2022 First-Year Engineering Experience

Provision of the practical learning environment via application-based projects integrated with the undergraduate engineering curriculum.

Presented at Technical Session M5C

Abstract— The integration of real-world application-based projects in the undergraduate engineering curriculum is becoming popular with many educational institutions. The incorporation of learning via real-world projects provides the students with the much-needed confidence as problem solvers for the community. The need for finding a project to apply the engineering principles learnt as course content, makes the learning process relevant and motivating. The students automatically become responsible for discovering new optimal solutions through their engineering expertise, while simultaneously developing an appreciation for selecting the precise problem area that needs immediate assistance. This paper focuses on the significance of providing a professional experience to the undergraduates through application-based projects, that allows them to utilize their engineering skill-sets for functioning as technically versatile engineers, after graduation. The application-based projects also highlight the creative engineering element among undergraduates, in the form of obtaining long-term sustainable solutions. This paper explores the effectiveness of the project-based learning over the traditional lecture-based learning methods. It is showcased in this paper that project-based learning methodologies certainly leads to better retention of the course content while developing our undergraduates into versatile engineers. A good engineer should not only be equipped with the thorough knowledge of engineering principles, but should also be creative, resourceful, team-worker and capable of adapting ethically to the given circumstances, that they can undoubtedly attain via application-based projects. It might be a little demanding to find the appropriate project, as per the engineering curriculum guidelines, but it is worth the positive and valuable experiences of the undergraduate students. Active participation in project-based learning supports the development of engineering student’s professional and technical skills. Application-based projects not only add value to the learning process, but also provides the priceless perspective to the undergraduate students for understanding and evaluating the engineering curriculum, while allowing their professors to better support their development.

Keywords—Alternate learning strategies, Application-based projects, Active Learning.

  1. Dr. Surupa Shaw Texas A&M University [biography]
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