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Blended Design and Project Based Learning: a future for engineering education
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Tuesday, December 8 • 10:20am - 10:35am
| 4A | Using a contextualised English support programme to assist international engineering students

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ENGG1100 (Engineering Design, Semester 1) and ENGG1200 (Engineering Modelling and Problem Solving, Semester 2) are compulsory team-based courses run at The University of Queensland (UQ) for first year engineering students. These project-based courses build on teamwork, communication and collaboration skills and are assessed through reports and prototype demonstration both of which are team submissions. Each course hosts approximately 1200 students from diverse backgrounds around 20% of which identify themselves as international and English as Second Language (ESL). Many of these international students (IS) find difficulty in adapting to western culture, in particular the learning culture (Chang & Chin, 1999). Students are often accustomed to the Confucian system which focuses on transmission-based learning (lectures) and assessment through technical competence (exams) and there is little to no team work in this system (Gorry, 2011). Peer assessment in particular requires students to understand the local learning culture and demonstrate skills such as critical thinking and reflective writing which are also items not familiar to IS (Chen & Kavanagh, 2013, 2014)._

First year IS at UQ receive specific guidance during orientation week through various workshops and advising sessions but beyond this they receive little to no support to aid them specifically with overcoming transitional barriers they encounter in their studies. There is evidence that the IS enrolled in project-based courses that hinge on successful teamwork are underperforming compared to domestic students (Chen & Kavanagh, 2013) with many issues stemming from the language barrier.

avatar for Shaun Chen

Shaun Chen

PhD Research Scholar, The University of Queensland
International Students in Engineering | First Year Engineering

Tuesday December 8, 2015 10:20am - 10:35am
Rincon Room RACV Torquay map C3

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