June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.958.1 - 22.958.18
Introducing Interdisciplinary Content through ElectivesThe introduction of true interdisciplinary content into the engineering curriculum has beenamong the most debated and difficult to implement requirements of the current ABETaccreditation criteria. While many programs use soft activities such as role playing scenarios incapstone courses and similar interdisciplinary simulations, it is possible to design effectivecoursework with true interdisciplinary interaction. For over ten years the authors, faculty ofChemical (CHE), Electrical (ECE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME), have been teachingvarious courses including a CHE-ME elective entitled, “Interdisciplinary Studies in CeramicMaterials Processing,” and a CHE-ECE-ME elective entitled, “Introduction toMicroelectromechanical Systems (MEMS).” Designed with more than one pedagogical focus,these courses were implemented not only to provide real interdisciplinary team-based activities,but also to be true design experiences with either laboratory and computational experiences orboth. Over the past ten years, this pair of courses have been test beds for examining theeffectiveness of various team selection strategies, the integration of inquiry-based learning, andeven the introduction of a novel inter university collaboration on entrepreneurship. These twoexperiments in interdisciplinary instruction provided many valuable clues about how studentslearn in such environments and about how instructors must adapt to an interdisciplinary team-teaching culture. During trying fiscal times, such experiments may be difficult to start orsustain, however, the student experience is always worth the effort.
Biernacki, J. J., & Wilson, C. D. (2011, June), Introducing Interdisciplinary Content through Electives Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18167
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