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High School | STEM | Engineering

Principles of Applied Engineering: Reviews and Comparisons

October 11th, 2023 | 7 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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When teaching Principles of Applied Engineering to high school students, it’s essential that your curriculum is up to date and meets your standards. After all, you want to ensure your learners have the technical knowledge and skills necessary for successful careers. 

But with several curriculum options available, how can you be sure you’re picking the ideal curriculum for your students? What qualities should you look for, and how is each provider different?

iCEV offers a Principles of Applied Engineering course, but we understand that our solution isn’t the right fit for every classroom.

In this review, you’ll find how iCEV compares with two other leading education and training curriculum providers, eDynamic Learning and Goodheart-Willcox.

After reading, you’ll have a better idea of what each provider offers so you can choose what’s best for your students.

iCEV for Principles of Applied Engineering

The Principles of Applied Engineering course is part of iCEV’s cohesive STEM curriculum. The STEM curriculum introduces students to interrelated concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics so they succeed in various related fields. 

With iCEV, teachers can access a complete Principles of Applied Engineering course, including pre-built lesson plans, interactive activities, and formative and summative assessments. They’ll also gain access to several other courses in the STEM area, including Engineering Science and Engineering Design and Problem Solving, to provide an extensive learning experience for students.

In addition, teachers receive access to a robust learning management system (LMS) to track activity and report on student progress.

What Are the Benefits of iCEV?

iCEV provides an adaptable curriculum for teachers to meet standards for CTE engineering classes. The Principles of Applied Engineering course comes complete with ready-to-use lessons and resources designed around your instructional standards.

Plus, with a single subscription, instructors receive access to a library of STEM courses with ready-to-use lessons, activities, and assessments.

Through varied content, students engage with multiple instructional methods in a blended learning environment. With iCEV, teachers can tailor their instruction to the needs of every student, including special populations.

The iCEV digital curriculum and platform are also continually updated to accommodate changes in standards and keep students prepared for future engineering opportunities.

What Are the Drawbacks of iCEV?

While our STEM curriculum is a great fit for many classrooms, it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Instructors who want to teach Principles of Applied Engineering in a more traditional, text-focused format might prefer a print-based curriculum for their classes.

Likewise, educators who want to teach a single engineering class might not see the value of a comprehensive CTE solution, where instructors can use multiple courses to build learners’ knowledge and skills over time.

Finally, teachers who prefer to craft lesson plans from scratch might not utilize the entire library of premade plans available in the iCEV curriculum system.

Who Should Consider iCEV?

Ultimately, iCEV is designed to meet Principles of Applied Engineering standards and help students succeed with future professional opportunities. Through tailored multimedia content and engaging activities, students learn the fundamentals of technology, engineering design, electromechanical systems, safety, and more.

It’s an excellent choice for educators who want to introduce learners to engineering careers with a comprehensive blended learning experience. It’s not for teachers who favor more traditional instruction methods with less interactivity.

Applied Engineering Courses from eDynamic Learning

For pathophysiology, eDynamic Learning divides its curriculum across two semester-long courses: Applied Engineering 1a: Introduction and Applied Engineering 1b: Solving Problems Together. Educators should consider offering students both courses in sequence to receive the most complete information on the subject.

You can use each textbook in a printed format or through the digital curriculum’s Buzz Player. The first course introduces students to aspects of the engineering design process, such as circuits and electricity. Meanwhile, the second class focuses more on specific applications for engineering design, including robotics and the environment.

Both courses are presented on eDynamic Learning’s digital curriculum platform, which includes automatically graded assessments and interactive textbook features. eDynamic Learning integrates with many learning management systems.

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

Teachers who like a guided digital curriculum experience with a significant written component will find much to enjoy with eDynamic Learning. Each textbook includes activities, discussion questions, projects, and assessments to test students’ understanding. Students can also take notes directly in the text to help in the learning process. At the end of each chapter, students receive a summary of content in a podcast-style format.

The materials are accessible for students such as English Language Learners, and teachers will appreciate that the platform allows them to track student performance throughout the course. Plus, the included midterm and final exams make it easier for teachers to assess learners’ overall progress.

Finally, integration with learning management systems makes grade reporting easier.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

As a digital curriculum, the most significant liability of the eDynamic Learning curriculum is that it includes two separate courses that must be used in sequence. Teachers cannot change the order of content in either course or switch content between the two classes. This can make things difficult for instructors who want more flexibility in their classrooms.

Even though these Applied Engineering courses guide students through the learning process, they don’t always do so in the most cohesive manner. Some learners (and their instructors) could find the content difficult to follow. Moreover, a lack of content related to specific engineering careers might leave teachers searching for relevant applications themselves.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

eDynamic Learning offers two good Applied Engineering courses. It could be a decent fit for teachers who want to cover Applied Engineering in two separate, semester-long classes. These teachers are most comfortable with a guided syllabus that leaves little room for modifying the course content or topic order.

Educators who want more flexibility in their digital curriculum, a greater variety of multimedia components, and a smoother transition between engineering subjects should consider another curriculum provider.

Engineering Fundamentals from Goodheart-Willcox

Goodheart-Willcox (G-W) is a notable publisher in the career and technical education space. For Principles of Applied Engineering, G-W offers the textbook Engineering Fundamentals: Design, Principles, and Careers. Currently in its 3rd edition, it is written by Ryan A. Brown, Joshua W. Brown, and Michael Berkeihiser.

As a textbook, Engineering Fundamentals gives a comprehensive look into the engineering field and design process. There is a high level of detail dedicated to each topic and includes engaging activities aligned with each chapter.

The text aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the ITEEA Standards for Technology and Engineering Literacy (STEL).

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

Goodheart-Willcox provides a thorough, detailed textbook with Engineering Fundamentals. The volume does an excellent job of detailing the engineering design process and giving real-world applications to students.

The textbook also includes useful pedagogical features like chapter summaries, critical thinking questions, and visual aids. Teachers may also enjoy additional features to teach students vocabulary, as well as included workbooks and assessments.

Educators can choose to upload documents to their preferred learning management system (LMS).

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

While G-W offers an extensive applied engineering textbook, it isn’t the most interactive option available. Visual and multimedia elements are limited, and there aren’t many accessibility features in the eTextbook to benefit students in special populations.

Another major drawback is that G-W doesn’t offer a complete LMS integration. Teachers are left to themselves to manage and report on student progress.

Finally, Engineering Fundamentals doesn’t include many instructional resources and only basic presentation slides and lesson plans. This could leave many instructors feeling like they’re on their own.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

Engineering Fundamentals is a solid textbook for teaching applied engineering to CTE students. It’s best for teachers who enjoy traditional, book-based instruction and don’t need many premade lesson plans or an LMS integration.

However, educators looking for the benefits of a digital curriculum, including multimedia instruction, reporting tools, and a full LMS integration, may need to consider other options.

Which Principles of Applied Engineering Course is Right for You?

Picking the ideal Principles of Applied Engineering class for your students can be difficult. After all, finding the best fit for your learners can make all the difference in preparing them for more difficult engineering courses and their future careers.

Which curriculum you ultimately choose will depend on your specific classroom needs. Are there particular engineering standards that you need to cover? What type of content will your students find most engaging? Do these materials complement your teaching style?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you might favor one of these curriculum providers over the other.

But if you're looking for a comprehensive Principles of Applied Engineering course to meet your standards and set your students up for success, consider iCEV. You can use this interactive course to meet your standards and give your students an engaging learning experience.

Could iCEV be the right fit for your students? Sign up for a free trial to receive full access to the curriculum and decide if it suits your program.

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