U of T – Seminar Leader for ESP1
In November I’m having the privilege again to be a Seminar Leader at the University of Toronto’s “Engineering Strategies and Practice I” class, consisting of twenty 1st-year U of T Engineering students.
Students are introduced to communication as an integral component of engineering practice. The class is a vehicle for understanding problem solving and developing communications skills. Each student will give a presentation within the discussion group.
Following the provided loose course framework, I selected a topic that would challenge students to examine engineering activities within the broader constraints that are being presented in their lectures.
For my class, I created the theme “Is Web 2.0 eroding the need for engineers?” I led the students in discussions and debate surrounding the technical, social, economical, legal, ethical, political, and human factors issues associated with Web 2.0’s impact on Engineers. Namely, and blatantly, are engineers still required?
As an ice breaker, I lead by opening with “tell us three things about yourself; 2 truths + 1 false”. The intent is to guess the false. Interesting, one student had climbed a significant mountain (name escapes me) and another had driven a Ferrari. While those two could also have been falsehoods, now that it’s written down here, it must be true, right? Web 2.0 never lies, right?
Loosely following the Open Space format, I created six sub-topics (below) to my theme and had the class break-out into smaller groups, each group focused on one of these six topics.
- Is there a problem? Why be concerned?
- Is talent is a limited resource?
- Why can/can’t “1,000” 1st-year engineering students have more collective knowledge than a single P.Eng?
- Collaborative Engineering in the 2010’s, 2020’s and beyond.
- Is there a difference anymore between Professional vs. Amateur
- What is the risk of having so much open content?
Excellent points were captured from each of the respective break-out groups – captured below. Over the next two weeks, each student will give the class their 5min presentation on their topic.
- Next week (week #2, Nov 22), students with the even numbered topics will present.
- During the last and final class (Nov 29), students with odd numbered topic will present.
- Each week students will also be providing anonymous written feedback to their peer’s presentations.
I’m looking forward to the presentations.