Asee peer logo

A Preliminary Study On The Shortcomings Of The Interdisciplinary Course Electrical Engineering For Nonmajors

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

ECE Education and Engineering Mathematics

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.86.1 - 9.86.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Seyed Zekavat

Download Paper |

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

An Evaluation of the Teaching Approach for the Interdisciplinary Course Electrical Engineering for Non Majors S. A. Zekavat1, C. Sandu2, G. Archer1, and K. Hungwe3 1 Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Tech University, Houghton MI 49931, 2 Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia, 24061, 3 Dept. of Education, Michigan Tech University, Houghton MI 49931.


This paper presents an evaluation on the teaching approach for the interdisciplinary course “Introduction to Electrical Engineering (EE) for non-EE majors” performed by surveying three groups from the Michigan Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM): 1) undergraduate students who had already taken the traditional EE service course, 2) graduate students, some of whom had taken a similar undergraduate course, and some who had not, and 3) the faculty. The results of this preliminary study indicate that more than 75% of those surveyed believe that there are problems associated with the traditional curriculum and teaching strategies for this course. This depicts that this course should be optimized and new techniques should be developed for presentation of the course. We explain a novel technique for optimizing this interdisciplinary.

I Introduction

There is a remarkable development that is having a profound impact on the full spectrum of engineering. This is the increasing penetration of advanced topics of electrical engineering (EE) into other - and often traditionally unrelated - engineering fields. As a result, the cross-correlation among different engineering disciplines is increasing [1]. Various branches of electrical and information engineering are acknowledged as core emerging technologies that are critical for the future of this nation’s economic prosperity [2]. The interconnectivity of electrical engineering with other engineering disciplines demands that our universities train engineering professionals who are fully competent in all aspects of EE relevant to their work.

One key mission of university baccalaureate engineering programs is to develop and offer the interdisciplinary coursework that is essential to preparing highly-qualified engineering graduates who will be successful and productive in their future careers [3]. To this end, it is generally recognized in the academic environment that an introductory course in EE should be offered to the non-electrical engineering (non-EE) students. As a result, almost all engineering institutions offer at least one “service course” for non-EE majors through the EE department. It is the responsibility of the academic programs to ensure that these service courses remain relevant to the real world of engineering that their graduates will encounter.

Therefore, in this contemporary context, it is reasonable to ask the following questions:

Zekavat, S. (2004, June), A Preliminary Study On The Shortcomings Of The Interdisciplinary Course Electrical Engineering For Nonmajors Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14046

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015