Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Where is college engineering education heading?

I tried to have a conversation about this with some upper level administrators at my school recently and I couldn't get an answer out of them? They quoted statistics about how society is changing and becoming more demanding, but didn't provide any strategy about how we are supposed to deal with these changes. Instead I was referred to education research on how to be a better teacher.

I agree that we need to rethink and revamp the approach of having a professor copy lecture notes onto a board for an hour 3 days a week, but there needs to be a line and we need to be doing what is in the best interest of society and companies that hire these future engineers to work on huge and often potentially dangerous projects.

Where does the song and dance end? Are we all going to end up as clowns that are paid to amuse and entertain students?

Do you really learn anything if you have a derivation shown on a page with a few answers missing?

How many people have/had handouts/worksheets on a regular basis in their upper level engineering courses? Is it really that difficult to listen and write at the same time? Do you want someone who can't handle this simple multitask to be responsible for an oil refinery?