Format of Original
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
2015 ASEE Zone III Conference
We describe the design, implementation, and outcomes of an advanced engineering course emulating the working environment of a company. Shifting from a traditional teaching style to an approach where students must be completely involved in project-related research, implementation, preparation of deliverables, and presentation of results helps to: 1) foster self-learning, 2) engage students more and enable them to be pro-active and competition-aware, and 3) enable a smoother transition from full-time student to full-time employee. We used anonymous questionnaires as the primary methodology of data collection along with ratings of the projects in terms of extent of challenge/complexity and type of work (individual vs. team-work). The questionnaires assessed the following dimensions satisfaction, fairness, knowledge acquired, challenge, feedback, and validation. Students are more satisfied with their learning experience when they work in teams on more complex projects split into smaller subprojects rather than working individually on projects, irrespective of their complexity.