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Learning in a graduate attributes-based engineering course

Learning in a graduate attributes-based engineering course,Keith Trigwell,Keiko Yasukawa

Learning in a graduate attributes-based engineering course   (Citations: 4)
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Engineering for Sustainability is a new subject in an undergraduate engineering course which has undergone significant restructuring and redesign. The subject was developed with a focus on some of the desirable academic, professional and personal attributes of engineering graduates rather than on specific technical engineering content. It aims to introduce students to concepts of sustainability, critical thinking, advocacy, academic reading and writing in engineering and an awareness of the diverse ways of thinking about engineering. This paper describes the subject's curriculum aims, learning experiences and assessment, and the contexts within which the subject was offered. It includes an analysis of students' prior conceptions of engineering and learning, and their perceptions and outcomes of the subject. Correlation and cluster analyses of students' experiences were undertaken to investigate the extent to which students are prepared for and have recognised the shift from a content-focus expectation of learning to the process- and values-oriented focus which the subject aims to achieve. Specifically, a cluster analysis reveals anticipated relations between prior experience, perceptions of the learning context and learning outcomes. The results are interpreted in terms of the nature of learning in subjects, more generally, which focus less on traditional academic content and more on the skills to support the learning of the broader concepts of the disciplinary areas.
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