LITEE case studies are group-focused, real-world problem solving applications. They are projects that help introduce engineering students to the complexity of real-world problems and show how engineering companies work in the information age. The LITEE case studies are developed by graduate students in conjunction with professors and industry personnel. These teams identify a suitable problem and bring it alive in the classroom through a multimedia case study, ensuring that students explicitly see the connections between theory they've learned in the classroom and its practical applications.
LITEE case studies are innovative in content, organization, and presentation. The multimedia format offers students a chance to interact with the material in a more hands-on way via audio and video clips and photos. They also provide the students an opportuinity to interact with each other in a productive environment, developing team work, problem solving, and decision making skills while learning from their peers. The use of technology to actually teach the material eases the use of technological applications in the students' group work and presentations.
The case studies are also innovative in their transferability. The case studies and the curriculum built around them are currently being used at over twenty colleges and universities in the United States. Additionally, the translation of a case study into Spanish and its use in a workshop held in Santiago, Chile show the international capacity the case studies have.
The new fundamentals of engineering include information technology, which will be embedded in virtually every product and process in the future (Wulf, 1998). In order to exploit these synergies, the design of products, systems, and services requires teams that can integrate information technologies with traditional engineering areas such as fluid mechanics, thermal sciences, materials science, manufacturing technologies, and precision design. The LITEE case studies provide this synthesis of ideas and skills in a format students respond to and enjoy, and that is readily adaptable to any school's curriculum. They give students the opportunity to exercise their interpersonal and teamworking skills while giving them a practical application for their engineering knowledge.
The students that work with the LITEE case studies are able to bring together theory, practice, and design in their work; the result is an enhanced learning experience that introduces the student to the work of tomorrow while using the classroom theory of today.