The Emerging Suite of Virtual Work Integrated Learning Modules for Engineering Students

Sally Male, Doug Hargvreaves, David Pointing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

CONTEXT
Students of accredited engineering programs in Australia must engage with practice. In most universities in the country this has been achieved through placements of at least 12 weeks. It is becoming increasingly difficult for students to secure these opportunities and consequently universities must complement placements with other opportunities.
PURPOSE
We identified the requirements and learning outcomes to design a suite of virtual work integrated learning modules to complement opportunities for engineering students to engage with professional engineering practice. The modules are virtual in the sense that they provide electronic interaction with real and/or simulated practitioners, and access to workplaces using virtual reality and other simulations. We outline the planning and the suite of modules.
APPROACH
Descriptions of four hypothetical modules were developed. Engineers, university staff members, Engineers Australia staff members, and engineering students reviewed the modules at workshops in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Responses to the modules were analysed to identify the important stakeholder requirements and also potential solutions to meet these. The suite is currently being developed and tested. Discussion or workshops were also held at the Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2016, and meetings of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans, Associate Deans Teaching and Learning, and the Australian Council of Deans of ICT.
RESULTS
Key requirements are that modules must include disruption and uncertainty, and support structured progression from first to final year. The suite should include some modules that can be integrated into credit-bearing units in addition to modules that stand-alone.
Learning outcomes include professional elements of the Stage 1 Competences, especially those related to decision making and ethical responsibilities; items to support motivation and skills for students to become self-directed learners; and items to support career literacy.
CONCLUSIONS
A suite is being developed including: modules to be adapted for integrating in first, second, and third year units; and more authentic modules in which senior students will work in groups on authentic engineering tasks such as tendering with electronic meetings with engineers.
KEYWORDS
Work integrated learning, virtual reality, practicum
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
EditorsNazmul Huda, David Inglis, Nicholas Tse, Graham Town
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherMacquarie University
Pages399-406
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780646980263
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017): Integrated Engineering - Manly, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Dec 2017
http://www.aaee.net.au/index.php/conference/aaee2017

Conference

Conference28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
Abbreviated titleAAEE2017
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period10/12/1713/12/17
Internet address

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