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Engineering fundamentals in a new undergraduate curriculum

Long, John M, Chandrasekaran, Siva and Orwa, Julius O 2016, Engineering fundamentals in a new undergraduate curriculum, in AAEE 2016 : The changing role of the engineering educator for developing the future engineer : Proceedings of the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Canberra, A.C.T., pp. 1-11.

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Title Engineering fundamentals in a new undergraduate curriculum
Author(s) Long, John MORCID iD for Long, John M orcid.org/0000-0001-6110-5904
Chandrasekaran, SivaORCID iD for Chandrasekaran, Siva orcid.org/0000-0003-2871-880X
Orwa, Julius OORCID iD for Orwa, Julius O orcid.org/0000-0001-6041-6751
Conference name Australasian Association for Engineering Education. Conference (27th : 2016 : Coffs Harbour, New South Wales)
Conference location Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
Conference dates 4-7 Dec. 2016
Title of proceedings AAEE 2016 : The changing role of the engineering educator for developing the future engineer : Proceedings of the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference
Publication date 2016
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Keyword(s) design-based learning
project-based learning
PODBL
physics
Summary CONTEXT In recent years there has been a push in Engineering education to change the basic model fromstudents learning discrete subjects, followed by design projects in third and fourth year, to learningand practicing the design process from the first year. At the same time, there has also been a pushtowards “active learning” (Prince, 2004) as opposed to the more traditional lecture/tutorial/practicalapproach. This year, Deakin University has launched a new design-centred curriculum inundergraduate engineering. Named “Project-Oriented Design-Based Learning” (PODBL), the newcourse structure is running in first and second years. In semester one of first year in the new course,students enrol in one double-unit of design, one unit of maths, and one unit of fundamental science.

PURPOSE This work seeks to determine whether a new fundamental-science unit called “EngineeringFundamentals” fulfils the educational needs of first-year students in the PODBL curriculum. It alsoseeks to determine student perceptions of the new unit.

APPROACH The unit was first offered in semester-one, 2016 to two separate on-campus cohorts and an offcampuscohort. Innovations in this unit include using the CADET model for teaching combinedpractical-tutorial seminars, a shift in lectures from delivering conceptual content to teaching problemsolving and applications (flipping the classroom), and extensive use of online videos and study guidesfor delivering primary content (Cloud Learning). Student learning was assessed by means of problembasedonline quizzes, practical reports, and a final exam. Student perceptions were queried by astandard unit-evaluation system and by a more focussed set of surveys given to students in threeseparate cohorts.

RESULTS The academic results in this unit were compared with those in the previous unit. No substantialdifferences were observed in the marks of this unit in 2016 compared with the 2015 marks of thecorresponding previous physics unit. On-campus students showed more general satisfaction with theunit than did off-campus students. However, not all on-campus students were happy with the flippedclassroommodel.

CONCLUSIONS As the course changes from a traditional approach to a design and project-based approach, it is best ifall units in the course adapt in some way to the new teaching style. Not all units need be completelyproject or design based. In the case of “Engineering Fundamentals,” we believe that due to the widevariety of topics covered, making the entire unit design-based is inappropriate. However, some designand project components can be built into the unit via the practicals. Semester one 2016 was asuccessful first offering of the unit. We recommend that in future years a design/project component beconsidered for the unit’s practicals.
Language eng
Field of Research 091503 Engineering Practice
099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
091599 Interdisciplinary Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30089351

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Engineering
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.