Undergraduate engineering programs have a reputation for being rigorous and demanding programs with high attrition rates. Unfortunately, the typical teaching approach that these programs take may impair the training of engineers from diverse backgrounds. These diverse engineers will be required in the future to help solve the grand challenges of the 21st century, but to produce these engineers requires a re-examination of pedagogical approaches in engineering. For the last five years, the innovative IMPULSE (Instilling Mature Problem-solving and Understanding of iLl-defined Scenarios in Engineering) approach has been refined within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. IMPULSE has improved student understanding of engineering concepts, their self-confidence in solving open-ended design problems, and their motivation to remain in engineering. IMPULSE is innovative for engineering because the approach combines a number of pedagogical techniques from other fields to create a novel and enhanced learning experience for engineering students. The combined pedagogical techniques are flipped-classroom instruction from Physics, case studies from Business Administration, Law and Medicine, and classroom discussions from Liberal Arts. IMPULSE has been applied to second and fourth year elective and mandatory courses courses using custom developed YouTube videos, case studies in class, case study based final exams, and group build projects. The key result of IMPULSE is that students have an increased confidence and willingness to accept failure thus they are more capable of handling open-ended, realistic problems and have a better grasp of the concepts of engineering.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0297
Conference 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
Merrett, C. (2017). Applying the IMPULSE method to second and fourth year aerospace engineering courses. In AIAA SciTech Forum - 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting. doi:10.2514/6.2017-0297