July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Objectives: Engineering economy courses typically follow a format that includes the mathematics of time value of money, project analysis using methods such as NPV and IRR, and some tax and depreciation coverage. These topics provide students with a good background to economically analyze projects, but they do not provide a big picture perspective of how engineers interact with the world at large and how engineers are involved in economic undertakings that span the globe. This paper will describe how the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is used throughout an undergraduate engineering economics course to provide students a world-wide perspective and expose them to societal issues that need the special expertise and analytical approach of engineers. The paper will discuss how this approach is currently implemented and how it could be applied in both large and small sections of engineering economy. The paper will also provide insight strategies for choosing articles and how to navigate potentially sensitive topics that occasionally arise during class discussions.
Content: The content is drawn directly from WSJ articles. Specific articles are selected from several recent editions. The instructor and students read the articles independently at their leisure. It is the students’ job to absorb the information and the instructor’s job to craft a meaningful discussion and develop questions for a weekly quiz. The nature of the content varies based on the events of the day but generally focuses on articles discussing instances where engineering, societal issues, and economics coincide.
Delivery: The delivery of the content occurs at the beginning of class. Small discussions may occur during the week, but the main discussion takes place after a weekly quiz. Whether the topic is a dam collapse in Brazil, a new airport in Japan, or a subway system in India, students are interested in learning how engineering and economics work together and are interested in discussing these issues in the classroom.
Assessment: Weekly 10-question quizzes are given to provide incentive for students to read the selected WSJ articles. The quizzes account for approximately 10% of the total points available during the semester. Quiz questions are designed to both assess whether or not a student has read the assigned articles and to serve as the basis for class discussions. Quizzes are peer-graded immediately following the quiz.
Burns, J., & White, B. (2021, July), Curriculum Element: Using the Wall Street Journal to Provide National and Global Perspectives in an Engineering Economy Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36892
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