ENHANCING TECHNICAL EDUCATION USING MULTIPLE APPROACHES
Wentworth Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The challenges of higher education have never been more acute. Teaching computer science and information system courses pose special challenges. Globalization, the “digital divide,” and the pervasiveness of computerization into other previously unrelated fields have created a steep learning curve and a broadening of skill sets and awareness. Students have grown up with technology. Students are not only accustomed to multitasking but often require it. Using a multisensory approach to class and laboratory time is essential. Lectures must no more be recitation by the instructor but a combination of: review of previous information; presentation of new material with goals and objectives; student feedback; and clear progression of concepts and applications to the stated end of the course using both visual and auditory stimulation. Ethical and moral issues must frame the course as the proliferation of “free” knowledge on the Internet blur the lines of information accuracy, fair use, privacy and plagiarism. Students should be offered opportunities to use knowledge gained in class through co-operative education, internships, service learning programs, and faculty assistantships to solidify concepts. Real-world applications and projects should be at the forefront. Creative teaching methods using the Internet and printed media to identify and solve issues facing both local and global communities can be introduced to promote creativity and instill ownership in societal issues. Other valuable teaching tools can include simulation, virtualization software, and open-source freeware. The use of multimedia presentations can also be introduced but must be done properly. The increasing use of laptops in the classroom has benefits and disadvantages that must be weighed. Used together, used properly and evaluated properly, the undergraduate learning experience can be greatly enhanced.
Keywords: technical education, ethics, teaching, service learning.