Introducing undergraduate electrical engineering students to reflective practice

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Kaider, Friederika and Shi, Juan (2012) Introducing undergraduate electrical engineering students to reflective practice. In: Bridging sustainable community development and social justice : the next ethical challenge for humanitarian engineers. Engineers Australia, Barton, ACT, pp. 484-490.


A major feature of engineering courses at Victoria University (VU), Melbourne is a problem-based and work-related approach to student learning aimed at equipping students with both technical competencies and generic employability skills. Engineering courses at VU are accredited by the professional association, Engineers Australia (EA) and thus subscribe to developing in students the competency standards required of graduate engineers. This paper reports on student responses in a reflective practice assessment task newly introduced in a unit of study in the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic). The assessment task was comprised of two elements, a self- audit on EA competencies and a guided self reflection on the students’ strengths, skills gaps, and improvement strategies. An assessment in reflective practice was instituted because of the considerable literature attesting to the benefit it has for student learning. As Hinett (2002) states, reflective practice enables students to: 1) understand what they already know; 2) identify what they need to know in order to advance understanding of the subject; 3) make sense of new information and feedback in the context of their own experience and 4) guide choices for further learning. Reflective practice is not common in engineering courses and it was believed that this exercise would heighten students’ awareness of EA competencies, how they were tracking on attaining them and what they needed to do to improve. This paper reports the preliminary findings of how students responded in their assessments in the first unit of study. Although this is primarily presented as a case study, the responses have been quantitatively and qualitatively analysed. The early findings demonstrate how student perceptions on their proficiencies changed between the start and end of semester; the skills that they felt were most lacking; and the difference in value and accuracy of selfaudits compared to guided reflections. Proceedings of the 22nd annual AAEE Conference on Engineering Education 5-7 December 2011, Fremantle, Western Australia

Additional Information

Alternative title: Proceedings of the 22nd annual Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference on Engineering Education

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9780858259980
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1399 Other Education
Historical > SEO Classification > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Keywords ResPubID23019, electrical engineering students, reflective practice, reflective assessment
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