Ajman University of Science & Technology (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 5501 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Colleges of Engineering are always required to provide the market with engineering graduates who are problem solvers with the ability to deal with market needs as they develop. The fast pace of progress in technology, especially in the last twenty five years, has put great pressure on engineering colleges to develop their programs in a manner that provides the student not only with established technological and scientific knowledge but also with soft skills and with the ability to be self learners in order to keep pace with market demand. The aim of any present day engineering program is best described by the ABET, EC2000 criteria which has been followed by reputable colleges worldwide. We, at Ajman University, made a comprehensive revision of our engineering programs and brought them in line with the ABET, EC2000 criteria. We started applying the new programs in 2006. One of the key elements for the success of the new programs is the ability of the student to be a self learner and only be guided and mentored by the teacher in stead of being spoon fed. The engineering courses were developed to include problem based and project based sessions. The real problem which was encountered and remains hindering the effectiveness of the new programs is the degree of preparedness of the student arriving from high schools in engaging in such process. In a survey carried out on our top high school students who have been admitted to engineering programs we found that in the majority of cases, with the exception of very few, students who have studied sciences and mathematics in school can hardly relate these to real life problems. Lack of appreciation for the relationship between sciences and engineering has also impaired the judgment of students in choosing engineering as a college major. We have tried to alleviate this problem and compensate for the shortcoming by involving the students in engineering introductory courses and more of practice oriented exercises in order to enhance student’s awareness and make of them more independent learners. This is an added burden on the students and the college. We believe that the solution to the problem lies in the pre-university education where students should be more exposed to technology and made more active learners. This paper discusses this issue and emphasizes the role education technology can play in improving the outcome of school education and making a better use of school’s resources. Furthermore, recommendations are made into ways of integrating technology tools in education and the need to include experts in education technology in the operation of schools.
Engineering Education, Problem Solving, Technology, eLearning.