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Engineering and Technology for Non-Enginering and Non-Science Majors

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Technological Literacy for Undergraduate Students

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.577.1 - 22.577.9



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Paper Authors


Robert M. Brooks Temple University

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Dr. Robert M. Brooks is an associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Temple University. He is a registered professional engineer in PA and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His research interests are Civil Engineering Materials, Transportation Engineering, and Engineering Education.

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Jyothsna K. S. St.Joseph's College, Bangalore, Department of English

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Secured a gold Medal for the highest aggregate marks in the Post Graduate English Literature Course at St.Joseph's College (Autonomous). Working for the Department of English, St.Joseph's College for almost an year now, teaching both undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in English. Published papers in intramural and extramural publications. Presented papers at several conventions, conferences and seminars.

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Amithraj Amavasai

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Engineering and Technology for non-Engineering and non-science majors.Technological literacy consists of a broad range of knowledge about technology and how humansdevelop, use and are affected by technology. Specifically, certain level of technological knowledge isneeded for non-engineering and non-science majors to perform successfully in the real world. This isbecause their success usually demands effective functioning and making informed decisions abouttechnological issues. This paper focuses on developing best practices for providing 40 non-science andnon-engineering majors with certain level of engineering and technological knowledge for facing the realworld successfully.For the past 20 years a course, “The Environment” was taught by the author over 50 times to non-engineering and non-science majors as a science core requirement. In Fall 2007 a section was taughtusing traditional lecture method. For the remaining sections, several effective methods for improvingthe technology literacy to these students have been developed. Out of these, 4 best practices wereselected and taught to an innovative group in Summer 2010. The best practices are: learning from threehands on and minds on labs; mastering chart reading, distinguishing the difference between charts andequation, and developing intellectual sensitivity to the limitations of equations such as not using themwith a black box approach; making students ease with the top 20 bench mark numbers used in theindustry; and acquiring knowledge on the commercial application of engineering and science. The bestpractices consisted of 20% of the grade which was taken from the final (15%) and midterm (5%)examinations of the control group. Except this, there is no difference between the two groups.Performance of control group was compared with that of innovative group. The average grade of thecontrol group was 64%. The innovative group scored 76%. The innovative group showed 19%improvement over the control group. With a calculated t value of 3.3 in a two-tailed test, both groupsare significantly different. The t-test confirmed statistical improvement at significant confidence levelwith an alpha value of 0.05.The authors plan to extend this strategy to three other courses over the next three years. The methodpresented in this study may be used at other institutions with appropriate modifications in order toencourage students by rewarding their scholarly work.

Brooks, R. M., & S., J. K., & Amavasai, A. (2011, June), Engineering and Technology for Non-Enginering and Non-Science Majors Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17858

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