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ICT Framework for Engineering Education

Introduction: There is a dire need to improve the quality of engineers being produced in India. The number of engineers and the engineering colleges are increasing at a very high rate. Currently third in the world, we will soon be only second to China in terms of producing one of the highest number of engineers in the world. The current engineering education system revolves around three major components defined by AICTE. They are: 1. Lectures (47%), 2. Practical (35%), 3. Tutorials (18%). The entire curriculum for all engineering institutes is designed on these three components and the time period of the engineering classes is divided according to the weightage given to the above components.

Premise: With Information and Communication Technology (ICT) having become accessible and widespread, it is bound to play a vital role in enhancing the state of engineering education. The existing structure and framework of engineering education and its surrounding ecosystem have been studied in great depth. The research proposes a new framework for engineering education using ICT. The new framework components along with the guidelines will pave the way for a self-learning environment based model for engineering education. It will be a founding stone for ICT based initiatives in engineering education in India.

Process: Studied engineering curriculum documents for engineering disciplines by AICTE. Curriculum and content structure of a few engineering colleges were studied. Group discussion sessions were held with engineering students. Qualitative interviews were conducted with engineering students from different colleges in person, over the telephone and through emails. Experiences from my own journey as an engineer were re-collected.

Outcome: A new framework for engineering education in India has been proposed. A generic level component breakup for engineering has been made, followed by detailed description of each component, again on a generic level. Each detailed description has been followed by ways of executing them based on different branches of engineering. The entire engineering education scene needs to move towards a self-learning environment which has been proposed. As part of the self learning environment, an online directory for free engineering content has been developed to act as common platform for collating the scattered free web resources for engineering in a structured manner. The online directory has been envisioned as a growing resource pool

Published and presented at ICED 2011, Denmark