Exploration Elective: Students from all Disciplines Explore Engineering and Sciences

Esmeralda Campos, Carlos Eduardo Martinez-Torteya, Genaro Zavala

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Universities face the challenges of an integrated, globalized world and new competencies required in the job market. In recent years, our institution, a large private multi-campus Mexican university, has been preparing for these new challenges by migrating its educational model from a traditional lecture modality to challenge-based learning, emphasizing competencies instead of educational objectives. Students take the Exploration Elective course during the third semester, a course outside their discipline, to explore another field. The School of Engineering and Sciences offers various Exploration Elective courses based on four avenues: Bioengineering and Chemical Process, Innovation and Transformation, Computer Science and Information Technologies, and Applied Sciences. In this contribution, we present the design of the Exploration Elective course and its implementation with large classes during the Covid-19 pandemic through synchronous distance education. We surveyed 649 students after they completed the class. They were enrolled in eight different courses at all 25 campuses. We report an overview of students' satisfaction with their achievement of the course's objectives, the implementation, the coordination among the professors, and the students' perceptions of the time and difficulty demands. The survey results showed a high level of student satisfaction with the exploration elective courses offered by the School of Engineering and Sciences. The course provided students from vastly different academic backgrounds the opportunity to learn about Science and Engineering through challenge-solving.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Jul 202129 Jul 2021


  • Challenge-based learning
  • Competency-based education
  • Educational innovation
  • Elective course
  • Higher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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