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Innovation and Design, a Technical Subject for All University Students

De Boer, Friso G., Rolls, Nicola, Jonkman, Mirjam E., Wheway, Robert, Wolff, R. and Martin, L. A. (2005). Innovation and Design, a Technical Subject for All University Students. In: 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, Sydney, 26-29 September 2005.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 77514261xPUB1
Author De Boer, Friso G.
Rolls, Nicola
Jonkman, Mirjam E.
Wheway, Robert
Wolff, R.
Martin, L. A.
Title Innovation and Design, a Technical Subject for All University Students
Conference Name 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education
Conference Location Sydney
Conference Dates 26-29 September 2005
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE/AaeE 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education
Place of Publication Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Publisher University of Queensland
Publication Year 2005
ISBN 186-499-828-8   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 1195
End Page 1202
Total Pages 8
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract Undergraduate courses at Charles Darwin University include two so called “Common Units”. The purpose of one of these units is to provide all beginning undergraduate students with the fundamental academic skills and background knowledge necessary for academic success. When the School of Engineering at Charles Darwin University commence d offering Civil and Mechanical Engineering in 2004, a design unit was introduced for all first year Engineering students (Civil, Electrical and Electronics and Mechanical). Since the objectives of this unit overlap to a large extent with the objectives of the Common Units it was decided to offer the design unit, called CUC106, Innovation and Design: Communicating Technology, as a common unit. During the course of the unit, students, working in teams, undertake to design an item, working through each stage of the design process from conception to implementation. The design project is supported by a lecture series, given by experts from the community and University, which introduces students to different aspects of innovation and design, a literacies tutoria l which focuses on communication skills necessary for students to report on their project in an academic and professional context and a project work tutorial. Experiences during the first year indicate that the aims of the unit were largely met. Most students enjoyed the subject, in particular the design project. Students reported that they had improved their communication skills and had learnt to work in groups. They enjoyed working with students from other disciplines and reported that the subject had given them an understanding and appreciation of the design process. In general the engineering students thought they had learnt more than students from non-technical backgrounds; while all students thought their communication, team work and design skills had improved. Only engineering students thought that their research, critical evaluation and organisational skills had improved. The majority of students said that their perceptions of Technology had changed very little. Engineering students felt confirmed in their study choice but students from non-technical backgrounds felt no more inclined to follow a technical career path than they had at the start of the subject.
Additional Notes Paper 105
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