Ensuring quality outcomes from the first year of Bachelor of Engineering degrees

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

In 2001, the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering at QUT began a review of the first year of all core Bachelor of Engineering Programs (Civil, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical) in response to a number of identified problems with the current course structure, delivery and student experience. A project officer worked with a team of academic staff across the three Schools concerned to undertake the review process and to recommend strategies to implement and evaluate any changes to be proposed. This paper discusses the process that the multi-disciplinary review team undertook and the nature of the recommendations that resulted. A process for supporting course development is outlined for projects such as that discussed which fosters ownership amongst the diverse staff upon whom the success of the changes proposed depends. Despite the driving force for the review being initially about addressing drawbacks of the current course structure, the focus of the review process quickly moved to enhancing students’ learning outcomes. The paper illustrates that educational theory on student learning is supported by experience in practice and is a necessary consideration in course review.

Keywords: engineering education, first year, course development

Ensuring quality outcomes from the first year of Bachelor of Engineering degrees

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Whelan, K. & Boles, W.