Developing professional practice skills through reflection on experience
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Robin Howard
The Bachelor of Engineering program at Central Queensland University, has evolved through a number of innovations over 15 years into the unique dual award program of the Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op)/Diploma of Professional Practice. This program is unique in that it includes co-operative education, Project Based Learning (PBL) (in on campus and external modes) and an explicit development of professional practice skills through the Diploma of Professional Practice. This development started in 1994 with the introduction of co-operative education, giving the students two placements of six months each during their study. To help prepare students to be junior professionals at the end of their second year of study, a PBL philosophy, with a partially inverted curriculum was introduced in 1998. Recognition that learning from the workplacements would need to be made explicit was addressed by the introduction of the Diploma of Professional Practice in 2004. All the courses in the Diploma are based on reflective practice, and are aimed at developing professional practice skills that are an outcome of the work placements The combined program is designed around the triple themes of intellectual, social and professional development. The result is that students are able to articulate their learning, and recognise their strengths and weaknesses in these areas at any stage in their program of study.