Engineering the Learning Experience: Influences and Options

Boles, Wageeh W., Murray, Martin H., Campbell, Duncan A., & Iyer, R. Mahalinga (2006) Engineering the Learning Experience: Influences and Options. In 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 10-13 December 2006, Auckland.


Specific graduate characteristics have been at the heart of important drivers such as the Engineers Australia Changing the Culture paper. Through the accreditation process, the need to identify and teach these characteristics began to shape the curriculum in many ways. How did this issue impact on the design of engineering curricula and how much flexibility could be afforded in responses to market demands or niche development?

One of the choices often encountered when designing engineering curricula is whether students should be offered a program that allows broadening of their skills and knowledge, or that provides opportunities for in-depth specialisation. Mechanisms such as offering Minors and Majors, workplace integrated learning and on-line resources can be utilised to achieve either of these approaches. Various external and internal influences affect curriculum design. Among the external influences are resources, government decisions, the profession’s and industry views and assessment, Engineers Australia accreditation, word of mouth reputation in community, diversity in cohort, and how students choose institutions. Staff cultural issues and individual academic interpretation of goals and delivery appear to be among the top internal influences. There are also many other internal factors including time and resources, faculty structure and leadership, council decisions, as well as university reputation, but particularly the impact of the present engineering skill shortage in Australia and globally.

We explore such influences and the consequent program design decisions. The paper investigates some options for designing the learning experience and how these options are affected by focus on the curriculum itself or on the graduate.

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ID Code: 5899
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Engineering curriculum, learning experience, engineering skill shortage, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 20 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016 02:05

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