Engineering needs environmental and global thinkers: a contextual analysis of student learning preferences

Brumley, J, Buckeridge, J and Grundy, C 2006, 'Engineering needs environmental and global thinkers: a contextual analysis of student learning preferences', in Creativity, Challenge, Change. Partnerships in Engineering Education, Auckland, New Zealand, 10-13 December 2006.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Engineering needs environmental and global thinkers: a contextual analysis of student learning preferences
Author(s) Brumley, J
Buckeridge, J
Grundy, C
Year 2006
Conference name Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Conference location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference dates 10-13 December 2006
Proceedings title Creativity, Challenge, Change. Partnerships in Engineering Education
Publisher Auckland University of Technology, School of Engineering
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Abstract The need for engineering graduates who are environmentally and globally aware is now a recognised priority in professional practice. This paper presents an analysis of learning preferences of entry level students in a course which builds an early awareness of global environmental practice. The course on Engineering and the Environment started in 1991 as part of the undergraduate Environmental Engineering program at RMIT University. Subsequently the course was extended to Geological and then to Civil Engineering programs. The curriculum has paralleled the development of environmental practice in the professions of engineering and mining and provides a fundamental environmental context for students' subsequent learning in their programs and on-going professional practice. Curriculum development and some specific learning activities are briefly outlined. A challenge has been how to engage a diverse and increasingly large cohort of almost several hundred students in "non traditional" engineering lectures. A detailed analysis of student responses to a set of multiple choice exam questions has been conducted to test the hypothesis that various factors such as student choice of program may influence receptivity to different modes of learning and curriculum content. The study shows no significant difference between the various groups in regards to preference for evaluative type environmental learning, versus more traditional factual based engineering learning.
Subjects Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) environmental curriculum
educational research
professional practice
Copyright notice © 2005, Australasian Association for Engineering Education
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