Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.806.1 - 6.806.15
Problem-Based Learning and Interdisciplinary Instruction
James C. Wood, Ph.D., Lynn G. Mack Tri-County Technical College/Piedmont Technical College
This paper describes the development and implementation of a problem-based learning approach for interdisciplinary instruction in introductory courses for engineering technology majors. Required general education courses in mathematics, physics, and communication have been integrated with introductory engineering technology courses. This project was undertaken to improve the retention of students in engineering technology curricula and meet the challenges of producing engineering technicians for the 21st century.
The first step in creating an integrated curriculum was forming interdisciplinary faculty teams to identify and validate integrated competencies. Technical college faculty from all 16 South Carolina technical colleges participated in this validation process. As a next step, design teams comprised of interdisciplinary faculty and industry representatives developed the workplace scenarios or problems. SC Advanced Technological Education industry-based problems provide a mechanism for integrating subjects and an important new context for student learning. Industry focus groups were used to validate the technical accuracy and relevance of the scenarios’ application to the workplace and work of technicians.
Interdisciplinary faculty teams now provide instruction and coach student teams as they learn how to use a problem-based learning process to construct knowledge needed to arrive at scenario solutions. The paper will not only present details of the development and implementation of this problem-based learning approach but also share lessons learned, student outcomes, and how this approach fits with the TAC-ABET Criteria.
A strikingly significant ramification of the ongoing struggle to remain competitive in the world market is a dramatic shift in responsibilities and expectations of the American technical workforce. New technologies and workplace processes are requiring a move from the traditional manual industrial worker to the expanded role of an engineering technician, who works with his/her hands and applies theoretical knowledge. This redefined technician role in the manufacturing environment requires immediate changes be made in two-year college engineering technology programs.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Mack, L., & Wood, J. (2001, June), Problem Based Learning And Interdisciplinary Instruction Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9678
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