June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
13.380.1 - 13.380.13
Designing Undergraduate Engineering Lab Experience to Satisfy ABET EC2000 Requirements
Ali M. Al-Bahi King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Engineering is a practical discipline. It is a hands-on profession where doing is a key element. Practicing engineers use research laboratories and development laboratories to obtain experimental data to guide them in designing and developing a product and/or to determine if a designed product performs as intended. Engineering students, on the other hand, need to go to laboratories to build up essential skills and abilities required for the engineering profession in general, and particularly those required to deal with industrial research and development laboratories.
In January 2002, ABET, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, held a 3-day colloquy to explore the issues related to the true goals of students’ undergraduate lab experience. The aim was to determine, through consensus, taxonomy of laboratory learning objectives, which could be validated and disseminated throughout the educational community. A final list of 13 objectives was developed as the desired outcomes of a successful lab experience accumulated over an engineering curriculum.
In the present work a practical approach is presented to meet these fundamental objectives. A set of students’ learning outcomes for an experimental design course is developed together with a set of assessment rubrics for different types of lab experiments. Also an assessment rubric for the write-up given to the students for a design of experiment is also presented.
The work is complemented by a form to evaluate student’s lab experience in an engineering program. The form is used to develop an action plan to improve this lab experience as a case- study of a program preparing for an ABET accreditation visit under EC2000.
Since Engineering is a practical discipline and a hands-on profession where doing is a key element, undergraduate engineering laboratories are essential to prepare the future engineers to fit into the profession. In their comprehensive paper on the role of the laboratory in engineering education, Fiesel and Rosa1 explored the milestones of that role as follows: Prior to the creation of engineering schools, engineering was taught using apprenticeship approach. Early engineers had to design, analyze, and build their own creations through learning by doing. From the earliest days of engineering education, laboratories have been an essential part of any engineering curriculum. Prior to the emphasis on engineering science in the early seventies most engineering instruction took place in the laboratory.
Al-Bahi, A. (2008, June), Designing Undergraduate Engineering Lab Experience To Satisfy Abet Ec2000 Requirements Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3416
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