Role playing in engineering education


Role playing allows engineering students to participate in many activities in which professional engineers engage. Examples include product research and development, job hunting, identification and evaluation of vendors, business present at ions and meetings, team projects, reports, and management. At The University of Memphis, an inter-course project used role playing to introduce students to these "soft" engineering skills. The inter-course project involved a senior elective in Discrete-Time Signal Processing (DSP), and a junior electronics course. Students within the courses were broken into teams or "companies" with the engineering goal of developing a signal processing system. Students prepared resumes and interviewed for positions with each "company." DSP teams developed system-level specifications, and the electronics teams developed digital-to-analog converters to meet the specifications. The DSP teams had to evaluate the electronic teams' products, as well as real vendors', on price and performance for incorporation in their systems. Different DSP teams had to design their systems to meet specific performance and price criteria for different applications. The electronics teams did sales presentations to the DSP teams, and designed their products to meet the DSP team specifications. The student teams were rated competitively based upon the demonstration of professional skills, such as oral presentation and written specifications, and product performance and price.

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ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

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