June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Engineering and Public Policy
24.1211.1 - 24.1211.20
The efficacy of case studies for teaching policy in engineering and technology coursesPublic policy is an increasingly important topic in the engineering and technology curriculum asit has been recognized by a community of experts, National Research Council of the NationalAcademies (NRCNA), Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), AmericanAssociation for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Academy of Engineering(NAE). The purpose of this paper is to extend the work of Chong, Depew, Ngambeki, and Dark“Teaching social topics in engineering: The case of energy policy and social goals” by exploringhow to introduce public policy using a case study approach to undergraduate engineering andtechnology students in the engineering economics course in the College of Technology at PurdueUniversity. The course is an introduction to the time value of money and how it relates to capitalinvestments, equipment replacement, production cost, and various engineering technologyalternatives. The substantive contribution of this paper will address the following questions: 1)when could public policy be included in an engineering curriculum; 2) how public policy couldbe added to the engineering curriculum; 3) did the students understand and identify the policycontext; and 4) how effective is the use of case studies to introduce technology students to policyconcepts?In this paper, the authors will introduce public policy as a case study project (i.e., final project) to15 teams on October 22. Each team will have four to five students and will have four weeks tocomplete their project. The instructor of the course will assign each team to one of two casestudies to work on. The theme of both case studies are energy related and can be found in Dark,Ngambeki, Depew, and Chong Chapter 3 “Social engagement by the engineer” In“Understanding the global energy crisis” by Coyle and Simmons (in press). Case study 1 is aboutthe phasing-out of Germany’s nuclear power plants. Case study 2 is about the increase ofbiomaterial cost and its effects upon Eco-Energy Systems LLC.There will be two parts to this study. First, the teams will write a report as part of the courseproject. The authors will analyze the reports using Deborah Stone’s social goals (Equity,Efficiency, Security, and Liberty) as a coding framework. Second, after the teams complete theirreports, each student will be given an online link to complete a short electronic survey regardingtheir experience with the case studies for a deeper examination. The authors will end this paperwith the reporting and discussion of the results.
Chong, R. C., & Dark, M., & Depew, D. R., & Ngambeki, I. B. (2014, June), The Efficacy of Case Studies for Teaching Policy in Engineering and Technology Courses Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23144
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