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We lead the nation in changing the ways our engineering students learn and do. Actively engaging students motivates deeper thinking about course content and brings additional energy to a classroom. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning. We are enhancing knowledge, skills, and understanding through practical experience.
Active learning is your opportunity to gather real-world engineering experience in exciting, interesting settings. We engage your imagination and offer ways to develop your problem solving skills and entrepreneurial spirit right in the classroom.
Here in the College of Engineering we are flipping classrooms, blending learning, using problem-based learning, and supporting students to launch their own startups.
Here are some of the ways we engage our students in learning by doing.
- Problem-Based Learning - Students engage in complex, challenging problems and collaboratively work toward their resolution. PBL is about students connecting disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems.
- Flipped Classroom - Instead of classroom lectures, students view lectures online. Classes are devoted to problem-solving and instructors act as tutors.
- Vertically-Integrated Projects - long-term, large-scale research/design projects for both undergraduates and graduates.
- Living Learning Communities - Classroom instruction takes place beyond the barriers of classroom walls and incorporates less conventional learning strategies. Focus in on the Grand Challenges. Students divided into teams to complete coursework.
- Startup Lab - Students develop a business model for a startup idea of their own.
Here are some of our game-changers:
Robotics for the World
Last year, Professor Magnus Egerstedt, Electrical and Computer Engineering, taught thousands of people how to make robots move. In his online class, “Control of Mobile Robots,” Egerstedt demonstrated the basics of control theory with a collection of robotic sidekicks that shimmied, scurried and skittered at his will. With students from around the world watching videos and taking exams, the course was embraced as a success.
Using low-cost, open-source hardware, Egerstedt and a cadre of his graduate students gave MOOC participants the chance to bring their own robots to life. After all, it’s one thing to watch a professor direct robots in a video; it’s quite another to do it yourself on a robot assembled with your own hands. He partnered with SparkFun Electronics, Texas Instruments and MathWorks to bring low-cost parts to students, who were eventually able to build a machine named the QuickBot for about $140 to $220 each (depending on how advanced their robots were).
Egerstedt is teaching in a familiar way, but the setting is different. There are no students present, and instead of a classroom or lecture hall, the lesson is being given in a studio with a jungle of lamps overhead. Every move Egerstedt makes is recorded for online broadcast.
New Learning Commons Area
Professor Joe LeDoux is leading an effort to transform biomedical engineering building space to be dedicated to BME undergraduate students and their learning. The question LeDoux is asking is: can we design a set of experiences that complement the BME curriculum and foster deeper learning through enhanced peer-to-peer and student-faculty interactions? The new learning commons provides a physical setting for student interaction and group learning.
Civil engineering professor, Donald Webster, is asking students to view pre-filmed lectures at home, then treats class time as a dedicated problem-solving workshop. Any technically heavy course can benefit from the inverted format, specifically for the increased opportunity to practice problem solving. Once in class, Webster begins by demonstrating a practice problem, after which the students work in groups of two to tackle additional problem sets.
Invention Studio - Run entirely by students. Campus "skunk works" and at forefront of Maker Movement. A free student-run design-build-play space open to all Georgia Tech students and serves as a way to support and foster the demand for creative, self-initiated learning.
Capstone Design - Students work in teams to design, build, and test prototypes with real world applications. At the end of each semester, students showcase their efforts at the “Capstone Design Expo”. Opportunity to work with real-world, open-ended, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors.
InVenture Prize - Innovation competition for undergraduate students at Georgia Tech. Students can work independently or in teams to develop and present inventions which will be judged by experts. A cash prize of $20,000 for first place or $10,000 for second place and a free US patent filing for both the first and second place winners.