Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


A Model for On-Line Education of ABET-required Professional Aspects of Engineering


School of Engineering


Padnos College of Engineering and Computing




Employability and professional skills formulate a critical part of engineering education. These skills are strongly emphasized through ABET accreditation requirements for engineering programs. Nevertheless, multiple challenges have been realized as engineering educators tried to incorporate those required professional and non-technical skills into their curricula. Some of these challenges are common across all engineering programs, such as the difficulty in implementing professional skills education into a full engineering curriculum, or methods suitable to deliver this education. Other challenges can be intrinsic to the topic of professional skills, or locally related to the entity implementing the idea such as quantity, timing, and pedagogy, in comparison to teaching technical topics in engineering. This paper presents the results of implementing an on-line model for ABET-required professional skills education to engineering students. The model was designed to target a combination of challenges, with a built-in continuous improvement mechanism. Assessment data from a pilot-test of the model on a carefully selected sample were collected and used to improve the full implementation of the model across the School of Engineering. Assessment data were collected from the full implementation and analyzed which provided more insight into the challenges facing implementation, and hints towards improving the subsequent offerings, coupled with minor issues related to on-line delivery of the topic. Results confirm most of the common challenges known in this area. However, multiple subtle challenges and issues related to students perception, maturity, and context of application, as well as issues related to on-line education suitability for the topic, were revealed. Understanding these findings helped significantly in improving the plan for the next offering of this experience. Keywords: On-line engineering education, engineering professional skills, ABET-required professional skills education.

Conference Name

EDUCON2014 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference

Conference Location


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