Writing critical reviews in technical courses in a bseet program: Student perceptions

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

To support TAC of ABET Criterion 2 points (g) and (h), we have incorporated the writing of critical reviews in an Electronics Design course -junior level- in the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology program offered at the campus. The students are asked to read and submit a critical review for each one of 5 articles previously selected by the instructor. These articles are all technical in nature extracted from professional and trade publications, written by engineers for engineers. At the beginning of the semester the instructor explains to the students the reason for this classroom activity as well as its weight on the final grade. The instructor also emphasizes that it is very unlikely that the students will be able to fully understand all the topics presented in each article and this has been chosen on purpose as these articles now become a tool for the students to learn in more detail the topics presented in each article. It also serves to emphasize to the students that learning does not stop on graduation as professional and practitioners use these publications to continue learning and refreshing their knowledge. The instructor provides feedback for each to each student on the technical contents of their review as well as grammar, spelling and clear transmission of ideas. At the end of the course the students were asked to respond to an anonymous survey about this activity. The survey focused on questioning the students on the technical concepts that they learned from the article reviews as well as how they felt about writing the reviews. The main findings can be summarized as follows: a) Students didn't like having to write the critical reviews. b) Students acknowledged the value of the critical reviews as a tool that gave them a broader insight into the topic of the course, analog electronic design. This paper describes in detail the results from this activity as well as provides information and insight for colleagues in any engineering or engineering technology program who want to incorporate similar activities into their courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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