PROMOTING COLLABORATIVE, SELF-DIRECTED, HANDS-ON LEARNING IN ENGINEERING DESIGN IN UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE TEACHING

Khosrow Farahbakhsh

Abstract


The face of engineering education is rapidly changing as more emphasis is placed on a self-directed, problem-based and design-driven approach. The School of Engineering at the University of Guelph has recognized the importance of engineering design education by introducing capstone design courses and encouraging incorporation of design in many senior-level courses. Two recent initiatives include inclusion of a student-led laboratory design project in the Mass Transfer Operations course (ENGG*3470) and a self-directed, problem-based approach to teaching a new graduate course in Pollution Prevention Engineering (ENGG*6790). Both courses placed a significant emphasis on “learning by doing” and importance of “self-directed learning”. Both courses also encouraged the development of various design skills such as problem definition, information collection, collaboration, innovation, communication, life-cycle costing, etc. This paper provides insights on these two courses and the approaches used to ensure a collaborative, hands-on and self-directed learning experience for students.

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