How (well) are we assisting our students in becoming 21st century STEM graduates?

Moroney, Timothy, Czaplinski, Iwona, Burrage, Pamela, & Yang, Qianqian (2016) How (well) are we assisting our students in becoming 21st century STEM graduates? In The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, 28-30 September 2016, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld.


Contemporary global economies heavily rely on human capability to acquire new knowledge, foster innovation and promote scientific development. This requires acquisition and development of specific skills to allow modern graduates to become agile and effective employees, capable of leading and sustaining progress.

Our research investigated to what extent we are preparing our students for these roles, in the context of a first-year Computational Science unit, by assisting them in becoming discipline experts and expert learners at the same time. More precisely, we formulated the following research questions: to what extent did we assist students in acquiring and developing their 21st Century skills by 1) promoting students’ engagement, and 2) assisting students in becoming expert learners? To answer to these questions, first the crucial, 21st Century skills as defined by industry were identified and mapped against learning outcomes of the unit under investigation. Next, student engagement and the level of their expertise in the learning process were investigated through a unit evaluation survey. Data analysis shed light on factors influencing student engagement within the designed learning environment and the associated development of expert learning skills. A further outcome of this pilot study was to identify the need for further in-depth research with larger sample sizes into the research questions posed.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 99486
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: 21st Century skills, student engagement, lifelong learning, computational science, HERN
ISBN: 9780987183446
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2016 22:30
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 21:25

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