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Introductory Course In Engineering Technology: Evolution Of Course Content And Resulting Student Opinions

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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

Issues for ET Administrators

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.761.1 - 7.761.5

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Paper Authors

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Daniel Jones

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

Main Menu Session 2547

Introductory Course in Engineering Technology: Evolution of Course Content and Resulting Student Opinions

Daniel K. Jones1, Daniel M. Chen2, and Albert Peng2 1 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Technology, Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Utica, NY 13504 2 Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859


Introductory courses in engineering technology (ET) have been added to many programs so that entry-level students gain exposure to ET early in their college experience. Many ET programs face the common challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified students. At the same time, substantial portions of the incoming students lack basic skills in math and science that are needed for them to succeed in ET. Consequently, some introductory ET courses teach basic math and science while exposing student to career opportunities in ET.

This paper discusses the experience of faculty teaching Introduction to Engineering Technology, IET 120, over the past seven years. The course has gradually shifted from a pure lecture format to incorporate hands-on activities, plant tours, and design-and-build projects. A questionnaire was developed to assess the effectiveness of the changes in the course. The goal was to continue improving the course during consecutive semesters, based on the feedback from students.


For the past seven years, freshmen and transfer students who are entering ET at Central Michigan University (CMU) have taken a three-credit course entitled Introduction to Engineering Technology, IET 120. 1 The objectives of IET 120 were to expose students to the fields of electrical, manufacturing, and mechanical ET and to provide them with some basic skills to help them succeed in these majors.

For entry-level courses, the conventional hour-long lecture has not been an effective method for maintaining student interest. Consequently, many professors realize that they must use new techniques to reach the current student population. 2 In some cases, the teaching techniques that are most effective are dramatically different than the techniques that professors were exposed to when they were students.

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

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Jones, D. (2002, June), Introductory Course In Engineering Technology: Evolution Of Course Content And Resulting Student Opinions Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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