June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.156.1 - 22.156.10
Alternative Energy Education Using Alternative Design and DeliveryIt is often said that a crisis is an opportunity in disguise. When faced with declining enrollments,the Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) faculty at [Rock Valley College] responded bytapping into two modern trends: the burgeoning field of sustainable energy systems, and themove towards online education. By adding a sustainable energy emphasis to the EET degree, thedepartment prepares its students for the next generation of energy technology. By modifying itscourses to be delivered in a hybrid format (lectures online, labs in person), the program offers aconvenient option for students who have jobs and require more flexible course scheduling.There is a bold new mission for EET in the area of alternative energy. Sustainable EnergySystems (SES) professionals are needed to advance our nation’s move toward freedom fromfossil fuels. A curriculum has been designed based on the alternative energy job task analysisorchestrated by the Electronics Technicians Association, International. The resulting curriculumprovides Alternative Energy Hybrid System Integrator graduates and embeds a student learningoutcomes assessment of that curriculum through industry-recognized, third-party certifications.The challenge to EET educators is to push the envelope of their comfort zones to tackle newinterdisciplinary imperatives. Many students today are very comfortable learning from theinternet. Hybrid educational experiences permit the lectures, and additional resources such asvideos, to be delivered asynchronously, but paced to ensure timely completion. Laboratoryactivities are still conducted to provide students with hands-on experiences, and direct interactionwith their professors. The design of alternative-format hybrid classes inherently leads to adetailed, concise, week-by-week course construction.The paper includes four sections: (1) Alternative Energy – A Comprehensive Overview, (2)Designing a Curriculum for Assessment, (3) The Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Course Design, and(4) The Critical Issues of Enrollments and Employment. The SES degree program curriculumfinishes its first two years of delivery in June 2011.
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