A framework for developing courses on engineering and technology for non-engineers

John Krupczak, Timothy Simpson, Vince Bertsch, Kate Disney, Elsa Garmire, Barbara Oakley, Mary Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


All Americans need to better understand the wide variety of technology used everyday. The need for technological literacy has never been greater at both an individual and national level. Creating a population with a more empowered relationship with technology will require a significant and widespread initiative in undergraduate education. Courses and materials that are easily adoptable in diverse and varied institutional environments will facilitate this effort. In two reports: Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More about Technology (2002), and Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy (2006), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), has outlined the characteristics of a technologically literate citizen. The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have also developed standards defining technological literacy. Recognizing the need for standardized and readily adoptable undergraduate courses on this topic, the NSF supported a working group lead by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Technological Literacy Constituent Committee. This group met on March 26-27, 2007 and adopted four models to serve as standardized courses on technology. In this work, a framework for specific course outlines consistent with the content areas established in Tech Tally of: technology and society, design, products and systems, and technology core concepts and the ITEA technology topic areas was created. To balance the need to accommodate the diverse requirements of curriculum committees on varied campuses, the framework offers flexibility to faculty in configuring courses within each proposed model while still accomplishing the intent of the standards. This framework is intended to form the organizational infrastructure for creating a repository of course materials and an online community for course developers and instructors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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