Industrial Training Courses: A Challenge during the COVID19 Pandemic
Industrial training courses require students to gain sufficient practical engineering experience that confirms theoretical knowledge by application to field work. The courses expose students to real life engineering activity involving problem solving, design, experimentation and manufacturing. Students get introduced to entrepreneurship, diverse collaborative work environments and quality systems that instill world class safety standards and professional ethics. Preventive measures and lockdowns during prolonged pandemic conditions have severely limited students’ capability for in-person participation of onsite industrial training programs, thereby, adversely affecting the scope of training courses. This paper presents some plausible solutions to challenges faced by both instructors and students in fulfillment of essential outcomes for remote offerings of industrial training courses during the COVID19 pandemic. Essential aspects of an outcome based digital platform used for remote management, assessment and evaluation of industrial training courses are presented. A course template that facilitates virtual engineering roles as viable alternative to students’ in-person participation in industry settings is explained. This study compares two course models offered prior to and during pandemic conditions for fulfillment of course outcomes, makes observations of required skills and knowledge, related deficiencies and some recommendations to help engineering programs enhance student learning in remotely offered industrial training courses.
Published in: 2020 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE)