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Revision of a Graduate Program's Core Courses in Engineering Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Design and Assessment of Graduate Curriculum

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1342.1 - 26.1342.10



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Paper Authors


Ali Alavizadeh Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne

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Dr. Ali Alavizadeh is an Assistant Professor in the MCET Department at Indiana University-Purdue University (Fort Wayne, Indiana). He has taught at the George Washington University (Washington, DC), and Morehead State University (Morehead, KY) in the fields of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and in Industrial and Engineering Technology, respectively. His industrial experiences include enterprise architecture, systems analysis, and software engineering for private, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations. His research interests include complex systems modeling and simulation and nonlinear dynamical systems, and their application in healthcare and aerospace.

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Redesign of graduate program in engineering technologyThis paper describes the rationale, details, and results of upgrading the core courses of a Masterof Science degree in technology to better address students’ needs and to streamline coursesequences and offering. The revised core courses, particularly, the course on researchmethodology, has been used since 2012 and the results will be detailed in this paper along with adiscussion on the feedbacks received from the students.The Master of Science in Technology is an interdisciplinary degree with two tracks: InformationTechnology, and Industrial Technology. The program consists of 33 credit hours, 9 hours ofwhich are core courses (Measurement and Evaluation in Industry and Technology-IT 507,Quality and Productivity in Industry and Technology-IT 508, and Analysis of Research inIndustry & Technology-TECH 646). In general, the goal of the core courses is to lay thefoundation that encompasses such areas as quality systems, statistics, and researchmethodologies. However, based on the author’s experience as both the instructor of two of thecore courses and the director of the graduate program, there are a few areas that requireimmediate attention such as: • Overlaps in covering statistics in both TECH 646 and other courses such as IT 508 and Advanced Quality Engineering Methods. • Less emphasis on qualitative methods, despite the fact that the degree is an interdisciplinary degree with students coming from a diverse background and career. • Unfamiliarity of a majority of students with the resources available to help them with their master’s directed projects, how to prepare the final report, and other similar issues. This is in particular, important since the majority of students are non-traditional (e.g., part-time students) who may have been out of academia for a number of years and therefore are not familiar with the expectations and degree requirements they need to be aware of. • Textbooks with less relevance to the scope and objectives of the core coursesAfter reviewing the syllabi of the core courses, as well as the overlapping courses, the authorsolicited graduate faculty’s feedback on the above-mentioned issues and compiled a summary oftheir feedback. All the information were used to revamp the core courses, in particular, TECH646. In addition, a new textbook was chosen based on the contents and its relevance for TECH646. The feedback received from the students indicates that the students have found the changesvery helpful in clarifying the expectations of the degree, the master’s directed projectrequirements, and the university resources for research endeavors.

Alavizadeh, A. (2015, June), Revision of a Graduate Program's Core Courses in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24679

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