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Two Minors In Technological Literacy For Nonengineers

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Engineering Courses for Non-engineers

Tagged Division

Technological Literacy Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1286.1 - 14.1286.10



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Paper Authors


Robert J. Gustafson

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Director, Engineering Education Innovation Center
Honda Professor for Engineering Education
College of Engineering
Ohio State University

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Bruce Trott Ohio State University

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College of Engineering
Ohio State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Two Minors in Technological Literacy for Non-Engineers


University-wide review of General Education at Ohio State University brought forth the need for technological literacy as an insight area within general education. However, no satisfactory means to address this insight area was established. Therefore it has not been integrated into the general education requirements. This paper reports on subsequent work by the College of Engineering resulting in two minors that address technological literacy. The College has chosen to work from the basic description and general learning objectives developed by a recent reports of the National Academy of Engineering and National Standards for Technological Literacy. In order to offer the most value in a minor and meet learning objectives in the most effective fashion, the conclusion was reached that it is best to view the potential audience for minors in two groups. The first group being those that will likely be working directly with engineers in the future and who can be expected to have mathematics capability through beginning calculus. A minor for this group is termed Engineering Sciences Minor. The second group would be those that are looking to the minor to build their technological literacy in a more general sense and who may not have as high a level of quantitative coursework background. A minor for this group is termed the Technological Studies Minor and is intended for the goal creating a more technologically literate citizen. This paper reports examples of these key audiences, learning goals for each minor, key curriculum components, and a proposed curriculum structure.

Development of the Minors

University review of General Education at Ohio State University has brought forth the need for technological literacy as an insight area within general education. However, to date no satisfactory solutions to address this insight area have been established. Therefore no technological literacy element has been implemented in the University’s general education. In December of 2006, within the College of Engineering the Core Curriculum and College Services Committee and College Committee on Academic Affairs agreed to establish a joint six-member task force to consider what the College of Engineering could offer for non-engineering students in terms of one or more minors, with particular focus on the area of technological literacy. The task force members consulted several of the colleges with potential student interest (Business; Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; Education and Human Ecology; and Colleges of Arts and Sciences), primarily through advisors and administrative representatives. Feedback received from the colleges was positive towards the concept of minors in this area. In March of 2007, the task force recommended the development of two minors. The recommendations of the report were endorsed by both college committees. The following outlines the objectives, audiences and content for two minors in the domain of technological literacy ultimately as approved at the University level in January 2009. The minors are scheduled for implementation in Autumn Quarter of 2009.

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Gustafson, R. J., & Trott, B. (2009, June), Two Minors In Technological Literacy For Nonengineers Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5418

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