Challenges in delivering the UK-SPEC learning outcomes in engineering - a non-Russell Group sector experience

TITTAGALA, Sunil, HADIDIMOUD, Saeid and LIANG, Bo (2015). Challenges in delivering the UK-SPEC learning outcomes in engineering - a non-Russell Group sector experience. In: ACES Learning and Teaching Conference “Students as Partners”, Sheffield, 16 Sep 2015. Faculty of ACES, Sheffield Hallam University. (Unpublished)

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According to the UK- SPEC, a key competence practicing engineers at CEng and IEng levels are expected to demonstrate is: the theoretical knowledge to solve problems in developed/new technologies, and the ability to use analytical techniques to solve problems. This discussion paper is aimed at drawing attention to some of the key issues and challenges that we, the engineering teachers, face in delivering the curriculum to achieve the required objective in the context of satisfying the aspirations of key stake holders, viz. the students, PSRBs and the engineering industry. Our approach recognises that building upon a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding of core engineering principles and concepts is essential to further learning and continuity of progress. Based on this platform, gradual development of students' critical thinking and analytical ability to solve real engineering problems is the key to their future success towards innovation and progress as a practicing engineer. Thus balancing the curriculum delivery strategy to progressively build up this confidence at different stages within the core discipline specific subjects is crucial rather than attempting to superficially manage student expectations and course rankings. Some examples of good practice and ideas for change based on the presenters' experience in teaching students of different background mathematical and analytical ability levels, at the SHU and other institutions across the national and international HE sector, will be presented to catalyse thinking. The importance of adopting appropriate and relevant strategies at different levels across the programmes will be discussed. Attention will be drawn to the use of state-of-the-art analytical software to enhance student learning experience and thereby develop valuable engineering skills, and also examples of effective use of project studies to develop a multitude of problem solving skills. The paper also aims to address apparent confusion that seems to exist between developing transferable skills as opposed to developing competence to practice the engineering profession.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2023 15:13
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 17:30

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