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Development Of A Multidisciplinary Engineering Learning Center

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.371.1 - 6.371.17

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Paper Authors

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Stephen M. Batill

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Natalie Gedde

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3266

Development of a Multidisciplinary Engineering Learning Center

Stephen Batill, Natalie Gedde University of Notre Dame


The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame has recently opened an Engineering Learning Center. The Learning Center is a classroom, a laboratory, and a meeting place. It is a facility designed for experiential learning, communicating ideas and developing new methods for teaching and learning. The Center was developed through collaborative planning and coordination with all the departments in the College of Engineering. The Center was designed to provide a dynamic, flexible, collaborative learning environment to support a wide spectrum of educational activities. This 4000 square foot facility, developed at a cost of over $1M, began operation for the fall 2000 semester and it is currently supporting the project-intensive, first year course with an enrollment of 300-400 students each semester. Besides its involvement with the first year program, the Center supports a variety of learning activities across the College in the specific departments and degree programs. The Center includes flexible project-team work areas with networked computer support, multiple screen audio/visual capabilities that support a variety of multi-media sources and space for students to fabricate and store projects. This paper describes the planning, design, and operation of this multidisciplinary teaching and learning facility.

I. Introduction

In 1998 the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame embarked on an intensive self-study of its undergraduate engineering programs. This was done in response to the challenges and opportunities related to changes in the engineering profession and in engineering education. This self-assessment led to a strategic plan that identified those areas in which the College of Engineering should invest time and resources. It emphasized the importance of moving from an education process that was faculty and lecture centered to one that contains significant elements that are student-centered. A student-centered activity is one that actively engages the student in the learning process, enhancing their understanding and ability to use the knowledge gained. This student-centered emphasis better prepares students to be effective engineers, life-long learners and leaders in new technology developments by stressing the importance of student participation through the discovery of knowledge. Particular importance was also placed upon increasing interdisciplinary breath in all fields of study to complement the

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Batill, S. M., & Gedde, N. (2001, June), Development Of A Multidisciplinary Engineering Learning Center Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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