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A Barometer For Engineering And Technical Graphics Education

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.1.1 - 4.1.9

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Paper Authors

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Alice Y. Scales

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Aaron C. Clark

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2438

A Barometer for Engineering and Technical Graphics Education

Aaron C. Clark, Alice Y. Scales North Carolina State University


This paper provides results from a survey of engineering design graphics professionals who re- sponded to questions related to trends and issues in the field of graphics education. The survey, conducted in the Fall of 1998, solicited information from representatives teaching engineering and technical graphics at selected institutions. The process used for selecting representatives was based on 1997-98 membership in the professional organizations of the Engineering Design Graphics Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Association of In- dustrial and Technical Teacher Education.

The survey solicited data in four areas related to the engineering/technical graphics profession. First, the survey identified course content, instructional methodology, and software currently being used in engineering/technical graphics classes. Second, the survey examined current student popu- lations and determined ways institutions are meeting their needs. Third, the survey inquired about trends and issues within the profession with emphasis placed on the background of faculty utilized to teach graphics, faculty concerns with teaching graphics, and methods utilized by engineering/ technical graphics educators for professional development. Fourth, the survey examined the present status of graphics education and how it relates to establishing a proposed program in graphics teacher education. The survey sought information on types of degrees offered by institutions and how they are structured in order to establish criteria for the proposed program. The authors of this study will present all qualitative information found throughout the duration of the study as well as demographics and descriptive statistics obtained from the survey.

I. Introduction

Over the last few years, engineering graphics educators have faced changes in the content we teach students and the technology we use to teach it 1,5,7. Although professional educators learn to manage innovations, many in the profession wonder if the content of their engineering graphics courses is comparable to other institutions. Many professional engineering graphics educators run into barri- ers dealing with new technology or ponder whether their colleagues are having the same problems.

This study is a survey of the profession of engineering graphics education in universities and col- leges in the United States of America with the intent to review issues related to teaching engineer- ing graphics. The purpose of the survey was to take a “barometric reading” of the engineering graphics profession as well as to aid graphics educators in making decisions for establishing the direction for growth at individual institutions and the profession as a whole. The nature of the study was qualitative. The data obtained cannot be used to accurately portray the practices used in the field because the sampling technique could not ensure that institutions were represented equally. The researchers were primarily interested in information that allows them to make informed deci- sions about course offerings and new undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The survey contained four major categories related to engineering graphics education. The first category looked at courses institutions offer, the software institutions use, changes in content areas in the field, and whether engineering graphics educators are incorporating these revisions into their course offerings. The second category sought information on student populations and needs. The third category examined professional development concerns as well as the type and number of

Scales, A. Y., & Clark, A. C. (1999, June), A Barometer For Engineering And Technical Graphics Education Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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