A review of three approaches to determining students' capabilities for studying engineering

Burton, Lorelle J. and Dowling, David G. and Kavanagh, Lydia and Aubrey, Tim (2011) A review of three approaches to determining students' capabilities for studying engineering. In: 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE 2011): Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, Australia.

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The staff at a number of Australian engineering schools are using a range of aptitude tests to: (a) grow student numbers in engineering programs by facilitating the entry of students who have an aptitude to study engineering but do not meet entry requirements;(b) identify 'at risk' students and provide them with counselling and remedial classes to facilitate a successful transition to university; (c) empower students with self-awareness and learning skills; and/or (d) identify the factors that lead to success in first year engineering studies. Some examples of the tests currently being used include the Australian Technology Network Engineering Selection Test (ATNEST); the Preparing for First Year Engineering (PFFYE) competency test; and the Student Learning Profiles online test. This paper reviews these three approaches currently being used in Australian universities and describes the methods used to deploy the tests, and the experiences gained from implementing the tests. The paper discusses the outcomes of the tests and explores the feasibility of synthesising the best features of the existing tests to develop a single multi-purpose test. Engineering schools could then be able to select and deploy the test, or components of the test, to meet their requirements.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2011 Lorelle Burton, David Dowling, Lydia Kavanagh, and Tim Aubrey. Copyright resides with the authors' and/or their employing or funding institutions. Other than brief abstracts, no part of this publication may be produced in any form without the consent of the authors. Paper 273.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 01:18
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 01:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: engineering; student capabilities; aptitude tests; transition
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20540

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