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A Broader Look at The Role of Andragogy in Engineering Education

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Learning Outcomes and Pedagogical Strategies: Problems of Alignment

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Richard Melnyk United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16

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COL Rich Melnyk is an Army Aviator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point. He developed and implemented the first course offering of Thermal-Fluid Systems I in 2005. He was an Instructor and Assistant Professor from 2004-2007 and returned to teaching in 2015. He has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, a PE in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA in Technology Management and recently commanded a Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia.

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Brian J. Novoselich United States Military Academy

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Brian Novoselich is an active duty Army Lieutenant Colonel currently serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy (West Point). He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in 2016. He holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and West Point respectively. His research interests include capstone design teaching and assessment, undergraduate engineering student leadership development, and social network analysis. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Gregory Martin Freisinger United States Military Academy

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Greg Freisinger is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from The Ohio State University. Greg was an Army engineer officer prior to graduate school, with experience in combat and construction military engineering. His research is primarily focused on biomechanical factors associated with injury and performance.

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The word pedagogy is commonly used to describe teaching techniques and practices. However, the root of the word actually denotes ‘leading’ or teaching children. The assumptions inherent in this description may be incompatible with the desired outcomes and goals in engineering education. This work builds on previous work which explored whether the term andragogy, translated as ‘leading men’ or the education of adults, is a more appropriate term to achieve the outcomes of engineering educators and engineering societies. The previous paper used a case study approach to explore the guiding documents of mechanical engineering and the guiding documents of one mechanical engineering program and it’s key stakeholders. The work showed that there was a disconnect between the term pedagogy and the attributes required of mechanical engineers and graduates of the program, particularly when it came to assumptions about the nature of the students. The purpose of this paper is to expand upon the previous mechanical engineering-centered single case study and determine the applicability of andragogical learner assumptions to additional engineering disciplines and programs. This study examines the guiding literature of various engineering disciplines for evidence to support an andragogical orientation toward undergraduate students. In addition, the study examines strategic documents associated with multiple engineering programs to explore whether the findings of the single case study could transfer to other engineering program related contexts. Finally, the study steps beyond engineering programs to examine emerging andragogical literature. This literature survey provides engineering educators a glimpse into the next evolution of how an andragogical approach to undergraduate learners may be applied to the engineering education enterprise and accommodate more than just older, more experienced learners.

Melnyk, R., & Novoselich, B. J., & Freisinger, G. M. (2018, June), A Broader Look at The Role of Andragogy in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29657

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