June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.609.1 - 12.609.6
Encouraging Life Long Learning for Engineering Management Undergraduates
Susan L. Murray, Ph.D., P.E., and Steve Raper, Ph.D. University of Missouri – Rolla
The current ABET guidelines place an emphasis on life-long learning for our undergraduate students. What is life-long learning? How can we encourage students to consider global issues, current events, or even anything “that isn’t going to be on the next test”? In this paper we present survey results evaluating habits of undergraduate students entering an engineering management program and seniors related to life-long learning including attending professional society meetings, reading trade publications, reading business related books, and other learning outside of the classroom activities.
This paper also presents a two semester effort to increase life-long learning activities among undergraduate engineering management students. Changes were made to an introductory sophomore level EM class. Students were required to participate in life- long learning activities including reading business books and interviewing managers. These activities were graded as part of the required course. Additionally, the students were asked to identify learning activities they would complete the semester following the course – which would not be reflected in their grades. Recommendations for incorporating life-long learning initiatives in the engineering management undergraduate curriculum are also presented.
The current ABET guidelines place an emphasis on life-long learning for our undergraduate students. In the report “Engineering Change: A Study of the Impact of EC2000” (Lattuca, et. al.) reviewing the new ABET guidelines 31% of employers reported that lifelong learning skills were moderately important in new hires and 60% reported that lifelong learning skills were highly important or essential. The same report showed that 2004 graduates self-report learning outcomes were higher for the life-long learning criteria when compared to 1994 graduates.
Our students often spend only four or five years being formally trained as engineers. This is compared to thirty or forty years working and developing as engineers. It is clear that lifelong learning is important, particularly as the world becomes seemingly faster paced. Faculty, however, continue to struggle with how do we measure life-long learning and how do we encourage life-long learning.
UC Santa Cruz (http://www.cse.ucsc.edu/programs/abet/outcomei.html) developed the following list of items that can be measured to evaluate lifelong learning.
Murray, S., & Raper, S. (2007, June), Encouraging Lifelong Learning For Engineering Management Undergraduates Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2931
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