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Adapting Graduate Courses to Meet Industry Needs

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Aligning Graduate Programs with Industrial Needs

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors


Siny Joseph Kansas State University - Polytechnic Campus

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Siny Joseph is an Associate Professor of Economics at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus. She graduated with a PhD in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and also holds a master’s degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in engineering. She is a recipient of Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, Big 12 Faculty Fellow, Peer Review of Teaching Fellow, Coffman Leadership Institute Fellow and Wakonse Teaching Fellow. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching, food policy implications on markets and trade, and economics of assistive technology. Dr. Joseph has served as a panelist for USDA’s NIFA, NSF’s GRFP as well as discipline specific journals.

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Jung Oh Kansas State University - Polytechnic Campus

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Jung Oh is a Professor of Chemistry and ACUE (Association of College and University Educators) fellow at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus. She earned her Ph.D. from UCLA and was ASEE postdoctoral fellow at Naval Air Warfare Center. Oh has received several awards, including Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, Rex McArthur Faculty Fellow Award, Peer Review of Teaching Fellowship and NSF-RSEC Fellowship. Her interests in scholarship of teaching include cross-curricular innovation.

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Raju S. Dandu Kansas State University - Polytechnic Campus

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Raju Dandu is the Director of Bulk Solids Innovation Center and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology of the School of Integrated Studies of Kansas State University Polytechnic. As the Director, he manages the industry-university research, education, training, and full-scale testing activities of the storage and pneumatic conveying of bulk solids such as sugar, starch, minerals, chemicals, pigments, fillers, plastic resin, and recycled plastics. His professional interests in engineering are product design and development, CE Certification, 16-bit medical imaging, and True depth 3D medical imaging display equipment. He serves on ASEE Board of Directors as ASEE Zone III Chair and Member-at-Large of Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission Executive Committee of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Thermal and Nuclear Power Engineering from Slovak Technical University, Slovakia and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University. He is proficient in languages such as Telugu, Slovak, Czech, English and conversant in Arabic, Hindi, Russian, and Spanish.

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One of the five core courses of the Professional Masters of Technology (PMT) program is Informatics and Technology Management. The course aims to provide tools in areas of statistics, research methods and data mining to develop solutions tailored to business problems. The course along with the program underwent significant transformations in year 4 and 5 of the program, Spring 2015/2016 based on advisory board suggestions and changing landscape of industry needs, in format and content/instruction. A traditional 16 week face to face evolved to 8 week hybrid synchronous and asynchronous format and the content of the course modified from a stand-alone subject area to modules taught by a team of multi-disciplinary instructors. The lack of course pre-requisites posed the challenge of preparing students from a variety of backgrounds and work status to be proficient in the course objectives in a short time span. The skill sets developed in the course were assessed through case studies, term papers and presentations and were expected to fully prepare students for their capstone project. The purpose of this pedagogical research study is to assess whether or not a team-taught 8 week hybrid format accomplishes the objectives of providing the flexibility in format and skillsets through multi-disciplinary course content effectively. How does the course without pre-requisites, maintain the rigor and expected outcomes without compromising quality in 8 weeks? Will an integration of modules such as identifying aspects of research methods and statistics required for successfully understanding and being proficient in data mining work better as opposed to offering a stand-alone menu of topics in research methods, statistics and data mining? Currently the goal is to develop the required skill-sets but leave it to the students to make the connection and identify potential inter-disciplinary applications. Data collection methods include analyzing responses from a survey of PMT alumni before and after the transition from 16 week to 8 week format, including effective applications of skill-sets developed in the course. Teaching evaluations and student gradebooks are other sources of data analyzed to understand the effectiveness of the course, and highlight the difference/similarities in outcomes from a 16 week and 8 week format. Statistical analysis was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the course for format changes and other factors identified within the course. This study will present challenges and benefits to both instructors and students in courses which evolves in format and content. Examples such as a term paper assignment will be used to describe a pathway of potential integration of multiple modules. The research team hopes to present preliminary data as a segway into a larger discussion about future possibilities for developing such hybrid courses which maximize skill-sets effectively for students with a variety of backgrounds and how it can be adapted by instructors in their courses as well.

Joseph, S., & Oh, J., & Dandu, R. S. (2019, June), Adapting Graduate Courses to Meet Industry Needs Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32034

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