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Infusion of ABET — Specified professional and academic content into off-campus work experiences via distance learning modules

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2 Author(s)
Plouff, C. ; Sch. of Eng., Grand Valley State Univ., Grand Rapids, MI, USA ; Barakat, N.

Educating engineering students on ABET-required professional and nontechnical skills is usually a challenging task. The related challenges include finding a balance between the content, the delivery format, the time of delivery, and location in the curriculum for this material. This paper presents details on a pilot project to deliver professional and academic content to engineering students via distance learning during required co-op semesters. Assessment of this experience to solve multiple challenges simultaneously is also presented. Students were educated on engineering ethics, engineering economics, and project management, which are readily applied in workplace settings. This pilot study was conducted during the winter 2011 semester and included six modules, targeting the level of the first co-op course. Twelve co-op students were carefully chosen as a controlled sample to participate in the study. This sample included a horizontal cross section representing all engineering programs, and a vertical cross section including students from each of the three co-op courses. Direct and indirect assessment methods were conducted to assess the project. Students' perceptions of their knowledge in the targeted topics were greater than their demonstrated knowledge. Direct assessment showed an increase in students' knowledge for all three topic areas.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2012

Date of Conference:

3-6 Oct. 2012