Engineering Education: an Australian Perspective

Edited by: Dr. Steven Grainger and Associate Professor Colin Kestell
Publication date: October 2011 • 978-1-907132-29-2 • 532pp • £75/$140

The quality of life for the entire world is hugely dependent upon the engineering skills of those who design and develop our goods and infrastructure. These engineers are literally building our future and so the quality of their education is of immense importance to us all.

In Australia (as in so many developed countries), the face of engineering education is now rapidly changing; with the modern day engineering lecturer juggling enormous workloads that are associated with publications and grant applications on top of their increasing teaching responsibilities. These stresses are further exacerbated by the significantly increasing numbers of students, many of whom are from very culturally diverse backgrounds. A paradigm of engineering education is emerging as a direct result of these challenges, and has led to a very vibrant research community within Australia. The content of the book demonstrates this, and while it has a strong Australian focus, it will be directly relevant to similar issues faced by so many other countries.

The expert contributions centre upon the interaction between academia and industry; the development of engineering curricula; issues relating to the diversity of cultures and equity; the challenges of creating positive experiences for new students; novel methods of student assessment; and the use of modern teaching tools. The book is edited by Dr. Steven Grainger and Associate Professor Colin Kestell of the University of Adelaide's School of Mechanical Engineering.



Chapter 1. Professional practice and trans-disciplinary education
Industry Partnered PhD Projects: Impediments, Coping Strategies and Procedures
Building Employability Skills in ICT Master Coursework Curriculum
Top-down Synthesis of an Engineering Program of Study
How do Consulting Engineers Interact with their Clients?
Trialling an Assignment Structure that Develops Generic Competencies and Enriches Subject Understanding
A personal journey towards interdisciplinary Engineering Education research: Lessons learned for undergraduate education
How are engineering graduates prepared to work in a culturally changing world?

Chapter 2. Problem based learning
The engineers without borders design challenge: a project based learning case study at UWA
Providing students with ‘real-world’ experience through university group projects
Teaching Finite Element Modelling at the Undergraduate Level: A PBL Approach
Enabling Reflective Practice for 2nd Year EBEE Students

Chapter 3. Equity and diversity
Spatial Ability Performance of Female Engineering Students
Gender typing and engineering competencies
Scaffolding the curriculum to enhance learning, motivation and academic performance of mature aged students in engineering

Chapter 4. The first year experience
Effective Strategies for Teaching a Large Class First-Year Engineering Mechanics Course
E-portfolios and first year students – do we assume too much?
Students Views on Engineering Mechanics Education and the Implications for Educators
Engaging Large First Year Classes
Scaffolding the tentative first steps and energising orientation for first year engineering students
Students sharing and evaluating MCQs in a large first year Engineering course
Understanding preservice teachers’ predispositions for teaching engineering education in Australian schools

Chapter 5. Technology and on-line education
Online Adaptive Tutorials Targeting Fundamental Concepts of Mechanics Courses in Engineering
Using mobile phones to engage students in engineering lectures
How e-learning can enhance learning and teaching
Human-computer interaction experiments in an immersive virtual reality environment for e-learning applications
Engineering and re-engineering learning discussions in a fully online unit
O (Big) Brother, Where Art Thou?: Exploring the capabilities of synchronous online communication while supervising experiential learning from a distance

Chapter 6. Assessment
The Co-Op Portfolio: An Essential Tool for Assessment and Student Development in Co-operative Engineering Programs
Student Satisfaction and Individual Learning Outcomes
A study to identify relationships between the grade given for an undergraduate problem solving course and the students’ reported satisfaction levels
Towards achieving good assessment practice – A case study
If students want feedback why don’t they collect their assignments?
Student assignment workload: students’ perceptions compared to lecturers’ expectations
Approaches to providing non-trivial assessment for quantitative engineering using computer aided assessment
Honour thesis assessment: the role of guidelines in achieving inter-rater agreement
Guidelines for Assessing and Developing Final Year Engineering Projects

Chapter 7. Student Engagement
Using active teaching workshops to enhance the lecture experience
Enhancement of Learning in Aircraft Handling Qualities Through Variable Stability Flight Simulation
Using Heritage to Promote Student Learning
Digital animations as a visual learning tool for Structural Analysis
Applying knowledge management concepts to engage students in an undergraduate online learning community
Puzzle-Based Learning: The first three years
The Use of Wikispace in Engineering Education
More than one pathway to success: The effects of Lecture attendance and Lectopia viewing on exam performance in large Engineering classes
Developing a supportive learning environment for large class sizes using crash courses

Chapter 8. Curriculum and Program Development
How the Australian Army does it: Development of training packages in the Defence Force School of Signals
A Conceptual Framework for the Development of Engineering Courses
Transforming the Monologue – Engineering Management into Practice
Designing the Future


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