Faculty views of service learning in mechanical engineering at MIT
An initial effort is being made in MIT's undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum to develop archetypes and resources for using service learning broadly in different types of engineering classes: design, analysis-based engineering science, and experimental lab courses. As a preliminary step, departmental faculty were surveyed on their attitudes about service learning to assure that implementation efforts fit the department's needs: 72% of the department (N=54) responded, a representative group in terms of research focus, gender, and tenure level, indicating that 80% of faculty are open to the use of service learning. However, 52% expressed concerns about time constraints and 56% needed support finding suitable projects for technical classes. If this type of support, including methods to mitigate time constraints, were available, faculty were interested in the practice. Surveyed faculty considered service learning most appropriate for design classes, but were open to the practice in other classes if suitable projects were available.
Banzaert, A; Ariely, S; Wallace, D; Masi, B
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