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Integrating Humanities And Engineering Technology Education In The Classroom: A Model Course

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ET Interdisciplinary Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.692.1 - 7.692.7



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Mark Clark

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Donald McMurchie

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Integrating Humanities and Engineering Technology Education in the Classroom: A Model Course

Dr. Mark Clark , Dr. Donald McMurchie Oregon Institute of Technology


Historically, humanities education in engineering technology curricula has been governed by accreditation requirements. Students are required to take a certain number of hours of humanities and social science classes, which are generally not integrated with the rest of the curriculum.

In light of the ABET 2000 accreditation criteria, which focus on outcomes rather than on specific course requirements, and based on our earlier experience with integrated classes, we developed a course that combines instruction in both history and materials science. Titled “Steel and the Industrial Revolution,” the course was offered in the Winter of 2001.

The class served as both an introduction to materials science for Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering students and as an introductory course in the history of the Industrial Revolution. Classroom instruction was a seamless blend of material from both disciplines, with both instructors in the classroom at all times and combined homework and examination assignments.

This paper describes the development of the course, its advantages and disadvantages, and our plans to use what we learned to offer similar courses in the future.

I. Introduction

Humanities instruction for engineering technology students at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) has in general been similar to that offered at most other engineering technology schools: a set of separate courses not integrated into the curriculum as a whole. While OIT, much like other engineering technology schools, offers a number of courses in the history of technology, Science, Technology and Society (STS), and professional ethics, these are not part of the required curriculum and are not linked with technical courses.

For some time we have been dissatisfied with this state of affairs. Recently, we have been inspired by the outcomes-based structure of the ABET 2000 accreditation criteria to experiment with courses linking engineering technology subjects directly with humanities subjects. As reported in a previous paper, we first developed and co-taught an introductory course on modern materials,

Proceedings of the 2002 American society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Clark, M., & McMurchie, D. (2002, June), Integrating Humanities And Engineering Technology Education In The Classroom: A Model Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11286

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