June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.479.1 - 23.479.14
Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering CoursesAbstract The accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the National Academy ofEngineering (NAE) established a set of attributes that engineering graduates should possess upongraduation. These attributes include both technical and non-technical skills and competencies;generally, the latter is not as well-defined as the former. Thus, assessment of the non-technicalcompetencies is more challenging and harder to assess. This paper presents several strategiesembedded in our courses along with the assessment methodologies and data analysis andconclusions. Several courses are included in this study at sophomore, junior, and senior levels. InEngineering Dynamics, the method is based on a short term-paper addressing application ofdynamics principles to several sports, and application of the concept of Coriolis acceleration andaero planes and missiles, meteorology, and oceanography. Similarly, in undergraduate fluidmechanics, the method is based on a term-project in which students perform in-depth analysis,produce a technical report, and use various resources to learn new material independently intopics not discussed in class such as life sciences, physical sciences, astrophysics andgeosciences, sports , daily-life, and various engineering disciplines. Another course included inthis study is “Instrumentation’, the rapidly changing field of measurements, sensors, software,and data analysis tools, make it incumbent on students to learn new material and adapt to thepace of change. This course is unique compared to other engineering courses since it requires awide background and continuous learning in various fields such as fluid mechanics,thermodynamics, heat transfer, strength of materials, electrical circuits, and electronics. Being“open-ended” Instrumentation course cultivates and develops lifelong learning skills.In Senior Capstone Design course the assessment procedure focused on the project addressed tothe synthesis and design of a complete mechanical engineering system, participation in teamdesign and fabrication effort, including oral presentation and team design report. For instancestudents are involved in design/research project where they perform experimental research oncombustion of non-conventional bio-derived fuels for hybrid propellant rocket engines. Suchproject requires self-learning of new material on the two-phased combustion, chemicalthermodynamics, which was not introduced in the program and analysis and research on currentpapers on subject matter. As a result of this project students are required to produce researchreport and submit and present research paper at national or international research conference,thus they get valuable skills and develop competencies applicable in their future engineering andresearch activities.The survey and grading rubric of these projects and reports examine several attributes oflifelong learning such as curiosity which represents the depth of exploration, independencewhich is an indicator of self-learning, and the ability to build up on the previous knowledge andexperiences. The impact of conducting the research on the students’ ability to “learn how tolearn” on their own is assessed using a survey in which they are asked to reflect on their abilitiesin various research related activities. Peer-reviewed publications and books are the only allowedsource of information in this project. Evaluations rubrics, surveys, research topics, along withfindings from the current semester are presented in this paper.
Al-Masoud, N., & Naoumov, V., & Kirstukas, S. J. (2013, June), Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19493
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