Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering Courses

Nidal Al-Masoud, Viatcheslav Naoumov, Steven Kirstukas
2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Steve Kirstukas is an Assistant Professor at CCSU, where he teaches courses in solid modeling, MAT-LAB programming, and engineering mechanics. He is exploring the use of virtual reality to enhance the engineering design process. He has degrees in civil and mechanical engineering, with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Steve has worked in industry as a civil engineer, software developer, biomechanics researcher, and mechanical design engineer. Abstract The main thrust of this paper is
more » ... senting an assessment methodology for lifelong learning competency. Several assessment tools embedded in a selected set of engineering courses along with their assessment methodologies, data analysis and conclusions are presented in this manuscript. The selected courses are spread over at the sophomore, junior, and senior levels. The courses include Engineering Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Propulsion Systems, and the Senior Design Capstone project. With the exception of the last course, students were assigned a set of open-ended problems that involved a wide range of engineering and real-world applications that students might encounter as practicing engineers or as graduate students. Information sources were restricted to peer-reviewed published work such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and books. Students were directed to use the main engineering digital databases Engineering Village or Compendex, which provide comprehensive coverage of literature in all engineering fields. Unsupported assertions or claims were a basis of rejection or grade reduction of the project grade. The attainment level of the lifelong learning competency was assessed using two performance indicators. The first performance indicator comprised of measures of students' ability to recognize the attributes of a lifelong learner, the significance of lifelong learning, and identification of sources for continuing education. This performance indicator was assessed using a comprehensive online survey that students filled out upon completion of the research project. The second indicator focused on students' ability to independently perform an in-depth analysis, produce quality work, and use various resources to learn new material not taught in class. This performance indicator was assessed using technical report grading rubrics. Students' feedback, survey, and reports analysis, all indicated that the methodology has been successfully implemented. The awareness level of attributes of being a lifelong learner, identification of different means of lifelong sources and methods have been positively impacted. Lifelong Learning -Motivations and Definition ABET 1 and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2 have established a set of attributes that engineering graduates should possess upon graduation. These attributes include both technical and non-technical skills and competencies that students are expected to know upon graduation. Generally, the latter is not as well-defined as the former, thus assessment of the nontechnical competencies is more challenging and harder to assess. The fast pace of advancement in science and technology makes it vital for all professionals to stay up-to-date with contemporary advances and innovations in various fields of technology. The multidisciplinary nature of engineering practice puts engineers at the forefront of meeting this pressing demand. At some point in their practice, engineers will need to solve a problem or design components that requires research, learning new software, knowledge of other engineering disciplines, or locating an article in a book, journal, or a conference proceeding. Criterion 3i of the ABET 2000 and its subsequent revisions and modifications 1 , requires that engineering graduates are expected to possess the competency of "recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning". The theme of this criterion is to instill the ability
doi:10.18260/1-2--19493 fatcat:b4m5eggfdzhjhepq4ys4gcn75a