June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.735.1 - 22.735.13
Gateway Experiences to Engineering Technology: Development of an Introductory CourseThe launch of a new Engineering Technology degree at Purdue University prompted inter-college collaboration from six different disciplines within the College of Technology. With aflexible curriculum designed to meet existing and future workforce needs, the program of studyincorporated a percentage of new and revised courses to deliver. One of the new courses was a‘gateway’ Introduction to Engineering Technology course designed to draw and retain bothtraditional and non-traditional students. In this course Engineering Technology (ET) is definedbased on the description of the skill set needed for the current and future economy. Through acase study approach, the blended curriculum is delivered as a holistic, intact approach totechnology systems.The course employs a reverse course-content-delivery design whereby students engage thetraditional lecture-based subject manner in a manner that is user friendly and encourages studentsto revisit lectures as their needs demand. Students work through a specific series of at-homeassignments, labeled simply as ‘read’, ‘watch’, ‘do’. These assignments build upon each other todevelop both depth and breadth through repeated exposure and analysis of core concepts relatedto the assigned module. For example, students would be assigned to read a chapter on Principlesof Engineering Computations followed by a 45-minute recorded lecture on EngineeringComputations. The lecture, based upon Advanced Technology Education foundations, wouldbuild upon the reading and help distill the reading material into more palatable andunderstandable context. Finally, students would complete the first half of a homeworkassignment that would later be used in class for discussion and a hands-on activity. Thissequence exposes students to subject matter in an iterative approach so as to repeatedly allowstudents the opportunity to experience expectation failure. Literature is replete with studiesshowing that when students experience expectation failure, followed by a time of thorough andinvestigative feedback loops, learning gains are increased almost fourfold, from 20-30% tonearly 80%. In addition, based upon student persistence theory, common student experiences todevelop a community of learners were developed for both ET content and also the social learningaspect of higher education. Problems of a technical, operational, and social nature are introducedand investigated within the course. Connections to the different academic disciplines of ET frommultiple departmental instructors are included and incorporated into the case study.
Laux, C. M., & Ph.D., A. W., & Van Epps, A. S., & Deranek, K. M., & Sandall, D. L., & Homkes, R. L., & Leach, S. E. (2011, June), Gateway Experiences to Engineering Technology: Development of an Introductory Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18016
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