INNOVATION IN TEACHING FRESHMAN ENGINEERING DESIGN: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH
Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In recent years, numerous researchers have shown that the application of problem-based learning (PBL), and “interactive engagement” pedagogical approaches to engineering freshman design courses, substantially increase the effectiveness of engineering education, as well as improve student motivation and retention rates. While there are several PBL models in literature for teaching basic engineering design to freshman students, few use a robotics platform with command line programming interface. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, none exist that integrate PBL with C++ interface and with a rapid prototyping machine such as a 3-D printer. A new interdisciplinary course for teaching engineering freshman design is developed. The main objective of the course is to introduce students to the basics of engineering design using an active learning, hands-on, open-ended problem-solving approach. The course structure has three integrated modules: a LEGO® Mindstorms® robotics kit, a C++ interface, and a 3-D printer to emulate rapid prototyping. Students participate in various phases of the design process: problem-solving, designing and rapid prototyping, integration of stock and prototyped parts, and C++ interface and control programming. Further goals include developing the students’ problem-solving, innovation and creativity, teamwork and communication skills, in response to ABET EC 2000 criteria. Additionally, the students are introduced to interdisciplinary and reverse engineering problems such as Biomedical, Aeronautical, and Computer engineering applications. This paper describes the course structure, management issues, as well as effective methods of assessment.
Keywords: Freshman Engineering Design, PBL, ABET 2000, robotics, 3-D Printer, C++, Interdisciplinary, Reverse Engineering.