Engineering education in many countries still follows a traditional model where the curriculum is broadly divided into lecture-based theory classes and laboratory classes where experiments are conducted by students using step by step instructions. This type of curriculum has heavy emphasis on theory and less on exploration, application and design. In this model, opportunities for students to do hands-on activities such as building hardware and deal with troubleshooting, writing simulation models and learning by failing, etc. are quite limited. Also, many instructors in these systems are uncomfortable to adopt more hands-on teaching for the fear of failure. In 2019, in China, I taught a freshmen-level course on Introduction to Robotics using Arduino-based hardware where the students had to work in teams to build and program a mobile robot using parts that were provided to them. In 2020, I taught two classes in India for junior/senior level students on Modeling and Simulation of Mechatronic Systems and Modeling and Simulation of Hybrid Vehicles, respectively. In both courses the students spent over 80% of class time developing models and running simulations. In all three courses, enrolling about 60 students each, extensive survey-based assessment showed students are hungry for this type of hands-on experience and would be embracing these types of classes with a lot of enthusiasm. This paper discusses the details of the three classes and results from all the survey-based assessments that were done in the courses.

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