International and culturally inclusive curricula-an engineering management unit audit case study
Palmer, Stuart 2006, International and culturally inclusive curricula-an engineering management unit audit case study, in Creativity, Challenge, Change Partnerships in Engineering Education: Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 1-9.
SEB421 Strategic Issues in Engineering is a final-year engineering management study unit at Deakin University in which the enrolled student population has grown to include significant numbers of international students. Given this change, it was considered timely to conduct a review of the unit, with regard to principles of international and culturally inclusive curricula. Despite the historically white Anglo-Saxon male culture of engineering education in Australia, there are a wide range of international and cultural aspects related to engineering education. A review of the literature reveals a diversity of interpretations of 'internationalisation' and 'cultural inclusiveness'. From a pragmatic perspective, it is noted that organisational policy can provide guidance for academic staff seeking to make courses more inclusive. From a review of the literature and relevant university policies, a list of 'international and culturally inclusive curricula' guidelines for engineering management education was developed. Comparing a prior audit of SEB421 with these guidelines revealed progress on international and culturally inclusive curricula, but identified opportunities for improvement. The guidelines were applied to the curriculum/syllabus, content/study materials, conduct and assessment of the unit, to identify further opportunities for improvement. A plan for improvement of the unit and an associated timetable for this work were developed. It was noted that some changes can be made immediately, while others are contingent upon the timetable imposed by university systems. It was further noted that issues of change within a single study unit intersect with wider issues of program curriculum, and, while pilot activities can provide a start, eventually the wider issue of international and culturally inclusive curricula across the entire undergraduate engineering program needs to be considered.
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