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A professional engineering practitioner learning paradigm
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by David JorgensenDavid Jorgensen, Robin HowardRobin Howard
The engineering faculty at Central Queensland University (CQU) developed and introduced in 1998 a new hybrid Project Based Learning (PBL) Bachelor of Engineering (BE), reincorporating Co-operative Education from the previous program. This was in response to the recognised shortcomings in the old traditional content-based program, which included the recognition of too high a student workload and 'over-teaching' by staff, as well as addressing the new directions apparent in the Australian engineering profession. The new BE was established with 50% of each term of study designated as a single course incorporating Project Based Learning. The findings of the Institution of Engineers, Australia (IEAust) review of professional engineering education 'Changing the Culture: Engineering Education into the Future'  conducted (coincidently) in parallel with the program's development was published in December 1996. This supported the integrated, generic and technical, knowledge and skills development approach of the new BE program. The objective was to establish a new learning paradigm for students to develop into exemplary practitioners of the engineering profession. Three and a half years into the new program, this paper is a review of CQU's interpretation of the concept of PBL and the rationale for its implementation, in the context of establishing a professional engineering practitioner learning paradigm, and in particular the 'CQU experience'.