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A Reflexive Course For Masters Students To Understand And Plan Their Own Continuing Professional Development

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Exploring Trends in CPD

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.79.1 - 10.79.16



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Paper Authors

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Llewellyn Mann

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David Radcliffe

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Reflexive Course for Masters Students to Understand and Plan Their Own Continuing Professional Development

Llewellyn Mann, David Radcliffe

Catalyst Centre for Society and Technology The University of Queensland Australia

Abstract Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is seen as a vital part of a professional engineer’s career, by professional engineering institutions as well as individual engineers. Factors such as ever-changing workforce requirements and rapid technological change have resulted in engineers no longer being able to rely just on the skills they learnt at university or can pick up on the job; they must undergo a structured professional development with clear objectives to develop further professional knowledge, values and skills. This paper presents a course developed for students undertaking a Master of Engineering or Master of Project Management at the University of Queensland. This course was specifically designed to help students plan their continuing professional development, while developing professional skills such as communication, ethical reasoning, critical judgement and the need for sustainable development. The course utilised a work integrated learning pedagogy applied within a formal learning environment, and followed the competency based chartered membership program of Engineers Australia, the peak professional body of engineers in Australia.

The course was developed and analysed using an action learning approach. The main research question was “Can extra teaching and learning activities be developed that will simulate workplace learning?” The students continually assessed and reflected upon their current competencies, skills and abilities, and planed for the future attainment of specific competencies which they identified as important to their future careers. Various evaluation methods, including surveys before and after the course, were used to evaluate the action learning intervention. It was found that the assessment developed for the course was one of the most important factors, not only in driving student learning, as is widely accepted, but also in changing the students’ understandings and acceptance of the need for continuous professional development. The students also felt that the knowledge, values and skills they developed would be beneficial for their future careers, as they were developed within the context of their own professional development, rather than to just get through the course.

Introduction Professional development is a major part of all practicing engineers’ working lives. It is vital to be up to date with best practice, learning new techniques and knowledge, developing new skills and furthering their understanding of their responsibilities as engineers. What engineers learn at university in their undergraduate program will not give them all the knowledge, values and skills they require to be practicing engineers in the future. Over the past ten years it has been recognised instead that universities need to develop students as lifelong learners, who continue their professional development not just for the first few years out of university, but for the rest of their working lives[1]. While part of this continuing professional Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Mann, L., & Radcliffe, D. (2005, June), A Reflexive Course For Masters Students To Understand And Plan Their Own Continuing Professional Development Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14405

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