Integrated Learning

Background:
Technology has transformed HOW we can work and has enabled radically new business models such Amazon in retail, Uber in transportation , and Airbnb in lodging. Despite the transformation already seen in major sectors, the changes have not (yet) transformed how universities conduct research and education,. And how different market sectors integrate research with academic and government labs. We are developing integrated models of collaboration from basic research both forward to market and deeper into education that are enabled by technology.  Integrated learning would designed with common shared content. The concept of “how do I do …” application examples would be built to connect basic skills to application examples such as “how do I site a well, how do I tune a control loop, how do I assess customer needs …”. Students already look to YouTube for practical training in most any procedure. Udacity.com is an example of market-based learning catalyzed by tech companies. Having a rigorous process for designing, curating and serving shared content could be built through market partnerships between workplace and Universities. Shared content can be used in classrooms, for project-based learning examples as well as on the job for examples to use for problem solving. This requires rethinking the existing University business model which is best done as a workplace / University partnership to provide support. Penn State with 24 campuses and a strong alumni base in an excellent position to consider steps forward in partnership with key market sector companies.

What:

    • Build new project-based learning modules emphasizing use of skills in market applications, build case studies in partnership with companies.
    • Project modules will emphasize professional skills: leadership, communication, team-work, integration of business concepts with engineering and working with ambiguous questions to introduction judgment and decision making.
    • Create content that is multidisciplinary and shared across all departments and campuses.
    • Pilot projects are underway in Energy and Mineral Engineering (EMS), Chemical and Mechanical Engineering Departments.

Outcomes:

  • Learn the concept of business value creation, basic business financial concepts and engineering analysis and decision making for financial performance.
  • Exposure to market problems and technologies, learn about companies products and services through case student problems
  • Build new skills and experiences in hands-on project based learning.
  • Companies will be able to share markets, products and services to engage students for internships or recruiting.