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Student Learning in Challenge-based Ocean Engineering Project

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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

Ocean and Marine Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1418.1 - 26.1418.5



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Paper Authors


Shyam Aravamudhan North Carolina A&T State University

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Shyam Aravamudhan is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), North Carolina A&T State University. Shyam received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (2007) from the University of South Florida, (Tampa, Fla.). He previously worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Emergency Response and Air Toxicants Branch in the Division of Laboratory Sciences) and as a Post-doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Engineering (Neuroengineering) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.).

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Student Learning in Challenge-based Ocean Engineering ProjectIt is increasingly being realized by educators that when students are posed with challenges, it canmotivate them to explore and seek the desired science and engineering skills. This type ofeducation is called Challenge-Based Instruction (CBI). Studies have suggested that CBI, ascompared to traditional approaches can increase students’ conceptual knowledge and their abilityto transfer acquired knowledge to newer situations. Furthermore, exposure to real-worldchallenges, especially when presented in an active and practical learning environment increasesboth student interest and pedagogical effectiveness. The National Academy of Engineering(NAE) in its report, “Educating the Engineer of 2020,” contends that solving the GrandChallenges will require more than just providing students with technical training. It argues thatan engineering education must produce graduates who combine technical excellence with amultitude of other skills including communication, teaming, ethical reasoning, and contextualanalysis. Students without exposure to real-world projects during the course of the technicaleducation may neither develop these important skills nor gain sufficient motivation to pursuecareers in engineering. We therefore believe that the introduction of challenge-based engineeringcurricula and projects will create a favorable atmosphere for creativity, increased participationand teamwork.In this paper, we will present our experiences and student learning outcomes when a group ofundergraduate students from diverse science and engineering disciplines (from non-oceanengineering) were exposed to challenge-based ocean engineering project. This group of studentswas tasked to address a specific ocean engineering challenge. It is important to note this effortnot only excited and challenged students to tackle problems outside of their comfort zone butalso yielded non-traditional and out-of box solutions. The expected outcomes were valuabletechnical and problem-solving skills, teamwork, project and time management and other softskills.

Aravamudhan, S. (2015, June), Student Learning in Challenge-based Ocean Engineering Project Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24755

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