Effective: Exploring a framework for evaluating courses on technology in various environments

John Krupczak, Timothy Simpson, Vince Bertsch, Kate Disney, Elsa Garmire

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


There is an urgent need for all Americans to better understand the wide variety of technology used everyday. Technological literacy is important at both an individual and national level. In two reports: Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More about Technology (2002), and Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy (2006), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), has outlined the characteristics of a technologically literate citizen. The NAE defines the term technological literacy as an understanding of all types of technology not just computers and information technology. Technological literate citizens have a broad comprehension of the diverse products of all the engineering professions. The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have also produced standards that include an understanding of technology. Creating a population with a more thorough understanding of technology will require an extensive effort by educators at undergraduate institutions. Courses and materials that are easily adoptable in diverse and varied colleges and universities will be needed. Recognizing the need for standardized and readily adoptable undergraduate courses on this topic, the NSF supported a working group lead by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Technological Literacy Constituent Committee. This group met on March 26-27, 2007 and adopted four models to serve as standardized courses on technology. In this work, a framework for specific course outlines consistent with the content areas established in Tech Tally of: technology and society, design, products and systems, and technology core concepts and the ITEA technology topic areas was created. To help instructors to satisfy the requirements of curriculum committees on varied campuses, the framework offers flexibility in configuring courses within each proposed model while still accomplishing the intent of the standards. This framework will be used in creating a repository of course materials that will be accessible online to assist course developers and instructors. The framework will help faculty develop expertise in adapting existing innovative course materials and standards for defining technological literacy and incorporating them efficiently into their own courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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