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A Multidisciplinary Project to Enhance Workplace Readiness


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Engineers in the workplace regularly cooperate with specialists in other disciplines to meet the requirements of a project. However, this experience is seldom modelled in the education system; student projects often tend to focus only within one module or discipline. This limits the potential for students to be truly ‘work-ready’.
This paper describes how students can be better prepared for their careers, through completing a challenging project assessment. Students were tasked with designing and constructing an autonomous manufacturing system, as part of their ‘Manufacturing Systems’ and ‘PLC Programming 1’ modules, in Mechanical and Electrical streams of the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (B Eng Tech) at the Waikato Institute of Technology.
Interim results indicate that most students have established good communication practices and have allocated workload according to the strengths and levels of commitment of their project team members and milestone targets. The teams’ initial plans were lacking in some detail and reworking this had delayed their early progress a little. The design and early construction appears to be on track for the demonstration deadline in early June 2015. This progress encourages the tutors involved to plan for continuing to implement this type of multi-disciplinary project with other student cohorts. Final results and analysis are anticipated in July 2015.
The presentation will provide an overview of the gap between workplace projects and typical student project tasks and how this student project aims to address this gap. Students’ marks, feedback comments and tutors’ reflections will be summarised, with recommendations for future developments.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Project-based learning, Multi-discipline, Teamwork,
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Depositing User: Trudy Harris
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2016 22:08
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:19

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