Mapping student approaches to learning within a civil engineering program
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Most civil engineering programs include a broad curriculum covering a range of relevant engineering and generic skills, combined with a range of teaching and learning environments. This provides both the breadth and the depth of civil engineering knowledge required by graduates to practise as "work-ready" professional engineers with an appropriate level of specialisation. The approach to learning adopted by students will have a strong influence on their ability to act as "life-long-learners". Integration of courses within the engineering program is one way to improve student performance by motivating them to move beyond surface approaches to their learning. However, the learning approach adopted by students varies from course to course depending on the student's perception of the teaching and learning environment. This paper describes an investigation into the way in which students approach their learning across a civil engineering program. A survey of students has been undertaken to identify where students adopt deep and surface learning approaches. The variation in the way students approach their learning has been investigated across all years of the program, as well as within year-based cohorts of students. The study has identified opportunities within the program to facilitate the development of "life-long-learner" skills by students.
Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Conference Proceedings
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Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy