Explaining education to engineers: Feedback control theory as a metaphor

Alan R. Cheville, Euan D. Lindsay

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

One of the barriers for engaging engineering faculty in the scholarship of learning and teaching is the challenge of learning a new vocabulary. Becoming fuent in engineering education requires the acquisition of new concepts and ideas that are ofen expressed in unfamiliar terms. Feedback control is a technical feld common to a range of engineering disciplines that can be used as a model to help bridge the conceptual gap between traditional engineering and engineering education. Many of the key elements of engineering education can be represented by the elements of a feedback control system, with their behaviour in a learning environment paralleling their behaviour in a process control context. The feedback control model can be used to explain: the importance of timely feedback to students, the signifcance of assessment and evaluation in the learning process, the impact of learning styles upon learning outcomes, and the need for student-centered teaching approaches. While both felds have complexities that cannot be captured by simple models, the basic ideas can be explained simply. Feedback control metaphors make the basics accessible to a wider audience of engineering faculty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication40th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating Forty Years of Innovation, FIE 2010 - Conference Program
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event40th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating Forty Years of Innovation, FIE 2010 - Arlington, VA, United States
Duration: 27 Oct 201030 Oct 2010

Conference

Conference40th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating Forty Years of Innovation, FIE 2010
CountryUnited States
CityArlington, VA
Period27/10/1030/10/10

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Explaining education to engineers: Feedback control theory as a metaphor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this