Rami Shorti

Rami Shorti

Mechanical Engineering/College of Engineering

2012-2013

Building a Novel Course by Utilizing Contemporary Pedagogical Methodologies: Experimental Design for Engineers

Faculty Mentor: Andrew S. Merryweather - Mechanical Engineering/College of Engineering

 

Planning and conducting experiments and analyzing the experimental data are skills that engineers need to add to their skill set and be equipped with as part of their educational journey. Whether students are planning to work for a research/engineering firm, get a higher education (Master or PhD), or even start their own businesses, they still need those skills. Furthermore, this skill also applies to students pursuing other disciplines such as physical, economic, medical, social, or psychological sciences.

From my experience as a graduate student in the engineering field, I realized that there is a need for a design of experiments statistics course that will aim to increase graduate students’ knowledge in the field of statistics, especially research design, data interpretation, and analysis. While creating a traditional course, where students are attending regular lectures, maybe a good idea to fill this gap, utilizing several contemporary teaching techniques, such as flipping the class and active learning, within the course will benefit students with different learning styles and knowledge levels.

 

As a graduate student at the University of Utah, I was able to gain experimental design and statistical analysis skills through courses that offered from various departments on campus, such as exercise and sports science, educational psychology, and family and preventative medicine. While the knowledge that I acquired from the combination of all of the courses that I attended was tremendous, having one class that is geared towards the engineering field would be ideal. Students in this class will be able to learn experimental design using tangible concepts and case studies that are directly applicable to their field.

 

Having one course with clear objectives relating to the engineering research needs is essential to the success of every graduate and undergraduate researcher. Once the course is implemented, a repeated process of assessing how well objectives are met, using subjective feedback from students and other faculty members as well as gauging students’ knowledge of the material by implementing tests, then adjusting the course to meet feedback from the students as well as adding new ideas to insure that the course stays current and effective would help ensure that the project would continue to benefit my department and the students once I am graduated.

 

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