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Lifelong Learning in an Aircraft Engine Systems Laboratory Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Laboratory Courses and Programming in the Aerospace Curriculum

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Mary E. Johnson Ph.D. Purdue Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16

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Mary E. Johnson is a Professor in Aviation and Transportation at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She earned her BS, MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington. After 5 years in aerospace manufacturing, Dr. Johnson joined the Automation & Robotics Research Institute in Fort Worth and was program manager for applied research programs. Fourteen years later, she was an Industrial Engineering assistant professor at Texas A&M - Commerce before joining the Aviation Technology department at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2007 as an Associate Professor. She is a Co-PI on the FAA Center of Excellence for general aviation research known as PEGASAS and leads engineering efforts in the Air Transport Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Her research interests are aviation sustainability, data driven process improvement, and engine emissions.

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Tracy L. Yother Purdue University - Purdue Polytechnic Lafayette

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Tracy L. Yother, Ph.D. graduated in May 2020 in Career and Technical Education in the College of Education at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She starts in August 2020 as Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. Ms. Yother currently teaches the undergraduate Powerplant Systems and Design Supportability courses in the Aeronautical Engineering Technology (AET) program. She possesses a B.S. and M.S. in Aviation Technology. She also holds an airframe and powerplant certificate.

Dr. Yother has 18 years’ experience in the aerospace and defense industry working for companies such as Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and Pratt & Whitney. She has held positions in product support, customer support, and program management.

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Lifelong Learning in an Aircraft Engine Systems Laboratory Course

Lifelong learning is a part of student outcome in ABET ETAC in Criterion 3 (2017-2018, 2018-2019) as “self-directed continuing professional development”. Lifelong learning Criterion 3 (i) in ABET EAC 2019-2020 is mapped to the new Criterion 3 #7 as “an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies”. For some instructors of laboratory courses, it can be challenging, vague, or difficult to measure this student outcome. A variety of definitions was found that related to continuing learning and professional development after graduation. The definitions vary enough to make it difficult for instructors to develop curriculum and assessment tools. The value of this paper to the laboratory educator is in the structured approach in incorporating lifelong learning, whatever the definition or location, which is still part of ABET ETAC and ABET EAC accreditation criteria and therefore an important element in these programs.

In this paper, the incorporation of lifelong learning in a hands-on, technology focused, standards driven, engine systems laboratory course is explored. The current ABET ETAC Criterion 3 student outcome on self-directed lifelong learning is translated to specific course activities, assignments, and assessments. An assessment instrument was developed for an engine systems course to evaluate the student’s methods of additional learning of existing technical knowledge. Additionally, the instrument asks students to project their usage of future learning resources. This paper presents and analyzes the data from this assessment.

Johnson, M. E., & Yother, T. L. (2020, June), Lifelong Learning in an Aircraft Engine Systems Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34926

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