June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.114.1 - 15.114.15
A Workshop for Indian Engineering Faculty under the Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education
A one-week workshop titled “Modern Approach to Introduction to Engineering” was conducted in Mysore, India in July 2009 under the auspices of the Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE). The vision of the IUCEE is to improve the quality and global relevance of engineering education in India and the United States by fostering collaborations (www.IUCEE.org). Twenty-two engineering faculty members representing disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, civil, and computer science from different engineering colleges in India participated. The key objective of the workshop was to train participants to introduce or enhance hands-on learning experiences in the first year curriculum of engineering programs in participating Indian schools. Hands-on engineering learning activities, supported by two NSF projects, implemented at Virginia Tech’s first-year program are introduced to Indian faculty for meeting this objective. The main topics discussed during the workshop are: (i) how to introduce design experiences in first-year engineering curriculum, (ii) need to incorporate ethics instruction in Indian engineering programs, (iii) need to introduce hands-on learning to enhance early learning experiences of Indian engineering students, and (iv) how engineering curriculum development issues can be translated into PhD level engineering education research projects. The workshop was held on the campus of Infosys, Inc., a software giant in India. Two American students (Castles and Riggins), co-authors of the paper, accompanied the lead author and assisted in implementing the workshop activities. As one of the lead graduate students, Castle was deeply involved in developing and implementing the hands-on learning activities into the first-year year program. Riggins had participated in these activities as a freshman at Virginia Tech. This paper summarizes: (i) workshop content, (ii) feedback from workshop participants, and (iii) reflections of two American students (one PhD student and another undergraduate student) who travelled to India for the first time.
Workshop Schedule and Activities
The activities presented at the workshop have been developed and implemented at Virginia Tech’s freshman engineering program and are supported by two NSF projects. These activities have been reported in various conference and journal publications. A brief description of the NSF projects along with the activities follow.
A. NSF Project under the Department-Level Reform (DLR) Program (2004-09)
In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a 5-year curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform program (DLR) of the NSF. This grant resulted in development of a framework for reformulating the curriculum of bioprocess engineering within the Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) department using a spiral theory approach. The twentieth century psychologist, Jerome Bruner, proposed the concept of the spiral curriculum in his classic work The Process of Education and
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