Hyperlink Forum

Experience Based Learning

Hi Guys!
I would love to hear your thoughts on getting people in universities to learn by applying their skills in the real world through designing courses and programs that are part of degrees! An example may be a venture design course where engineers and business students come together to design a new product and pitch it to potential investors over a year-long course.

Also, how do you think the Fathom network can help in accelerating this?

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You will be happy to know this is being pursued in at least one place, and I have the privilege of being at the centre of it. I think you will like this story!

All engineering students in Canada must take a class called ‘engineering economics’, which is a charming term for what is now known as project finance accounting for time value of money. In my day, this was miraculously stretched to two terms(!) At Western University, the Faculty of Engineering wisely partnered with the business school to wrap a comprehensive course in business around this core requirement. As a result, our engineers are likely the only non-business-major undergrad students in Canada who exit their first year with a comprehensive business education.

I teach that course, and I have now been cross-hired into the Faculty of Engineering to teach an engineering design course. What do I bring into it other than an iron ring and a more formal dress sense? The hope is that bringing a business lecturer into the engineering design studio will keep business concerns in focus as well, so what they design will be with both technical and financial / manufacturing feasibility in mind.

So far I have been having a whale of a time hanging out with the students and missing my engineering classmates from a decade ago, but I’ll be useful any day now… :slight_smile: