Review of first-year engineering and technology units based on student unit evaluations
Palmer, Stuart 2005, Review of first-year engineering and technology units based on student unit evaluations, in Proceedings of the 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, [School of Engineering, The University of Queensland], [Brisbane, Qld].
ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education
[School of Engineering, The University of Queensland]
Place of publication
There is recognition that the first-year of university study is a critical phase in the preparation, motivation and retention of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) students. First-year provides the foundation/generic skills upon which students will base their undergraduate studies and professional practice; first-year is where many poorly prepared/at risk students will drop out and contribute to the poor student retention rate observed in the SMET disciplines; and first-year is when students may lose the motivation to pursue their chosen career direction if they find the studies at the commencement of their undergraduate program appear to bear no relationship to their intended career. In 2003, the Learning Resources Advisory Group of the Deakin University School of Engineering and Technology was requested to undertake a review of first-year units in the School’s programs. The information contained in anonymous unit evaluation questionnaires from the years 2000-2002 was used as the basis for analysing student perceptions of first-year units. In unit evaluations, students reported a wide range of issues that impacted negatively on their perception of the content and conduct of first-year units. It was noted that units service taught by other Schools form a significant element of the first-year of all of the Engineering and Technology undergraduate programs – typically 25 to 50 percent of the content. The significant influence of these units on the perceptions of the first-year of the School’s commencing students means that the School should exercise some control over the content and delivery of these units.
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