Curriculum design and higher order skills: challenging assumptions

Crosthwaite, Caroline and Jolly, Lesley and Brodie, Lyn and Kavanagh, Lydia and Buys, Laurie and Turner, Jennifer (2012) Curriculum design and higher order skills: challenging assumptions. In: 5th International Conference: Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education (EE 2012), 18-20 Sep 2012, Coventry, United Kingdom.

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This paper is based on an Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) funded evaluation in 13 universities across Australia and New Zealand of the use of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) projects in first-year engineering courses. All of the partner institutions have implemented this innovation differently and comparison of these implementations affords us the opportunity to assemble 'a body of carefully gathered data that provides evidence of which approaches work for which students in which learning environments'. This study used a mixed-methods data collection approach and a realist analysis. Data was collected by program logic analysis with course co-ordinators, observation of classes, focus groups with students, exit survey of students and interviews with staff as well as scrutiny of relevant course and curriculum documents. Course designers and co-ordinators gave us a range of reasons for using the projects, most of which alluded to their presumed capacity to deliver experience in and learning of higher order thinking skills in areas such as sustainability, ethics, teamwork and communication. For some students, however, the nature of the projects decreased their interest in issues such as ethical development, sustainability and how to work in teams. We also found that the projects provoked different responses from students depending on the nature of the courses in which they were embedded (general introduction, design, communication, or problem-solving courses) and their mode of delivery (lecture, workshop or online).

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: You are free to copy, distribute, and display the work. You must give the original author credit and you may not use this work for commercial purposes or alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 01:59
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2017 23:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; curriculum designs; data collection; first-year engineering; focus groups; learning environments; New Zealand; partner institutions; program logic; thinking skills; higher education research
Fields of Research (2008): 14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140304 Panel Data Analysis
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Fields of Research (2020): 38 ECONOMICS > 3802 Econometrics > 380204 Panel data analysis
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390409 Learning sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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