Curriculum design and higher order skills : challenging assumptions

Crosthwaite, Caroline, Jolly, Lesley, Kavanagh, Lydia J., Brodie, Lyn M., Buys, Laurie, & Jennifer, Turner (2012) Curriculum design and higher order skills : challenging assumptions. In Davies, John (Ed.) Conference Proceeedings of the 5th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education (EE 2012), The Centre for Engineering and Design Education, Loughborough University, Coventry, United Kingdom.

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Abstract

This paper is based on an Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) funded evaluation in 13 universities across Australia and New Zealand of the use of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) projects in first-year engineering courses. All of the partner institutions have implemented this innovation differently and comparison of these implementations affords us the opportunity to assemble "a body of carefully gathered data that provides evidence of which approaches work for which students in which learning environments". This study used a mixed-methods data collection approach and a realist analysis. Data was collected by program logic analysis with course co-ordinators, observation of classes, focus groups with students, exit survey of students and interviews with staff as well as scrutiny of relevant course and curriculum documents. Course designers and co-ordinators gave us a range of reasons for using the projects, most of which alluded to their presumed capacity to deliver experience in and learning of higher order thinking skills in areas such as sustainability, ethics, teamwork and communication. For some students, however, the nature of the projects decreased their interest in issues such as ethical development, sustainability and how to work in teams. We also found that the projects provoked different responses from students depending on the nature of the courses in which they were embedded (general introduction, design, communication, or problem-solving courses) and their mode of delivery (lecture, workshop or online).

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ID Code: 56827
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN
ISBN: 9781907632167
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 the authors.
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Deposited On: 20 May 2013 00:47
Last Modified: 21 May 2013 00:50

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