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Industry Based Case Study Models In Technical Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.700.1 - 8.700.7



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Paper Authors

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Saleh Sbenaty

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

Session — 1532

Industry-Based Case-Study Models in Technical Education

Saleh M. Sbenaty, PhD Middle Tennessee State University

I. Introduction

One of the greatest challenges that many students face during their course of study in engineering and technological education is relating classroom topics to real-life situations. Students in their first circuit analysis course, for example, may be engaged in solving circuits that are rarely linked to industry-based examples. Moreover, active and collaborative learning are not widely used when such problems are being solved. For this reason, many engineering and technology students are often frustrated and sometimes lose interest in finishing up their degrees. Furthermore, new graduates face additional challenges in the workplace such as working in multi-disciplinary teams, using oral and written communication skills effectively, and dealing with complex and open-ended problems. To address these growing concerns, faculties from several institutions across Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky pioneered the development and testing of industry-based case studies for the enhancement of engineering and technological education. Models for the development and applications of case studies that are interdisciplinary, multi-media enhanced, open-ended, and use active collaborative learning have been developed, tested and are being disseminated. The work was partially funded by an ATE/NSF grant ($1.8 million).

II. An Applied Approach to Technical Education

One of the newly adopted approaches in technical education to address the above-mentioned growing problems is the use of case studies. One may ask the following question here: Why use case studies in technical education? And the answer is: because case studies have been proven to be effective teaching tools in many fields ranging from business and finance to medical. They allow the student to use his/her critical thinking, problem solving, and logic reasoning abilities. Collaborative education and teamwork can be used effectively in case studies. Integrating the sciences, mathematics, technical writing, and oral communication competencies, as well as the SCANS 2000 skills is made easy through the use of case studies. The use of case studies in engineering and technological education, however, has been somewhat limited. Currently, educators are more and more interested in incorporating case studies in their courses. As a result, there are growing needs and interests in industry-based case studies in these fields.

The current paper presents examples of industry-based case studies that can be used in courses such as DC/AC circuits, engineering fundamentals, thermodynamics, and physics. The paper will focus, in particular, on two case studies that the author has developed. Field-testing results and a summary of findings will be also presented.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Sbenaty, S. (2003, June), Industry Based Case Study Models In Technical Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12006

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