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The development of personal growth, self-awareness & graduate attributes in engineering & design factory students – Part 1


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Engineering, like many workforces, is adapting to the technological advances the world is experiencing which is creating new engineering roles as well as requiring more links between roles. This, therefore, is putting pressure on undergraduate students to enter a workforce that is constantly evolving and to quickly feel comfortable to contribute meaningfully. Currently, engineering education tends to focus heavily on technical teaching and practical experiments with little emphasis on work-ready skills. The use of student-centered teaching & learning pedagogies is essential engineering disciplines though are still assessed heavily on outcomes rather than process; with repetition of a skill seen as growth. This paper is an investigation into how a Level 7 engineering project and Design Factory Module can develop and enhance student’s growth which in turn, can create students who can assimilate faster into the workforce.
The purpose of this study is to understand the engineering educational approach to prepare students for industry and to record the progression of student’s personal growth, self-awareness, and graduate attributes, which are measured against our observations.
The Engineering project and Design Factory courses have industry connections and are believed to create the most change in personal growth of students. This study involves ongoing collection of student data from semi-structured interviews at the beginning, middle and end of year. The interviews collect data about the learners’ profile, learners’ progress, and employability skills self-assessment to analyse their competency throughout the course. As well as this, part of the Design Factory course assessment includes a personal development plan which measures the soft skill development of the students during their study.
Early indications show students want involvement in industry projects, participate in hands on exercises and practical learnings to gain work-ready skills. Students tend to rate themselves highly on their employability skills, until placed in a situation that is new to them. As more data is received (over a long term study) this study will help identify graduate attribute areas which require development and aid in identifying activities that work the best for student growth.
Reid and Ferguson state, “To develop and enhance student’s growth, it is necessary to praise a student’s professional learning – not just a student’s intelligence”. This study is a first step to building on this statement, by creating an understanding of engineering students needs in relation to future engineering employability.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Work-ready skills, Engineering Education, Student Centered Learning
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Research Facilities > Centre for Transdisciplinary Research of Innovation
Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
Depositing User: Jai Khanna
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 23:00
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:28

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