Technology has changed every aspect of our lives and when it comes to engineering education, there are no exceptions. Traditional teaching methods in classrooms, amidst a set curriculum, have become history. Classrooms these days are technology-enabled smart classes, which keeps students enticed and excited for towards learning. Not only laptops, tablets and smart books, access to education has been expanded in the form of audios, videos, and images that are now available at fingertips due to the availability of internet. Formal learning opportunities are available across the world and are unprecedented due to new technological advancements. The modern age engineers are moving forward than ever, as technology is taking a new shape, which they have to adapt to in order to be ready for the future and new opportunities.
There are several factors that have shaped the present day engineering curriculum: –
Robots and Artificial Intelligence
Due to the technological advancement, the dependency of humans over machine is increasing at a faster rate. Robots in the education system are making our lives simple, as all the work is taken care of by them. The educational institutions are also incorporating study on robots and Artificial Intelligence, for students to have an in-depth technical knowledge at an early stage. With the help of robotic technology, students can learn and gain knowledge about how the robots work, thus, opening the door for practical exposure.
Additionally, institutions also need a large number of well-trained teachers and professors that will further improve the teaching methods and will help in future development of knowledge, interests, and attitude of students. They also need a broader perspective and skill-set in order to cope with the technological challenges.
Specialized Field of Engineering
Students must be provided with liberal education and specialization, which is not given at an initial stage, but towards the end of the curriculum. The institutes these days are more focused on advanced studies rather than the traditional academic content. Engineering is a diverse field with many specialization options. Having a specialization in a field will help engineers to explore various job opportunities and increases the chances of employment. It also facilitate the students in the selecting the courses for their interest and have their respective technological advancements such as in Astronautical, Agricultural, Automotive, Biochemical engineering, etc.
Technology as An Integral Subject
Nowadays, more attention is being given to technological contexts that have meaning and relevance for the students. Theme-based studies or topics illustrating technological principles are based on our everyday life or current socio-scientific issues. These topics are interdisciplinary, and teaching them requires collaboration between teachers, with expertise in different disciplines. In many engineering colleges and universities, technology has been introduced as a subject or as an integral component of general education as a way of modern information learning. This builds confidence in students as they understand that technology is not just about knowledge, but also useful in our daily life or work.
New Learning Methods
Resources like the internet, user-friendly devices, and new technologies have enhanced the way of new learning and teaching methods in institutes and universities. Prevalence of online curricula for different courses has increased tremendously. This provides students to access the learning material from anywhere. Multimedia platforms provide content through videos, which is a new and informative learning experience for the students. Audible books and e-books based on virtual and augmented reality provide students with valuable information in the form of text, infographics, images, and graphs, helping create an in-depth knowledge.
By the time engineering students graduate from colleges, they need to know the skills, knowledge and behaviour of the engineering technology and will be capable of applying to solve technical problems, which is commonly encountered in engineering professions. They will be capable of identifying, formulating, and presenting creative solutions to technical problems within the engineering profession. They also need to maintain and improve professional and technical skills throughout their careers in order to achieve their goals. This means, engineers need to be future ready so that they can collaborate across industries with technologies.