Work-Ready Electronics (WRE), a project of the NSF Advanced Technological Education program, is designing and developing instructional modules that may be used independently or integrated with current electronics curricula in college programs. The modules address those topics, knowledge, and skills that have not been sufficiently covered by even the most popular electronics textbooks but are considered essential to technicians in today’s industry. On-line modules will provide instructor-led learning activities, self-paced study, guidance and specifications for lab experiments, performance assessments, and optional learning opportunities such as Internet research, collaborative projects, and peer-assessment. Although many activities will provide for exploratory learning and self-guided achievement, performance assessments will be based on measurable learning objectives that reflect specific competencies of electronics technicians. This blended pedagogical model will ensure achievement of essential learning elements within each topic area while enabling students to expand their knowledge and skills beyond stated performance objectives. The student modules require users to complete a very brief questionnaire before accessing the materials.
WRE will also offer workshops to help bring electronics faculty up to date with new industry standards and best practices and to introduce a variety of technology-supported teaching strategies. Workshops will introduce the WRE modular format and systematic methods for integrating the modules into existing courses and programs. Technical topics will be covered in detail to reveal new industry needs for technician competency. Strategies for teaching and learner-centered approaches using the blended model will be presented, explained, and practiced by attendees to demonstrate advantages to student learning and to teaching within applied technical domains.
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