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Increasing The Use Of Collaborative Learning Techniques In An Integrated Economics And Engineering Economy Course

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.311.1 - 4.311.9

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Paper Authors

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Joan A. Burtner

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Laura Moody

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

Session 3657

Increasing the Use of Collaborative Learning Techniques in an Integrated Economics and Engineering Economy Course

Joan Burtner, Laura Moody Mercer University

Abstract As part of a three-year curriculum renewal effort, the authors were given the task of designing and implementing a semester-long integrated economics/engineering economy course to be taught at the freshman level. We have incorporated collaborative learning exercises into our revised course; thus, the course features a mix of traditional lectures and group learning assignments. This paper describes the implementation of this new course over the past two semesters as well as our progress toward increasing the use of active learning techniques in other School of Engineering courses.

I. Introduction

Mercer University’s School of Engineering is currently in the third year of an intensive curriculum renewal effort. Several factors provided the impetus for this curriculum renewal effort. First, Mercer University switched from the quarter system to the semester system for AY 97-98. Second, a decision was made to reduce the number of credit hours required for the bachelor’s degree. Third, the school plans to apply for program accreditation during our next ABET visit. (We currently offer an ABET-accredited BSE degree with specializations in biomedical, electrical, environmental, industrial, and mechanical engineering.) Fourth, we are modifying our course offerings in response to ABET’s Engineering Criteria 2000.

As a result of the curriculum renewal effort, two different quarter-long courses were combined to create a semester-long integrated economics/engineering economy course. Thus, the engineering economy course, traditionally taught at the junior level, became a part of the freshman year curriculum. The new course, EGR 120, is required of all Mercer students who intend to graduate with the BSE degree. The authors, both members of the mechanical and industrial engineering department, were given the responsibility of designing and implementing this new course.

II. Teaching Philosophy and Course Development

The process of designing and implementing the new course offered both challenges and opportunities. The first challenge we faced was to integrate material from what is traditionally two separate courses (and in many places, including Mercer, taught by two separate schools) into a single course. The second challenge involved the requirement to

Burtner, J. A., & Moody, L. (1999, June), Increasing The Use Of Collaborative Learning Techniques In An Integrated Economics And Engineering Economy Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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