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Emphasising Professional Engineering Elements In The Teaching Of Materials Technology

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Project-based Learning and Other Pedagogical Innovations

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.453.1 - 15.453.13



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Paper Authors

author page

Josef Rojter Victoria University of Technology

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

Emphasizing Professional Engineering Elements in the Teaching of Materials Technology


The re-development of pedagogy and curriculum in the Materials and Manufacture subject in the School of Architectural, Civil and Mechanical Engineering (ACME) at Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne was driven by changing pedagogical philosophy of engineering education at the university. The new pedagogical approach was to focus away from the traditional instructional models without fully discarding them. Though this subject was designated to be delivered as a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) subject, the educational approach taken was such that the PBL delivery was only a part of a pedagogical toolbox. The main educational thrust was one of inductive learning and teaching derived from courses such as creative arts. Aside from PBL, the inductive teaching approach incorporated Case-Based (CBL) and Enquiry- Based learning (EBL) which provided the appropriate pedagogical scaffolding for knowledge integration. Material technological sciences, manufacturing engineering, engineering design, issues of ethics, sustainability and environment were weaved together. Such educational approach was necessary if strictly academic knowledge discourse was to be replaced by professional knowledge discourses. Students were exposed to the open- endedness and messy nature of professional engineering discourses, to appreciate the interconnectedness of knowledge disciplines and the multidisciplinary nature of professional engineering work, and to instil into students’ with skills and knowledge which are convergent with the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Despite the reduction of contact hours for this subject the new pedagogical activity allowed to maintain the transmission of full body of knowledge and thus proved to be fairly effective. Students’ responses to surveys have, on the one hand indicated concerns with the amount effort required for this subject, but on the other hand showed an overwhelming satisfaction with this subject.

Key words: Education for professions, inductive education, engineering education


The re-making of Victoria University (VU) as A New School of Thought has led to, in 2005, both engineering schools at VU to adopt new educational paradigms. It was thought that the adoption of a Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) as a tool for a pedagogical and curriculum design would address some of the problems confronting engineering education at VU. The new pedagogical paradigm was to address the ongoing problems and issues which have beset engineering education at VU, which were:

Poor student intake into undergraduate engineering courses at VU. Student intake into all the engineering disciplines at VU had the lowest entrance of any university in Melbourne. Such poor intake often translated into high attrition rates combined with unacceptable graduation rates, which reflected poorly on the university as a whole. It was hoped that the adoption of a new educational paradigm would differentiate engineering education at VU from those at other universities and make it a more attractive alternative for senior secondary students in choosing as a course of study at a university; Engage students with their course of study, and as a consequence reduce the prevailing high attrition rates; and

Rojter, J. (2010, June), Emphasising Professional Engineering Elements In The Teaching Of Materials Technology Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16066

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