Currently there are both significant opportunities and challenges in engineering education. Opportunities such as the Internet have opened the doors for students to find a tremendous amount of educational resources, examples, and motivating application areas. Rapid prototyping such a 3D Printing and Laser Cutting allows students to quickly implement and test their ideas. However, challenges remain in preparing students to contribute in an increasingly competitive and global workforce. The rapid pace of technological change requires that students have a solid grasp of fundamentals that they will retain for the rest of their careers, and develop life-long learning skills. Some areas of that the Engineering Education Group in MAE are working on include:
- How to increase student intuitive understanding of engineering theory through use of physical models in the classroom.
- Development of a Teamwork Assessment Tool that allows students to rate their teammates and improve team performance midway through a project.
- Design projects which emphasis integration of theory such as Optimization from a Working Baseline.
- Use of sensors in hardware design projects that allow comparison of theory to actual performance.
- Technology Enhanced Education, such as use of touchscreens for hand sketching and spatial visualization.