Uncanned learning through an industry based final year project: Food for thought

Hogan, K. D. (2012) Uncanned learning through an industry based final year project: Food for thought. In: 2012 Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference. Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE).

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Abstract or Summary

BACKGROUND The Metropolitan Group (Metro Group) of Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), New Zealand, developed the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEng Tech) level 7 programme for first delivery in 2010. The industry based final year project, (45 credit) is considered the capstone of the BEng Tech program requiring the student to demonstrate the skills of an independent learner in a professional real life scenario. This course was a new mode of teaching in the New Zealand Engineering ITP arena and although it is not new in University engineering programmes, it has a more industry focus. In 2011 Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) was the only Metro ITP offering this final year project. PURPOSE Students are prepared for their final year project in their first and second years of study, and as an analogy can be compared to the chef collecting ingredients to prepare the evening meal. The same ingredients can be used to make many dishes, but if the final dish is not what the diner or client ordered, the meal is not a success. This then lead to the question ‘What are the main ingredients required to ensure student success in a client directed final year project?’ where the 2011 projects at Wintec were used as a case study. DESIGN/METHOD The study identified these main ingredients and the impact they have on the success of the student to collate previous learning into a coherent independent learning experience. RESULTS In addition to adequate specialized technical knowledge, ‘professional skills’ such as professional communication with the client and supervisor, writing and presenting skills, responsible project management and independent study skills / cohesive critical analysis developed through project based learning proved to be core ingredients to ensure a successful outcome for both the student and client. CONCLUSIONS The success in an industry based final year project requires a high level of critical independent learning founded on specialized technical knowledge, supplemented by ‘professional skills’. The learning from an industry or ‘uncanned’ project extends the student learning into a cohesive whole.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:Conference held 3-5 December, 2012, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Keywords that describe the item:Industry based project, Project Based Learning, Final year project
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Science and Primary Industries
ID Code:2345
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Deposited On:17 Feb 2013 00:58
Last Modified:17 Feb 2013 00:58

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