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A Proven Model to Re-Engineer Engineering Education in Partnership with Industry

Morell, Lueny; Trucco, Martina
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): curriculum innovation; IT; sustainability; engineering education

Abstract: Engineering educators have been searching for models to reform the engineering curriculum to better respond to stakeholders' needs, especially those who hire engineers. Many attempts have been done around the world but with relatively little impact on the way engineering is taught. Like most higher education, the education process is focused more on the teacher than in the learner. This paper focuses on describing the Learning Factory model, an active learning engineering curriculum innovation undertaken by Penn State University (PSU), University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and University of Washington (UW), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories in 1998, an innovation that was recognized by the US National Academy of Engineering in 2006, granting the Bernard M. Gordon Award. This model seems to follow an education method that makes the learning experience effective for both students and professors and satisfactory to those who hire its graduates. In addition to describing the Learning Factory model, which complies with all of ABET criteria, the paper also shares examples of other programs that have adapted or adopted this approach to revamp their curricula. It will also present two proposals to develop new curriculum options: one in the area of IT and Sustainability, and the other with the newly launched HP Institute. Finally, the paper recommends an essential roadmap/steps that can be considered when engaging in the task of curriculum innovation.

7 Pages

External Posting Date: June 06, 2012 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: June 06, 2012 [Fulltext]

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