A Shift To Handson Curriculum For Engineering

693 words - 3 pages

The proposed shift in engineering curriculum with focus on technology assisted teaching/learning process is integrated into interdisciplinary activity in a central facility. In this centre, the student will have access to state of the art knowhow on consumer and commercial products for acquiring hands on experience. The resulting process of learning through practice will adequately train his mind to reflect on what he learnt and how to progress further. The student will begin to align his thinking process to appreciate current status in different fields of engineering and use the tools to find solutions that meet tomorrow’s industry and societal needs. The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology [ABET, 2005] stipulates that in order to maintain accreditation, “the institutions should demonstrate that their students obtain broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context”. Autonomous engineering institutions in India with flexibility to restructure the curriculum to meet ABET guidelines can accelerate the process by connecting with industry and society.
The reform process in engineering education has already begun in industrialized countries a decade ago. Many Universities implement ‘Capstone Design Projects’ as an interdisciplinary activity in specially equipped laboratories through active industry support. Rowan University’s successful introduction of ‘Engineering Clinic’ with industry participation deserves particular mention [Kadlowec, Bhatia, Chandrupatla, et al., 2007]. The main feature of its curriculum is the integrated engineering clinic with emphasis on multidisciplinary interactive learning and elective courses. The Harvey Mudd College ‘Clinic Program’ is another significant step toward improving undergraduate engineering education [Bright and Phillips, 1999; Dym, Gilkeson and Phillips,2012]. Stanford’s ‘Epicenter’ [Byers, Seelig, Sheppard and Weilerstein, 2013] adopted by 15 other universities for innovation and entrepreneurship with the mission “to empower undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of the economy and society”, Cambridge ‘Engineering Design Centre’ that created advanced design tools and startup ventures [Nicholl, Flutter, Hosking and Clarkson, 2013], PennState’s ‘Centre for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship’ [Colledge, 2012] are few of the many industry supported University Centers that...

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