Building a Learner-Centered Cyberlearning Environment in Computer-Aided Design Education
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program
09/01/2014 – 08/31/2017
Transforming ideas into saleable products is the core of the development process. In the modern engineering environment, computer-aided design (CAD) plays a key role in this process. CAD systems have contributed to the reduction of product development cycle time for physical products. In one example, the introduction of CAD/CAM almost halved development cycle time (Teresko, 1988). The benefits of CAD use are numerous ranging from development cost reductions, improved manufacturability and improved communication.
Engineering students in the 21st century will enter a professional environment where computer-aided design tools are ubiquitous. Today’s industries demand that universities graduate engineers who are prepared with the skills to use the appropriate modern CAD tools. A student who is not knowledgeable in using CAD tools will be placed in a distinct disadvantage after graduation in this highly competitive environment.
Although the advances in CAD tools have changed the practice of professional engineering, unfortunately the curriculum for engineering education has not kept pace in adapting such technologies. According to a survey conducted by Ye et al. (2004) on how industries evaluate the current CAD education in colleges and universities, 74 percent of the participants from the industries indicated that the current CAD education is inadequate. The CAD education today mainly focuses on teaching students how to “point and click” software.
The primary goal of this project is to enhance the students’ learning of computer-aided design (CAD) and promote their life-long learning skills by building a learner-centered and sustainable cyberlearning environment. The project has the following specific objectives:
*This study is still in progress. More details will be posted as the project continues.