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Using A Two Course Sequence In Technical Drawing In The Engineering Technology Curriculum That Establishes A Baseline Of Knowledge, Promotes Independent Work And Life Long Learning, And Introduces Students To Rapid Prototyping

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Reaching Students: Innovations to Curriculum in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1326.1 - 13.1326.9



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Paper Authors


Jason Durfee Eastern Washington University

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Jason Durfee is currently an Assistant Professor of Engineering & Design at Eastern Washington University. He received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He holds a Professional Engineer certification. Prior to teaching at Eastern Washington University, he was a military pilot, an engineering instructor at West Point and an airline pilot. His interests include aerospace, aviation, computational fluid dynamics, professional ethics, and piano technology.

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Donald Richter Eastern Washington University

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DONALD C. RICHTER obtained his B. Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a Professional Engineer certification and worked as an Engineer and Engineering Manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics /automation and air pollution dispersion modeling.

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


Our university uses a two-course sequence to teach students the elements of technical drawing in both 2-D and 3-D. Students start with instruction presented in a lecture-type format but by the end of the sequence they are successful at self-paced instruction. The first course is designed to introduce students to 2-D electronic CAD in a structured lecture format but uses a tutorial-type of text. This allows students some opportunities to work independently and get ahead of the course syllabus but retains the lecture format to make sure that all students complete the course with a baseline of technical drawings skills and knowledge. This course is followed by instruction in 3-D solid modeling. This second course involves minimal lecture time and is primarily a student-paced course with instructor assistance. The text for the course is also a tutorial and since students have been introduced to this type of instruction in their initial CAD experience, they are able to quickly move into this student-paced course. Although the concern is that students will procrastinate when made responsible for their own learning, one important key to keeping this method successful involves the use of rapid prototyping as part of the solid modeling course. Each student must complete a final project in the solid modeling environment that will then be created for them on a rapid prototype machine. Seeing and having their project in a physical form motivates the students to work ahead and be committed to their own education. It is one of the early stages in the department’s program to instill self-reliance and life-long learning into the students skill set. This paper will discuss how this two-course sequence is organized with its emphasis on instilling independent learning into the student experience.


Engineering Education faces a problem of retention of students in the first few years of college. Some literature suggests that we may be losing as much a 50 % of the students.1,5 Some suggest that students from minority schools would greatly benefit and are more accustomed to a greater teacher interaction and individual support.2,6 These alone are a clear indication that we need to reexamine the traditional lecture method of delivering course material and look at new ways to reach students and find new ways of teaching. Further evidence that a shift in education methods is needed can be attributed to the fact that once students enter the workforce they will be required to become productive with new tools for design in a very short time as technological advancements continue to change the manner in which they work. This skill needs to be developed while at college to apply once the student graduates, since industry also will require them to learn new design tools quickly to improve their competitiveness in the ever changing world we live in.3,4 The question is, How can we try to accomplish meeting these challenges in the Engineering Technology curriculum?

Durfee, J., & Richter, D. (2008, June), Using A Two Course Sequence In Technical Drawing In The Engineering Technology Curriculum That Establishes A Baseline Of Knowledge, Promotes Independent Work And Life Long Learning, And Introduces Students To Rapid Prototyping Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3432

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