Presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Convention: Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 29, 2011.
Based on positive prior experiences teaching sustainability analysis in electronics laboratory courses, this work explores techniques for teaching sustainability analysis in lecture courses. As difficult as it may seem to incorporate sustainability into integrated circuit courses or other engineering courses, it may prove as easy as asking students to consider how the coursework relates to sustainability issues.
The need to educate students “to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability” has gained sufficient value to deserve its own ABET Program Outcome, Criterion 3(c). This work presents a strategy to introduce students to the relevant issues before senior design coursework, thereby providing practice and enabling them to achieve such a program outcome more skillfully in senior level classes. Key practical challenges arise when attempting to add learning content to a one-quarter electronics course already bursting at the seams with conceptually challenging learning outcomes:
1. No extra class time exists in which to insert additional in-class activities; and
2. Few instructors desire the increased workload associated with reading dozens of additional student essays on top of normal assignment grading.
To address the in-class time limitation, this work delivers the sustainability issues content online. To minimize excess faculty workload, this work presents a tool designed to assist faculty to use peer review of writing assignments, even in medium to large courses. Assessment data confirm the students assimilate new sustainability analysis skills.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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