessment, the role of self-determination theory in autonomous growth, and the notion of self-determined engagement. The claim is that self-determined engagement in assessment tasks is an essential and overarching requirement to assimilate assessment into the culture of teaching and learning, thereby forming the desired culture of assessment within it.





Increasing Assessment Effectiveness in a Time of Decreasing Budgets

Challenged by the current economic downturn, engineering programs lack room in their budgets to increase efforts for improving assessment, yet still face pressures from accreditation and educational stakeholders to do so. This paper presents an innovative practice focused on promoting engineering-classroom assessment of student learning with efforts to overcome these challenges. The practice proposes a solution from three angles: establishment and use of lean assessment techniques, an implementation process that maximizes intrinsic motivation, and taking advantage of the efficiency of the assessment methodology. The idea of lean assessment is discussed, and a collection of techniques is presented which builds on previous work and offers novel methods for classroom assessment. Early results are discussed for assessment techniques currently in use, including an innovative feedback tool. Those seeking ways to improve teaching and learning through assessment will find effective tools as well as implications of ABET accreditation. Future work includes evaluation of the assessment techniques currently being piloted and research implications for integrating assessment into the culture of engineering education departments.





Work in Progress: Enhancement of Problem Solving Techniques with Tablet PC-based Learning Technologies

EC2000 criteria raised the bar for educating engineers in the traditional 4-year degree program, requiring more student learning outcomes and teaching in more innovative ways. A challenge of teaching more in the undergraduate program is that it’s hard to do so in the time available. After recognizing a deficiency in problem-solving skills, an initiative was developed which will use classroom technologies to improve the skills yet have minimal time requirements. The initiative will enhance small, currently-existing workshops for the first-semester engineering course, which are taught by GTAs. DyKnow’s interactive software used on tablet PCs will enhance problem-solving techniques as suggested in literature. Integration of these technologies and techniques will be implemented in spring of 2008 when there are fewer students, assessed via quantitative and qualitative methods, and finally revised before the next large student cohort arrives in fall of 2008. This paper will highlight the problem-solving techniques being enhanced, the technologies used and their implementation, assessment of the initiative, application of relevant literature, and future work.





Dynamic PEM Fuel Cell Model for Power Electronics Design with Temperature Consideration

A dynamic model of a PEM fuel cell is developed for power electronics simulation. The model accounts for static losses of activation, ohmic, and concentration regions, and dynamic transients due to charge double layer and compressor delay. In this paper, study was given to additional factors, including temperature, for their effects on the output voltage with respect to load on the fuel cell stack. Findings were analyzed and incorporated into the model based on testing with a Ballard Nexa 1.2 kW PEM fuel cell unit. The model is developed for PSPICE, then tested and compared to experimental data from the Ballard fuel cell system.





A Thermally Dependent Fuel Cell Model for Power Electronics Design

In the dawn of the fuel cell era, it may seem that their development and use would still be immature. However, this is not true – fuel cells are finding use in everything from cell phones to automobiles quite quickly. Regardless of their application, the fuel cell must be accurately modeled in the system it will be used in. Such a model must be simple, easy to use, and fast to simulate. Chemistry, material science, and physics must be transformed into electrical components and systems that work easily in programs like Pspice, Saber, Labview, and the like. Herein, such a model will be presented in its latest form, incorporating dynamic effects of heating and cooling of the stack.





Fuel Cell Converter/Inverter Interactions

This paper intends to serve as a guide for the interactions between the power conditioning system and the fuel cell. The three major factors determining proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power system dynamic performance, hydrationltemperature, compressor time constant, and bulk energy storage are analyzed. The notion of multiple fuel cell time constants is introduced and derived. The various operating points of a fuel cell, ripple current mitigation and energy balance are illustrated with experimental data. Individual time constant validation techniques are offered and different capacitor bulk storage strategies (including ultra capacitors) are analyzed. A complete single phase power conditioning system is presented.