As the world becomes more connected and globalized, the problems that engineers are called upon to solve are increasingly complex and interdependent. Unfortunately, engineering coursework has traditionally focused on abstract and closed-ended problem solving, offering few opportunities for students to develop these skills. In this practice paper, we argue for the importance of integrating the humanities and engineering to understand the multiple and intersecting layers of context in an engineering project. We then describe the Humanities-Informed Engineering Projects course, which we developed to help students acquire this perspective. The course was piloted in Spring 2021 in response to the obstacles to international and community engineering experiences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, we share preliminary assessment data on the development of systems thinking through the course. This pedagogical description and assessment project contributes to the understanding of the development of systems thinking and it also provides empirical evidence about the potential benefits of integrating the humanities and engineering in the classroom.
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Davis, Kirsten A.; Joshi, Siddhant S.; Czerwionka, Lori; Montalvo, Francisco; Rios-Rojas, Gabriel O.; Tort, Joe; William, Jennifer Marston; and Nauman, E.
"Integrating the Humanities with Engineering through a Global Case Study Course,"
Journal of International Engineering Education:
1, Article 4.