June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
21.10.1 - 21.10.9
AN ENGINEERING APPROACH FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION.The challenges faced by future engineers, such as the scientific revolution, biotechnology in asocial context, and globalization, among others, require educational engineering institutions torespond to these challenges by innovating in their educational processes. This paper presents anengineering approach to continuous improvement in engineering education and its application inthe School of Engineering at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia. This approach consistsof three main strands: (i) it promotes student-centered learning, (ii) a permanent curriculumrevision, and (iii) faculty development through a community of practice and continuous trainingin for a scholarly approach to engineering education. In this paper we discuss in depth the thirdstrand of this approach and the implementation process we followed. We also describe the roleof faculty members at Purdue University in supporting this process. For the development of thisproposal, the School of Engineering established a framework for organizing professors intothematic working teams where they collectively explored a research topic and designed theirresearch proposals. To identify their research topic, they discussed student learning needs anddifficulties in specific areas or subjects in the curriculum. In this way, participating teachersstarted from a research question moving into the integration of diverse processes ofconceptualization, implementation and analysis of results, building on methodologies ofparticipatory action research and reflection practices about the interventions and innovations theydeveloped. This effort was also supported by two additional initiatives: the creation of acommunity of practice and the implementation of a two-day workshop introducing faculty to acontinuous improvement process based on an engineering curricular approach. The communitiesof practice were initiated through a process of socialization and networking with the goal ofpromoting the creation of new knowledge. Specifically, we created social spaces and eventssuch as thematic cafes and virtual participation through CLEERhub. The thematic cafe is amethodology for knowledge management that creates opportunities for analysis andparticipation, where experiences are shared between those attending the activity. CLEERhub is avirtual community of faculty members and researchers interested in engineering educationresearch. During specific socialization events participants had the opportunity to exchange,generate and share information related to aspects of teaching and learning in engineering.CLEERhub supported this effort by providing a research space for each of the projects enablingthe publication of materials, training, experiences and reflections. A second initiative was theimplementation of a pre-workshop event and a two-day faculty development workshop. Duringthe pre-workshop professors discussed the importance of scientific research applied toengineering education. This event generated a reflection process on the current situation withineach of the academic departments and the creation of working groups with the participation notonly from professors, but from program and department heads as well. The second strategy was atwo-day workshop offered by a faculty member from Purdue University focused on theimplementation of an engineering and scholarly approach to curricular innovations. As part ofthe workshop faculty participants proposed a set of research projects aiming to generatesignificant changes in their curricular or pedagogical practices. In the final version of this paperwe will describe the results from each working team in terms of research projects and theiroutcomes. We will describe curricular innovations and preliminary results such as: theconstruction of an automatic system of evaluation, micro curricular redesign of capstone projectsin production engineering and competency-based redesign of the automatic control course.
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