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Haldun Komsuoglu

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Robotics as the Delivery Vehicle: A contexualized, social, self paced, engineering education for life-long learners

Robotics Science and Systems Workshop on “Research in Robots for Education”, 2007

Weingarten, J. D.Koditschek, D. E.
Komsuoglu, H.Massey, C.
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Institute of Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania

Full PDF | Penn ScholarlyCommons

Abstract
In this paper we outline our novel approach to undergraduate engineering education, “A contexualized, social, self-paced, engineering education for life-long learners” through a series of two new freshman courses. Throughout the new courses, we use a smaller version of our advanced research platform, RHex, to integrate introductory programming material with electrical and systems engineering theory. We move away from the traditional “filing cabinet” test and drill approach (fill minds up with facts and test) as students start to become life-long learners, creators, and innovators through exposure to research level problems. Working with cognitive scientists to collect data, our initial assessments have been very positive. Treating students as junior-researchers and exposing them to cutting edge robotics yielded a 98% attendance rate, 95% of students choosing to take a optional follow-on course, and 90% saying they would recommend the course to another student. We describe as well our students’ development of leadership and communications skills through a required service-learning component. Working with high-schoolers from the School District of Philadelphia the undergraduates in the course in turn teach material similar to what they have learned in class.
BibTeX entry
@inproceedings{Weingarten-Koditschek-Komsuoglu.RSS2007,
  author = {Weingarten, J. D. and Koditschek, D. E. and Komsuoglu, H. and Massey, C.},
  title = {Robotics as the Delivery Vehicle: A contexualized, social, self paced,
	engineering education for life-long learners},
  booktitle = {Robotics Science and Systems Workshop on "Research in Robots for Education"},
  year = {2007}
}
Related Sites
EduBot - Information on robot platform, media appearances, more videos and pictures.
ESE112? - Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, Introduction to Engineering class
ESE313? - Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, Biologically Inspired Robotics course

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