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Co-teaching an engineering class with an agricultural technology management class on the topic of waste and wastewater treatment

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  058009,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19674) @2005
Authors:   Ann D. Christy, Karen M. Mancl, Michael A. Rowan
Keywords:   Multidisciplinary education, waste management, waste water treatment

For five years we have co-taught an engineering course and a technology management course at the Ohio State University. These are co-designed multidisciplinary courses that appeal to both traditional students and working professionals who register either for university credit or for continuing education unit credit. The engineering students, the non-engineering students, and the working professionals attended the same fundamentals classes. Homework, lab reports, and exams were geared toward the learning objectives of each course for those students obtaining university credit. The engineering students also attended additional lectures, field trips, and problem solving sessions to learn engineering design aspects of the waste management systems being studied. Team projects were multidisciplinary with non-engineering technology management students responsible for management and operations while the engineering students proposed designs. Initial difficulties were encountered in bridging the different cultures and expectations of the two student populations. After two years of struggling, we arrived at a successful approach to making this work. This included structuring the project work for each course into weekly assignments, distributing students weekly reports to the rest of their team, allowing the team to determine which student would take the lead on which work task, and culminating the projects with a two-hour poster reception. Student evaluations increased significantly, and instructor self-evaluations also reflected increased satisfaction with the course.

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