The impact of curriculum content in fostering inclusive engineering: data from a national evaluation of the use of EWB projects in first year engineering

Paper


Jolly, Lesley, Crosthwaite, Caroline, Brodie, Lyn, Kavanagh, Lydia and Buys, Laurie. 2011. "The impact of curriculum content in fostering inclusive engineering: data from a national evaluation of the use of EWB projects in first year engineering." Al-Abdeli, Yasir M. and Lindsay, Euan (ed.) 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2011). Fremantle, Australia 05 - 07 Dec 2011 Canberra, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

The impact of curriculum content in fostering inclusive engineering: data from a national evaluation of the use of EWB projects in first year engineering

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsJolly, Lesley (Author), Crosthwaite, Caroline (Author), Brodie, Lyn (Author), Kavanagh, Lydia (Author) and Buys, Laurie (Author)
EditorsAl-Abdeli, Yasir M. and Lindsay, Euan
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2011)
Number of Pages7
Year2011
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
ISBN9780858259980
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.aaee.com.au/conferences/2011/papers/index.html#A
Conference/Event22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2011)
Event Details
Rank
B
B
Event Details
22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2011)
Parent
Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE)
Delivery
In person
Event Date
05 to end of 07 Dec 2011
Event Location
Fremantle, Australia
Abstract

The year of Humanitarian Engineering draws our attention to the need to develop engineers who are not just technically competent but who can effectively address the needs of communities, maintain their ethical responsibilities, and take sustainability into consideration. This is what we understand by inclusive engineering. One approach to introducing such considerations into the curriculum has been the widespread use of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) projects in development settings as first year learning opportunities. We are evaluating different uses of these projects in 13 universities around Australia and New Zealand using a program logic data gathering methodology and a critical realist analytic approach to answer the research question 'what works for whom under what circumstances?' In this paper we will concentrate mainly on
one of these sites The University of Queensland. Data reveals that the EWB projects have great potential for
raising issues of community involvement, ethics and sustainability but that the content of projects alone
cannot guarantee that such objectives are addressed. Contextual factors, including: the focus of the course
(e.g. professional development versus design), the attitudes of staff, and the pedagogy used all contribute to
the successful pursuit of non-technical objectives. Projects with little obvious humanitarian or inclusive
content such as one for long-wall supports in mining were found to foster context-sensitive approaches. In addition to project content, educators who are seeking to develop humanitarian and inclusive engineers need to pay attention to consistently expressed goals and values amongst the teaching team and the alignment of assessment (in style and weighting) with clearly stated learning goals.

Keywordscurriculum; Engineers Without Borders; EWB; program logic; higher education research
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441007. Sociology and social studies of science and technology
390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
500311. Philosophical psychology (incl. moral psychology and philosophy of action)
Public Notes

© 2011 Jolly, L., Crosthwaite, C., Brodie, L., Kavanagh, L., Buys, L. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the authors.
Paper 203.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Engineering Education Research Group
Queensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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