Impact of Accreditation on Engineering Education

Impact of Accreditation on Engineering Education

Tayeb Brahimi (Effat University, Saudi Arabia), Akila Sarirete (Effat University, Saudi Arabia) and Sajid Khalifa (Effat University, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4191-2.ch005

Abstract

The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of accreditation on engineering education including student learning outcomes and innovation based on two accreditation bodies the NCAAA in KSA, and the ABET in USA. The article explores the approach of constructionism with emphasis to makerspace by delivering engineering and design courses with opportunities for innovation, creativity, and the ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. This innovative approach shifts the active learning strategies from Do-It-Yourself to Do-It-With-Others culture. Makerspace is one of the integral parts of modern education system that brings together and facilitates the community of interdisciplinary individuals. Results from courses in engineering and design shows the benefit of the accreditation in terms of enhancing the overall program quality and the importance of re-evaluating strategies and methodologies of learning which help in delivering innovative solutions and educating tomorrow's leaders to address the most pressing issues facing our societies.
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Introduction

The development and easy access to new technology continue to have an impact on teaching and learning methodologies, in particular in engineering education. Universities moved from the traditional approach focusing on education to the second generation universities focusing on education and research, and now to the third generation universities focusing on learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In the context of the third generation universities, accreditation supports innovation in both the delivery and the content, and there is a continuous call to support innovation in engineering education and how to deal with the challenge of contemporary engineering design problems. Today, education is rapidly changing into a global activity that is reached by millions of people as reported at the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings Symposium “Learning for All Symposium, Investing in a Brighter Future,” in April 2014 (http://www.abet.org/), a US non-profit and non-governmental accrediting agency for academic programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Today, researchers recognize that learning has three essential components: knowledge, skills, and understanding. According to the learning pyramid, developed by the National Training Laboratory, the first three level of learning, mainly group discussion, practice by doing, and teaching others are associated with active learning while the last four levels of learning, lecture, reading, audiovisual, and demonstration, are associated with passive learning. The domain of learning is based on four approaches (Bransford, 2000, Siemens, 2005): i) behaviorist learning which teaches the “what” through positive and negative reinforcement where learner react to external stimulus; ii) cognitive learning which teaches the “how”, including procedures and principles, and considers the learner as an organized processor of knowledge and information; iii) constructivist learning which teaches the “why” and considers learning as a process of knowledge construction, the learner is considered active, and meaning is created by the learner from the experience gained; iv) connectivism learning emerged as a result of learner ability to acquire and share knowledge not only inside as traditional learning theories but outside using technology through communications, nodes and connections, Figure 1.

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