Problem based learning for on-campus and distance education students in engineering and surveying

Brodie, Lyn and Porter, Mark (2006) Problem based learning for on-campus and distance education students in engineering and surveying. In: Engineering Education 2006 (EE2006), 24-26 July 2006, Liverpool, UK.


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USQ has one of the most diverse student intakes of any Australian university. It offers a suit of integrated programs to both On-Campus and Distance Education students in Engineering and Surveying. The programs cover 2, 3 and 4 year courses in 9 majors. The student profile includes a large intake of mature age students, particularly studying via distance education, international students as well as traditional school leavers.
In 2000, the Faculty embarked on a major review and restructure of its programs leading up to its reaccreditation cycle. The review process established that some major changes were required to develop new graduate attributes relating to teamwork, problem solving and life-long learning patterns as required by Engineers Australia. Proposed changes to the programs included the removal of some traditionally taught, content based courses such as physics and statistics. Their place was to betaken by a newly developed strand of 4 integrated courses which used a Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodology.
The first offer of the new foundational course took place in Semester 1 2002. It has since been recognised through a number of national and international awards.
As far as is known, the offering of this type of course to engineering students at a distance from the campus, working in virtual teams, has never been done before in the world. This course is now delivered to about 400 students annually. Student feedback indicates that the course successfully inculcates new attributes in an engineering graduate such as the ability to work in a team, to communicate, to self-learn, and to solve technical problems. All these attributes have been identified as desirable by professional and industry bodies around the world.
This paper gives an overview of the implementation strategy as well as results from a longitudinal study of students progressing through the strand.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:00
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 02:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: Problem Based Learning, distance education, student diversity, higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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