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Engineering programmes have a strong reputation in the delivery of technical knowledge and skills. Graduates need equally high levels of competence in personal and professional skills to not only meet the existing requirements of employers and professional bodies but to also help them manage the inevitable changes that society is facing in an increasingly populated world. The need to move from traditional to student-centred learning is discussed in the context of engineering education. The use of group-based, problem driven learning facilitates high integration of technical and non-technical knowledge and skills and requires more engagement with the programme from today’s student. Personal skills should be developed from a low base in a progressive, structured manner over the entire programme. A framework is presented to help those in curriculum design to develop learning, teaching and assessment methods that are in alignment with the delivery of all the intended learning outcomes in an accredited engineering programme. Through the use of group-based pedagogies, the student is required to develop a basic understanding of group collaboration skills and self-directed learning in the first year. As these are enhanced in the subsequent years, increasing attention is paid to other personal knowledge and skills such as critical thinking, creativity and awareness of ethics. High levels of direction from the tutor fade over time as the students become more competent at managing learning.
Duffy, G. & Bowe, B (2010). A Framework to Develop Lifelong Learning and Transferable Skills in an Engineering Programme. 3rd International Symposium for Engineering Education, University College Cork, Ireland. doi:10.21427/a2gp-y653
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