Australasian Journal of Engineering Education

Articles

Vol. 19, No. 2, October

Trans-Discipline Engineering Communication Characteristics and Norms: An Exploration of Communication Behaviours within Engineering Practice
1 INTRODUCTION Over 10,000 Baby Boomers a day are reportedly retiring from the US workforce, a situation that will not end until nearly 20% of the existing workforce is reduced somewhere near the year 2030 (Cohn & Taylor, 2010). With these dramatic...
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Change Strategies for Educational Transformation
1 PLUS CA CHANGE, PLUS C'EST LA MEME CHOSE (THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME) For those of us who immerse ourselves in the engineering education literature, the following introductory quotation appears as a recurring theme: Financial...
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Encouraging the Adoption of Education Technology for Improved Student Outcomes
1 INTRODUCTION Emphasis on the use of electronic technology for learning and teaching purposes in higher education has become common in universities worldwide. Current literature refers to many different applications in both course management and...
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Vol. 19, No. 1, June

Integration of Education for Sustainable Development in the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum
1 INTRODUCTION The mission of a mechanical engineer is to create and operate products and systems that improve safety and quality of life for a growing population. This mission should be achieved using a minimum of resources to ensure we do not...
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Progress with the Professional Spine: A Four-Year Engineering Design and Practice Sequence
1 INTRODUCTION Research demonstrates a need for repeated design experiences (CDIO Standard 5) throughout an undergraduate engineering program to develop confidence and competence for professional practice (Frank & Strong, 2008; 2010; Frank et...
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Curriculum Assessment for Professional Accreditation: A Modelling Framework
1 INTRODUCTION Accreditation of professional engineering courses is well established, both internationally through the Washington Accord (International Engineering Alliance, 2011), and in many countries, such as through the Accreditation Board for...
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Reinforcing Skills and Building Student Confidence through a Multicultural Project-Based Learning Experience
1 INTRODUCTION In 2011 a group of 20 Canadian students from the Schulich School of Engineering (SSE) and 20 Chinese students from Shantou University (STU) participated in a four-week course on renewable energy at STU. The project-based learning...
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Mentoring Young Adults in the Development of Social Responsibility
1 A NEW GENERATION OF YOUNG ADULTS Much has been written about the characteristics of Generation X and the Millennials, but at this point, they have been out of college for more than 10 years. In this paper, university students under the age of...
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Active Learning in First-Year Engineering Courses at Universidad Catolica De la Santisima Concepcion, Chile
1 INTRODUCTION In 2008, the School of Engineering of the Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion (UCSC) began its curriculum reform process using a CDIO-based approach of five engineering programs. The conceive and design phases have been...
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A Template for Change? De-Risking the Transition to CDIO
1 INTRODUCTION The University of Auckland adopted, in 2011, a project-based learning experience for its 535 final-year engineering students. The aim was to introduce the faculty to a systems thinking and a CDIO (conceive, design, implement, operate)...
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Vol. 18, No. 1, June

Modern Enhancements in Teaching Design Theories to Mechanical Engineering Students
1 INTRODUCTION Design education focuses on teaching students how to do design, and these design courses could be offered from freshmen to senior year at universities depending on the curriculum requirements (Tomiyama et al, 2009). Adams et al (2003)...
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Applying Narrative to the Delivery of the Ill-Defined Domain of Manufacturing Systems to Undergraduate Students
1 INTRODUCTION The relating of stories to students is not something one immediately associates with undergraduate engineering education. If questioned about likely fruitful areas of application for stories and narrative in education most engineering...
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Work Readiness of Final-Year Civil Engineering Students at Victoria University: A Survey
1 INTRODUCTION Civil engineering is a broad-based discipline involving the planning, design, construction and management of a wide range of essential community infrastructure including, commercial and industrial buildings, water supply and wastewater...
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Enhancing Undergraduate Engineering Education Quality through Teaching Assistants (Tutors/demonstrators)
1 INTRODUCTION There has been an increase in the number of students entering tertiary education institutions in the past decades, and this increase has had an influence on the staffing situation. Like other discipline areas that have experienced...
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Communication Simulation in Construction Management Education: Evaluating Learning Effectiveness
1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The general significance and strategic role of communication in engineering communities and the resulting requirement for change of university curricula has been shown by Lappalainen (2009). Human factors such as social...
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Helping Engineering Academics to Undertake Education Research: A Model for Practice
1 INTRODUCTION Helping academics to engage with and investigate their own teaching practices is difficult. Some are hesitant to question their current practices, or lack the skills, time and confidence to investigate and evaluate the effectiveness...
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Identification of Threshold Concepts Involved in Early Electronics: Some New Methods and Results
1 INTRODUCTION To students, threshold concepts (TCs) (Cousin, 2006) are abnormally troublesome to learn. To practitioners their importance lies in the transformation in the "ways of thinking and practising" of the learner as Davies (2006) put it,...
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Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Improve Conceptual Understanding of Resonance in an Electronics Course
1 INTRODUCTION Teaching an introductory electronics course can be very challenging as students often have deep misconceptions concerning the operation of basic electric circuits. Many of these misconceptions are well documented in the literature...
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Vol. 17, No. 3, November

Supporting International Students to Meet Assessment Expectations
1 INTRODUCTION The international education industry is Australia's third largest export sector, behind coal and iron ore, contributing $17 billion to the Australian economy and supporting more than 125,000 jobs (Access Economics, 2009). Australia...
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Understanding Generic Engineering Competencies
1 INTRODUCTION In Australia engineering education programs are accredited by Engineers Australia (EA). The accreditation criteria state that engineering students of accredited programs must develop 10 stipulated generic graduate attributes and the...
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Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Women in Engineering
1 INTRODUCTION From 1994 to 2005 the Australasian Women in Engineering (WIE) Forum was run in conjunction with the annual Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE) conference, initially as a related forum held immediately before...
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Vol. 17, No. 2, October

Persuasive Presentations in Engineering Spoken Discourse
1 INTRODUCTION In the current climate of curriculum reform in university education in Australia, there is an appropriately strong focus on graduate attributes, such that when students graduate they will not only have demonstrated their knowledge...
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Student Profiles and Their Role in the Evaluation of Learning and Teaching
1 INTRODUCTION Over the past three decades work has been carried out to demonstrate the idea that both teachers and students have personality characteristics that can affect the way they teach or learn and interact (Abrami et al, 1982; Murray et...
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The Use of Co-Assessment in Motivating Tutorial Attendance, Preparation and Participation in Engineering Subjects
1 INTRODUCTION It is a well-reported problem in the education literature that "students undertaking university courses skip classes on a not infrequent basis" and that "non-attendance at university is an ongoing problem that appears to transcend...
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Meeting the Challenges of Electrical Engineering Service Courses
1 INTRODUCTION Ever since the establishment of the first engineering courses in Australia at the universities of Sydney and Melbourne in the 1880s, one of the main features of these professional degrees has been existence of "service courses" (Selleck,...
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Project-Based Learning for First-Year Engineering Students: Design of C[O.Sub.2] Sequestration
1 INTRODUCTION The accreditation requirements for the engineering curricula have introduced new insights into learning and teaching practices. One of them is project-based learning (PBL), which has only recently been practiced in engineering education...
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Student-Specific Projects for Greater Engagement in a Computational Fluid Dynamics Course
1 COURSE OVERVIEW Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (ICFD) is a combined final year undergraduate/ postgraduate course, running for 12 weeks, 3 hours per week (h/w). While prerequisites for the course include fluid dynamics and mathematics,...
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Fostering International Engineering Education Research Collaborations: On the Need to Think beyond the Workshop Format
1 INTRODUCTION In Australia and many other nations and regions, engineering education is emerging as a vibrant research field (AAEE, 2008; Godfrey & Hadgraft, 2009; Lohmann & de Graaff, 2008; SEFI, 2008), bolstered by a diverse and growing...
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Learning Cultures of Problem-Based Learning Teams
1 INTRODUCTION Student learning in undergraduate engineering courses in most Australian universities has relied mainly on lecture-based teaching, supplemented where appropriate with laboratory practicals, tutorials, seminars, projects and other...
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Vol. 17, No. 1, June

Designing the Future
1 INTRODUCTION This paper presents selected findings from a two-day Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) funded regional forum held in April 2009 at the University of New South Wales, as part of the ALTC project "Design based curriculum...
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Key Factors for Determining the Suitability of Converting a Fluid-Mechanics Laboratory to Remote-Access Mode
1 INTRODUCTION Laboratory classes are an essential part of the education of undergraduate engineers. Laboratories provide the opportunity to acquire a range of skills and knowledge that are not available through other avenues (Feisel & Rosa,...
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Editorial
This is the first issue for 2011 of the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education (AJEE). This issue showcases the best papers from our annual conference held in Adelaide in December 2009. The conference was a great success, bringing together...
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The Influence of University Entry Scores on Student Performance in Engineering Mechanics
1 INTRODUCTION Students just don't have the maths anymore, that's why we have such high failure rates. We are accepting too many students with low university entranceA scores. Not enough students have done physics in high school....
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Managing Student Diversity in the Master of Engineering Practice Program: By Design
1 BACKGROUND The Faculty of Engineering and Surveying at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has more than 2500 students enrolled in its three undergraduate engineering programs: the four-year Bachelor of Engineering, the three-year Bachelor...
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Vol. 16, No. 2, October

Factors Affecting Students' Experiences and Satisfaction about Teaching Quality in Engineering
1 INTRODUCTION Universities and governments are increasingly interested in using quality measures that provide evidence that can be used to improve the quality of student learning, as well as for benchmarking and funding decisions. Standard scales...
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The Relationship between Reported Workload, Stress and Employment Levels in First-Year Engineering Students
1 INTRODUCTION Engineering degree programs are notorious for placing considerable demands upon their students. Balancing study and other commitments, such as paid employment, is a challenge faced by an increasing number of undergraduate students...
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Making Problem-Solving in Engineering-Mechanics Visible to First-Year Engineering Students
1 BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH RATIONALE In our efforts to investigate the problem-solving skills of first-year students enrolled in the engineering-mechanics course at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Engineering, we seek to address the following...
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Labour Force Outcomes for Engineering Graduates in Australia
1 INTRODUCTION Until the current financial problems started to affect engineering activities in late 2008, Australia was experiencing an acute shortage of engineering skills: companies were finding it very difficult to attract and retain engineers,...
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Development of an Innovative VoIP Student Attendance Recording Application
1 INTRODUCTION The persistence of high rates of absenteeism is a major concern, as it is believed by educators that consistent school attendance is essential for educational success, with low standards of academic achievement, including low levels...
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Influences on Student Learning in Engineering: Some Results from Case Study Fieldwork
1 INTRODUCTION Currently, there is increased demand for engineers (King, 2008; Taylor, 2008; Engineers Australia, 2006) that is not matched by an increase in student demand for engineering programs. This highlights the importance of maximising retention...
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Vol. 16, No. 1, June

Futures Thinking for Engineering and Engineers Australia's Continuing Professional Development Process
1 OVERVIEW By 2025, the planet will have some 8 billion people living on it, mainly living in cities situated in coastal areas. Food consumption and water demand will rise markedly. The rising demand for hydrocarbons will continue unabated, and...
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Bridging the Spatial Visualisation Skills Gap through Engineering Drawing Using the Whole-to-Parts Approach
1 INTRODUCTION Engineering drawing is a common subject across engineering disciplines. Development of spatial visualisation skills has often been cited as one of the goals of teaching this subject to engineering students (Osborn & Agogino, 1992;...
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Innovative Use of Computer Tools in Teaching Structural Engineering Applications
1 INTRODUCTION Matrix Structural Analysis and Finite Element Method: Theory and Applications are technical elective courses offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) at the undergraduate...
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How Do Student Attributes Influence the Way Students Experience Problem-Based Learning in Virtual Space?
1 INTRODUCTION Questions have recently been posed about the ability of engineering graduates to meet new world challenges, such as the ability to transfer basic knowledge to real-life engineering situations; ability to work in virtual global multidisciplinary...
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"Eco-Logical" Engineering: A Teaching-Research Model to Foster Students' Paradigm Thinking of Wastes as Commodities
1 INTRODUCTION Engineers are charged with important technical and business decisions on projects that modify the natural environment by consuming biophysical resources and generating ensuing wastes (Head, 2009; Mitchell, 2000). As economies grow,...
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Perceptions of Competency Deficiencies in Engineering Graduates
1 INTRODUCTION Engineering education in Australia continues to change (Ferguson, 2006b). Course structures, the breadth of curricula, teaching methods and learning environments are evolving. The University of Melbourne has, and the University of...
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The Influence of Action Learning on Student Perception and Performance
1 INTRODUCTION Revans (1983), largely acknowledged as the founder of action learning (McGill & Beaty, 2002), described the process of learning in the terms of the reflective inquiry process, where learning is the sum total of attaining programmed...
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Editorial
This is the first issue for 2010 of the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education (AJEE). This issue comprises seven submitted papers. The papers address a range of issues, illustrating the challenges faced in engineering education, along with...
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Vol. 15, No. 3, November

Enabling Safer Design Via Improved Understandings of Knowledge-Related Hazards: A Role for Cross-Disciplinarity
1 INTRODUCTION It is proposed that cross-disciplinarity is required to achieve safe design. By way of introduction, consider some consequences of "unsafe" design. Examples of well-known catastrophic industrial accidents include the 1984 Union...
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Identifying and Dealing with Students at Risk
1 INTRODUCTION Engineering schools spend considerable time and effort in an attempt to attract students. In many cases this involves more than simply advertising the existence of a particular program of study or stimulating some interest in a particular...
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A Knowledge-Information-Data Concept Model for Engineering Education
1 INTRODUCTION This paper outlines a concept model that describes the inter-relationships between data, information and knowledge pertaining to engineering practice. The knowledge-information-data (or KID) concept model is intended to provide a...
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Experiences from Adopting a Situational Learning Course Structure
1 INTRODUCTION Professional engineers, in addition to their technical competence, have always required a wide range of interpersonal skills to be successful in their work. This is more prevalent today where further challenges in environmental, climatic...
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Do Secondary School Grades Predict the Performance of Engineering Students?
1 INTRODUCTION Colleges try to admit students who possess characteristics that are indicative of their ability to earn passing grades at the institution in their chosen major. Students who lack academic ability cannot benefit from the education...
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Developing Electrical Engineering Education Program Assessment Process at UAE University
1 BACKGROUND The universities in different countries follow their own curriculum development philosophies and processes with the intention of producing "environment-ready" engineers. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's (ABET)...
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Vol. 15, No. 2, October

Tissue Growth and the Polya Distribution
1 INTRODUCTION Hirschsprung's disease is relatively common, affecting roughly one in 5000 new-born babies each year in Australia. In Hirschsprung's disease there is no nervous system in the last part of the gut, which means that it cannot support...
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Ship Stability and Parametric Rolling
1 INTRODUCTION The stability of ships is of vital importance to the maritime world, and for a variety of reasons is likely to become even more important in the future. For example, ships in general are becoming ever larger, and a growing number...
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Piped Water Cooling of Concrete: An Exercise in Scaling
1 INTRODUCTION During dam construction, concrete is poured in large slabs that typically have dimensions of the order of 3 x 10 x 10 m. Hydration heat is released as the concrete sets and temperature rises in excess of 50 [degrees] are quite typical....
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Diffusing Populations: Ghosts or Folks?
1 INTRODUCTION In a random walk model (Hughes, 1995; Berg, 1983), an agent moves in a sequence of random steps. Such models are easy to simulate and well-suited to student projects. Students can learn important ideas in a highly intuitive context,...
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A Non-Linear Dynamical System: Flow Past a Sluice Gate
1 INTRODUCTION There are many examples throughout the world where infrastructure such as dams, weirs and sluice gates play an important role in controlling the flow of water in rivers and irrigation channels. More specifically, in Australia, the...
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Modelling Sediment Drainage from Roads to Rivers
Rainfall on unsealed roads causes a sediment flux that proceeds along the road, through drains, and then down to river systems. Optimal placement of drains can minimise the amount of sediment polluting the river. Two methods of minimising this...
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Critical Times in One- and Two-Layered Diffusion
1 INTRODUCTION An important consideration in applications modelled by diffusion is: how long does the diffusive process take? For example, in steel annealing (Barry & Sweatman, 2009; McGuinness et al, 2009; Yuen, 1994), a steel coil is heated...
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Taming the Complexity of Granular Materials with Vector Calculus
1 INTRODUCTION This paper concerns the mathematical modelling of the deformation of granular materials. It showcases modern applications of undergraduate-level vector calculus in the context of evolving vector fields--specifically, the study of...
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Application of Origin-Destination Matrices to the Design of Train Services
1 INTRODUCTION An important element in creating a train timetable is the design of train services to meet a known travel demand within some fixed time interval. Demand is defined by the number of people who wish to travel between each pair of stations....
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Vol. 15, No. 1, June

Exploring Synergies between Learning and Teaching in Engineering: A Case Study Approach
1 INTRODUCTION One of the major challenges currently facing Australia is the skill shortage in engineers (Engineers Australia, 2006). In a media release ahead of the Australian Technology Network of Universities conference, held in Perth in 2008,...
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Does Pedagogy Still Rule?
1 INTRODUCTION Theories on teaching and learning for adult learners are constantly being reviewed and discussed in professional education, especially in terms of the university educational environment. Teaching and learning theories in this concept...
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Exploring the Culture of Engineering Education: The Journey
1 INTRODUCTION My aim in this presentation is to chart some of the challenges I faced in attempting to define the culture of engineering education, in the hope that my experiences might highlight issues encountered when engineering educators cross...
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Vol. 14, No. 2, October

The Green Petrol Heads: Developing Practical Professional Engineering Skills That Generate Interest in Sustainable Engineering
1 INTRODUCTION During the Adelaide 2008 March heatwave, which was the longest on record (The Age, 2008), Caltex predicted that Australian fuel prices would double over the next decade (The Herald Sun, 2008). Both headlines seemed inseparably entwined...
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Teaching Smarter to Improve the English Communication Proficiency of International Engineering Students-Collaborations between Content and Language Specialists at the University of Western Australia
1 ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS, INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND PERFORMANCE IN ENGINEERING PROGRAMS Whatever we think of the recently released Birrell report (Birrell, 2006) and the subsequent flurry of media and academic interest that surrounds it (see,...
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A Toolbox for Blackboard
1 WHAT IS BLACKBOARD? 1.1 Generally Blackboard is a so-called Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), also described as a Course Management System (CMS), or Learning Content Management System (LCMS). The company Blackboard is based in Washington...
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Improving Outcomes-Based Engineering Education in Australia
1 INTRODUCTION Graduate attributes are now a ubiquitous feature of higher education in Australia and internationally, and have been part of engineering education for more than a decade. The idea of graduate attributes is an apparently simple concept,...
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Teaching Critical Appraisal Skills to Postgraduate, English as a Second Language, Engineering Students
1 INTRODUCTION Faculties of Engineering in Australasia increasingly enrol a culturally and linguistically diverse group of students into their postgraduate coursework (and research) programs, including international English as a second language...
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Designing Problems for Problem-Based Learning Courses in Analogue Electronics: Cognitive and Pedagogical Issues
1 INTRODUCTION From a constructivist's perspective, discourse is a central mechanism for learning (Palinscar, 1998). For ages, educationalists have been working on making the "theory" as practical as possible and making the "practice" as theoretically...
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Gender Differences in Student Attitudes toward Engineering and Academic Careers
1 INTRODUCTION Studies by physiologists and educationalists have focused their attention to biological differences to explain the disparity between men and women in science and engineering careers. However, initial studies that looked at brain size...
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Peer Assessment of Past Exam Scripts
1 INTRODUCTION There is a growing trend in education to use students and the work they produce as a learning resource (Topping, 1998). The area encompasses a wide range of initiatives, from peer assisted study sessions (Miller et al, 2004) to student...
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Vol. 14, No. 1, June

Plagiarism Prevention Using Automated Tools
1 THE CHANGING FACE OF STUDENT MOTIVATION The traditional view has been that the majority of university students are at university in order to acquire skills and knowledge simply for the pursuit of knowledge in its own right, to attain a career,...
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Development for the Other 80%: Engineering Hope
1 INTRODUCTION Multiple problems confront engineering. The world's population is rapidly closing in on seven billion people, among which there are tremendous inequities. Average life expectancy is around 40 years in some countries, more than 80...
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Editorial
This is the first issue for 2008 of the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education (AJEE) in the revised online format. This issue showcases the best papers from our annual conference held in Melbourne in December last year. The conference was a...
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Vol. 13, No. 2, October

Reflective Writing by Distance Education Students in an Engineering Problem Based Learning Course
1 USQ GENERAL INFORMATION USQ began 40 years ago as an Institute of Advanced Education and gained university status in 1990. The University has five faculties: Engineering and Surveying, Science, Education, Arts, and Business. The University has...
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English in Engineering Education for Japanese Graduate Students
1 INTRODUCTION Over the course of the last 10 years, mobility of students and academics around the world has become commonplace. Student flows among countries in the region and beyond continue to rise. There are increasing efforts to match student...
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A Survey on Effective Assessment Methods to Enhance Student Learning
1 INTRODUCTION Understanding student differences in their motivation, attitude about teaching and learning, and responses to different classroom environment and instructional practices helps lecturers meet the diverse student needs (Ribeiro &...
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Encouraging Learning through External Engineering Assessment
1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of assessment in engineering is primarily to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills to practice engineering. So assessment is used to check that learning has occurred and, secondarily, to allow grading that...
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Vol. 13, No. 1, June

Developing 3D Spatial Skills for Engineering Students
1 BACKGROUND The ability to visualise objects and situations in one's mind, and to manipulate those images, is a cognitive skill vital to many career fields, especially those requiring work with graphical images. Spatial abilities have been widely...
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Increasing Student Engagement with Graduate Attributes
1 INTRODUCTION The need to develop generic graduate attributes in engineering students is well documented (eg. Barrie, 2004; Hoban et al, 2004) and the explicit statement/articulation of which graduate attributes are being developed as part of degree...
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Meeting the Challenges of Engineering Education Via Online Roleplay Simulations
1 INTRODUCTION Engineering education is undergoing continuous change. Drivers for this change come from a number of sources, as shown in figure 1. Universities act as a pipeline between high school and the profession, and while they can impact on...
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The Competence Dilemma in Engineering Education: Moving beyond Simple Graduate Attribute Mapping
1 INTRODUCTION Since the early 1990s, engineering education has seen a significant paradigm shift from what was previously an input, content and process orientation towards a system based on educational outcomes. Prominent examples for this development...
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Preface
The Australasian Journal of Engineering Education (AJEE) has had something of a hiatus in recent years, and this is the first issue of our revived online format. This issue showcases the best papers from our annual conference held in Auckland in December...
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Activity and Engagement-Keys in Connecting Engineering with Secondary School Students
1 INTRODUCTION The proportion of year 12 students studying appropriate enabling subjects in mathematics and science has continued to decline at the same time that skill shortages in engineering have emerged. Students often comment that study in...
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