Community Based Problems in 2nd Year Electrical Engineering Course

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Simcock, Alec L, Shi, Juan and Thorn, Richard (2008) Community Based Problems in 2nd Year Electrical Engineering Course. In: Work integrated learning (WIL) : transforming futures, practice ... pedagogy ... partnerships : e-proceedings. Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, pp. 501-507.


Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne, Austra lia is reviewing its undergraduate programs to ensure that, in addition to the expected technical expertise, its graduates are equipped with the broader teamwork and social skills required by employers and the community. As part of this initiative the undergraduate engineering program s at VU adopted Problem Based Learning (PBL) for first year students in 2006, with an annual phased roll out of PBL into the later years of each program. Problems are the very heart of the PBL paradigm. In first year the problems are constrained because they are designed mainly to allow the students to learn the processes involved in PBL, and not just produce a product. In second year the problems are used to introduce the students to fundamental project management, client negotiating, specification writing and also to produce a product in the form of a deliverable to the community based client. Our clients/partners work with us to ensure that the primary goal of achieving the various learning outcomes for the students is satisfied, as is the secondary goal of creating a product for them. This practise-based paper gives a summary of the interactions between the students and their (very benevolent) clients. The friendly, collaborative nature of the student (contractor) and community group (client) interactions resulted in quality outcomes which far outstripped our expectations. News of the success achieved has begun to spread and not only have all our clients from 2007 asked to be involved again, we have had expressions of interest from other groups.

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9780980570601
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > SEO Classification > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Keywords ResPubID14628, Learning in the Workplace and Community, LiWC, work integrated learning, problem based learning, PBL, WIL, university and community organisation partnerships, Victoria University, Melbourne
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