Exploration of Practical-Oriented Teaching in Mechatronics Engineering Education
Practical oriented teaching in mechatronics engineering education is very important for students to obtain hands-on experience and to enhance their ability to solve real world problems. We consider it to be a systematic method, emphasizing it in various course teaching and project training. Four levels of practical oriented teaching are classified at CDHAW of Tongji University. The first level is metal working training and electrical/electronics training, which takes place from first semester to second semester, prior to specialty theoretical learning. The purpose is to: (1) develop the basic engineering skills, (2) promote the students’ learning interests, and (3) fill in the gap where the specialty course learning is missing during the early stage of university learning. The second level, from third semester to sixth semester, is mainly concerned with the validation of theoretical knowledge they learned in class by doing the corresponding experimental exercises in the laboratories or doing course project training such as product design methodology, mechanical design, kinematic/dynamic simulation, and academic database retrieval and technical writing. The third level, taking place at the end of sixth semester, is mechatronics capstone project design that asks students to apply what they learned comprehensively to a small mechatronics project. Teamwork and project management are also vital parts of this level. The fourth level, at the last (eighth) semester, is about industrial internship and bachelor thesis that lasts 6 months. We already have our three graduates in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively. Their bachelor thesis work and performance in industrials demonstrated the importance and validity of our practical oriented teaching methodology.
KeywordsMechatronics education Practical oriented teaching Hands-on experience
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