April 16, 2021
April 16, 2021
April 17, 2021
Labs and experiential learning
March 2020 was a turning point for the world and for the education sector. While the semester started with the conventional face-to-face teaching mode, suddenly, there was total shut down and teaching had to be continued only in the virtual mode (online). This change in teaching mode posed particular challenges for lab-based and hands-on courses that require significant skill development through experiential learning. The challenges were further compounded by the requirement to work on industry-sponsored projects to design and fabricate needed parts based on clients’ requirements. This paper describes how a team of senior engineering students successfully designed a fixture for a critical automotive component for basic utility vehicle for third world countries, even in the midst of a pandemic. The basic utility vehicles feature robust and simple designs that enable them to survive the harsh environment while meeting the low-cost requirements in such markets. The project was a part of the course requirements for a manufacturing processes course. The paper highlights how the students successfully worked in a virtual environment, engaged the client, designed the part and had the designed parts fabricated and shipped to the clients. In addition, the critical role of technical staff in providing hands-on learning experiences as well as in completing a project, particularly in a pandemic, is highlighted. Key lessons learned from the perspectives of students, instructor, technical staff, and client were gathered through reflections and interviews.
Olawale, D., & Staman, P. A., & Emery, J. T. (2021, April), Doing the impossible in a pandemic: Delivering student-designed fabricated parts to an industry client Paper presented at 2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference, Virtual. 10.18260/1-2--38264
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