Because engineering design, that is very important not only to nation’ s economy but also to sustainability of the earth, is conducted mainly by engineers, design education is the core of engineering education. In addition, the collaborative design education is very important for deep understanding of knowledge and the development of creativity, social skills and others. This paper presents the global trend, educational contents, pedagogy, in particular project-based learning, and evaluation of the design education. Further, it discusses the graduation thesis, which many faculties consider so important that they reject to replace with design project, in terms of its purpose, importance and educational methods, and points out that the conventional education should be changed to the combined education of knowledge acquirement and application such as the design.
In 2002, the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering was established as a small institution in a Boston suburb specified by undergraduate engineering education. The college set up its targets to motivate students to cultivate a lifelong learning, and illuminates them with engineering design, interdisciplinarity and teamworking. These were not brand-new concepts in reforming engineering education, but somewhat difficult to realize because of the interferences such as the traditions and customs. The notable features of its curriculum are summarized as follows ; the project-based learning (PBL) are introduced to a half of courses, the engineering design education is placed across the curriculum, and the Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE, a year-long PBL program where students collaborate with industrial partners) was set as the culmination of learning.
Almost all universities in Japan impose research work and theses on all students for bachelor’ sdegree, and they spend almost one year long to make the research. This is a relic of old time education in university when only 10% of young people went to higher schools and Japan was a developing country. The research after 3 years higher education can be meaningful only when the country is developing and information from the advanced countries is limited in the universities. Sometimes, even now, the research work for theses is the first experience for students to find the way to goal by themselves, and is very valuable experience for them. But it is time to disuse the research work for bachelor’ s degree. Experiences of design projects are more effective to Engineering Education.
The purpose of this paper is to propose a graduation research incorporating the project-based education for developing fundamental competencies for working persons. Many studies have been reported on educational methods with project management techniques, but few have considered project-based learning aimed at improving fundamental competencies for working persons. If these competencies can be developed through project-based education in graduation research, it will be possible to develop not only teamwork skills, but also a wide range of skills involving action as well as thinking. This paper proposes an educational model for developing fundamental competencies for working persons and examines its effectiveness by analyzing the case of a “cooking tools project” for graduation research students.
Compulsory subject “introductory coursework to research project” makes 4th-year students to discuss the research targets and their approaches regarding on his or her own research project, and to participate in 1st-year students’ project as advisors and/or facilitators. Their ability of engineering design can be brought up through setting research targets and selecting the approaches taking real conditions and constraints into consideration. Experiences as an advisor and/or a facilitator in the 1st-year students’ project are quite effective not only to develop his or her teamwork skills and leadership but to check his or her own learning habit. In the present article we will present the outline and outcomes of the subject and discuss how to develop engineering design ability more effectively through it.
We introduce the curriculum of mechanical systems engineering course at Kumamoto University, putting a stress upon the role of senior thesis in engineering education. After showing our system of supervising thesis and the framework of assessment of thesis, we devote a short discussion concerning the effectiveness of senior thesis in the development of student’ s potential.
Engineering Clinic Program (ECP) has been provided to students for 15 years. ECP is engineering education based on academia-industry collaboration, and is different from education based on an ordinary graduation thesis. Several programs in ECP have been revised to seek for better education. One of examples is “Global Clinic” which was started last year among Kogakuin University, affiliated university and industry in the U.S. This program is the new type of education combining two principal features in our department, i.e. engineering English education and academia-industry collaborative project. The merit and issue of ECP found in our experience will be reviewed in this paper.
Positioning of the graduation research in the technical college is considered as the compilation of the technical knowledge and the skill which have been studied for five years. And, to set up the hand-making of a compound domain including designing, making and experiments as a theme of graduation research is considered as one of the method in which an education effect is high for technical college students. From the above background, designing, making and experiments of a tail fin driving ship were tried as a hand-making type graduation research. As examples of consideration, the relation between the frequency of the tail fin and swimming speed, the moving state of the tail fin, and the circular swimming method by the control pattern of the tail fin were introduced with the lesson questionnaire evaluation of the students.