The role of the engineering clinic in promoting an agile ECE learning environment

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Abstract

To keep up with rapidly advancing technology, numerous innovations to the ECE curriculum, learning methods and pedagogy have been tested, implemented and envisioned. It is safe to say that no single approach will work for all of the diverse ECE technologies and every type of learner. However, a few key innovations appear useful in keeping undergraduate students motivated to learn, resilient to technology evolution and oriented amidst the overload of new information and ECE applications. Engineering clinics, similar to their medical clinic counterparts, provide project-based experiences within the core of an ECE education that enable transformation of the entire curriculum toward an outcomes-oriented, student centered, total quality environment. Clinics and project based learning approaches build skills within the individuals that give them confidence and motivation to continuously self-learn and adapt as the technologies around them give way to new, more effective paradigms. Perhaps more importantly engineering clinic experiences provide numerous opportunities for students to experience the holism of true engineering problem solving approaches and ranges of potential technology solutions. This paper reviews many of the innovations that will enable ECE education to become more effective in the midst of our present plethora of information and technology. Specific benefits from published and unpublished findings from engineering clinic and project-based learning experiences in actual use (Olin, Harvey Mudd, FIT, Drexel, Rose-Holman and Rowan) are summarized and discussed. This paper concludes that creating agile learning environments to graduate engineers that can be rapidly productive in the professional and research worlds is at least enhanced by some degree of clinic and/or project based learning experiences in the ECE curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2006Jun 21 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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