INTRODUCING FACULTY RESEARCH TO UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS: ENHANCING ACTIVE COOPERATIVE LEARNING Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • Involving students in research projects can be seen as a form of inductive teaching. However, the few studies the authors could find regarding the benefits of incorporating research in undergraduate classes show mixed results and opinions. This paper discusses preliminary results of introducing faculty on-going research to undergraduate students, in a form of multidisciplinary projects and team environments, focusing on student-centered approaches, such as active cooperative learning. In the summer of 2011, a small informal team of students was assembled and presented them with an open-ended multidisciplinary problem. The students were from the Electronics and Telecommunications and Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology program within the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department at Texas A & M University. The challenge was to develop a low-cost "standardized" vehicle, capable of supporting customization and adaptation to meet a number of divergent needs. The students were required to come up with a collective solution. The instructors from both programs provided weekly discussions in response to the students' efforts while offering little direction. Students' involvement in the faculty on-going research, the minimum guidance provided by the instructors and the trial and error consequently required by the students, were used as tools in the learning process. The current paper is based on our preliminary experience and aims to address the need for combining multidisciplinary theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on experience, with a particular focus on integration of research and education. The main goal was to try to assess how well students work under that model and share our experiences. The strategy further strengthened faculty beliefs in the future of the research-teaching nexus. 2012 American Society for Engineering Education.

published proceedings

  • 2012 ASEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE

author list (cited authors)

  • Robson, N., & Morgan, J. A.

complete list of authors

  • Robson, Nina||Morgan, Joseph A

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM