Hack of the Week

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Hack of the Week: Helping Students Diverge

In their thinking, that is: this week’s Hack is from Daniel Raviv of Florida Atlantic University, who’s got lots more ideas in a set of books (links below). Here’s an easy exercise to help students build their ideation abilities:

Show the students a coat hanger, and have them individually list different uses for it. They can think creatively about the item: use any material, size or shape of a hanger; they may imagine cutting it, shrinking it, using many of them, etc. Students then share their ideas, and depending on the time constraints, pick a suitable idea to implement.

More ideas from Daniel:

8 Simple Ways to Outsmart a Mosquito: A Hands-On Guide to Learning the 8 Keys to Innovation
Everyone Loves Speed Bumps, Don’t You? A Guide to Innovative Thinking
Partly Funny with a Chance of Brainstorms: A Guide to Divergent Thinking

Hacks of the Week are easily-implementable ideas – share yours now.

Hack of the Week: Starting a Weekly Innovation Challenge

This week’s Hack is from Sridhar Condoor of St. Louis University, a KEEN school – a student challenge to explore the importance of planning and communication. Want to know more? Check out this paper from last year’s ASEE conference.

Have a Hack to share? Hacks are bite-sized ideas to help transform engineering education. Email your idea to us.

Hack of the Week: “Crediting” Students’ Informal Learning

This week’s Hack is from the Pathways team at the University of South Florida. USF is launching a series of “pop-up classes” – short-duration learning opportunities (see here for Stanford’s d.school pop-ups for inspiration). Students still want some documentation of their experience, and USF came up with an ingenious way to do that – creating a “zero-credit” course for each pop-up so that they will show up on students’ official transcripts. Email team leader Sanjukta Bhanja to learn more.

Do you have a Hack to share? Hacks are bite-sized ideas that help transform engineering education. Email us with yours.

Hack of the Week: Orientation Scavenger Hunt

This week’s hack is from Florida Tech’s Pathways team: they re-designed their freshman orientation activities with a scavenger hunt for new students. The hunt took students around campus to show them where to find makerspaces and other opportunities for innovation. Check out the video below. Want to know more? Email team co-leader Beshoy Morkos.

What’s your Hack? Hacks are bite-sized, practical resources for transforming engineering education. Email us to submit an idea.

Hack of the Week: Improving Fluid Mechanics Learning

If you teach fluid mechanics, check out the unit Andy Gerhart‘s developed at Lawrence Tech to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset along with mastering the engineering content. The school is one of the KEEN campuses and Andy recently did a webinar with KEEN – watch it and get the materials here.

Do you have a Hack to share? Email us. Each Hack of the Week is a bite-sized, practical tip or resource for improving engineering education.

Hack of the Week: Re-thinking Advisory Boards

This week’s Hack is from Pathways school University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, which was tired of advisory boards that gathered a few times a year to “share information.” They’ve launched the Fellowship of External Doers (click the link to read the group’s motto, if nothing else), complete with a Slack account to enable frequent communication. Email UPRM’s Ubaldo Cordova-Figueroa to learn more.

Have a Hack to share? Email us.

Hack of the Week: Asset-based Collaboration Worksheet for Student Teams

This week’s hack is from a member of our very own PCRD team, Scott Hutcheson. If you were at the Open conference recently, you’ve already gotten a peek at this, but we wanted to share it more widely. The worksheet is a structured way in which students can identify the assets they bring to a collaborative project, most effectively as a precursor to the Strategic Doing collaborative approach.

Have a hack for us to share? Email us.

Hack of the Week: Makerspace Assessment Rubric

Our very first Hack of the Week comes courtesy of Lisa Yokana (@lyokana) and Edutopia: a rubric for assessing student work on “making” activities. It’s originally designed for K-12, but wouldn’t need much tweaking for use in a university setting.

Do you have a Hack of the Week? HOW’s are bite-sized innovations that can help transform engineering education: a classroom activity, a policy change, a clever way you’ve gotten over bureaucratic hurdles. Submit your HOW here.