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The Making of a Technology Literacy Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Promoting Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Paper Authors


Dan G. Dimitriu University of Texas at San Antonio

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Dan G. Dimitriu has been practicing engineering since 1970 and taught engineering courses concurrently for more than 20 years at various institutions. In 2001, he joined San Antonio College full-time as the Coordinator of its Engineering program and in 2004 he joined the faculty at University of Texas at San Antonio as an adjunct professor. He has been involved with several engineering societies and became a member of the Two-year College Division of ASEE in 2002. His research interests are in alternative fuels, fuel cells, plastics, and engineering education.

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Mehdi Shadaram P.E. University of Texas, San Antonio

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Dr. Mehdi Shadaram is the Briscoe Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Engineering Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Prior to joining UTSA in 2003, he was the Schellenger Endowed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. His main area of research activity is in the broadband analog and digital fiber optic and wireless communication systems. He has published more than hundred articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He has been either PI or Co-PI for numerous grants and contracts, totaling more than $10 million in the past 15 years. NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Instruments and Lucent Technologies have funded his research projects. He is the recipient of the excellence in engineering research award at the College of Engineering at UTSA in 2010; the best teacher award in the College of Engineering at UTEP in 1994 and NASA monetary award for contribution to the space exploration. He has been the General Chair, Session Chair, TPC Chair, and Panelist in several IEEE conferences. He has served in numerous review panels. He is senior member of IEEE and member of OSA, SPIE, ASEE, and HKN. He is also a Professional Registered Engineer in the State of Texas. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1984 from University of Oklahoma.

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The Making of a Technology Literacy Course Abstract Our school is an urban, state-supported university and the engineering programs at this institution have been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for under-represented groups of minorities. In a society that becomes more and more dependent on technology the higher education should have at its core a fundamental goal to provide every student with the ability to understand the social, political, economic, and ethical implications of new technological developments. The paper will present the reasons to create this kind of course and how it was designed to help students discover how modern technology affects society and how they can use it to improve their cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The course was built to provide opportunities for them to explore the positive and negative aspects of modern technology, understand the social, political, economic, and ethical aspects of issues that are impacted by advancement of technology, and realize how to utilize it for the benefit of humanity. The course was structured to provide students with an environment conducive to free exchange of ideas and open dialogue. The diversity of the students was a positive factor in making possible the approach of every subject from various points of view. To instill the principles of teamwork, students majoring in various disciplines are organized in groups to work together on a variety of subjects. An assessment process is in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the course in meeting the course objectives. This paper will describe in detail the course content and present the assessment results as well as the continuing work to expand the students’ interest in studying the effects of technology on society.

Dimitriu, D. G., & Shadaram, M. (2016, June), The Making of a Technology Literacy Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26987

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