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Historical London Through The Lens Of Technolgy: A Facilitative Learning Approach As Authentic Alternative For Teaching The History Of Technology

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

New Learning Models

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.693.1 - 10.693.11



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Paper Authors

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Eric Inglert

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Kathleen Ossman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Historical London through the Lens of Technology A Facilitative Learning Approach as Authentic Alternative for Teaching the History of Technology Eric Inglert and Kathleen Ossman University of Cincinnati


This paper describes a unique course developed by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the College of Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati. The course provides an opportunity for Honors Program students to develop an appreciation for the strong inter-relationship between technology and society by exploring the history and developing technology of four structures in London: the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tube, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The course is grounded in the Problem Based Learning (PBL) pedagogy where students are divided into groups and become independent learners with faculty acting principally as guides or resources. The course culminated in the group visiting London for eight days.


Historical London through the Lens of Technology is a Special Topics Honors course that satisfies a Humanities Elective requirement for baccalaureate degrees. In the class, students explore the strong inter-relationship between technological developments and societal needs, culture, and perceptions of progress by studying the history and developing technology of four structures in London. A multidisciplinary team of faculty consisting of an architect, a humanities professor, and four engineers with expertise in construction, electrical, and mechanical engineering technologies developed the course. The faculty team's initial question was "what is an effective learning strategy to encourage a deeper level understanding and a holistic integration of historical and technological concepts?" Problem Based Learning (PBL), with its emphasis on synthetic understanding and developing meaning over mere fact collection and recall, was a natural choice during course design.1 This paper is written as a case study that records how learners, using the action-oriented learning attitude implicit in PBL, engaged in the process of making sense of open-ended problems, reports on their successes and complications in seeking useful solutions, and evaluates how effectively the assessment strategies supported and potentially drove the learning.2 The six faculty members strongly agree with the assertion that the active research strategy of PBL methodology positively impacts the quality of student learning.

Faculty administered a survey instrument on the first day of class and on the last day of class. The two survey instruments were identical and probed cognitive, behavioral and affective attitudes. The “Assessment” section included here provides graphs that aggregate the results.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Inglert, E., & Ossman, K. (2005, June), Historical London Through The Lens Of Technolgy: A Facilitative Learning Approach As Authentic Alternative For Teaching The History Of Technology Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15592

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