Category: 2014
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The data collection process is free of participant bias and facilitates the collection of “repeatable” analysis by researcher(s) and/or any other expert(s) and/or interested parties.

The purpose of this research was to determine what roles NZDE and BET civil engineering graduates typically fulfil, what activities they undertake in the first few years after graduation and how the current curriculum could be improved to better enable graduates to transition from education to engineering practice.   

This paper provides academic staff good practice guidelines on how to provide appropriate support to students through the final year project experience. Support provided should give the student an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to ‘provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence’ and to ‘design and use research in a project’ while maximising the chance of student success. The intention of the guidelines is to enhance academic project advisor capacity to ensure students meet the requirements of AQF8 outcomes.

An Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) project set out to map practices in relation to final year engineering projects and to consider the implications for compliance with AQF8 outcomes. One aspect of the study looked specifically at how AQF8 outcomes are understood by coordinators and the team came to examine the nature and role of research in final year projects. From here, the team sought to generate a contextualised definition for AQF8 outcomes as they might apply to engineering education. Although there are other points of differentiation between AQF7 and AQF8, the team sought, in particular, to develop a broadly accepted definition for research. 

The first phase of the broader project identified a need for greater consideration of how final year projects demonstrate Level 8 learning outcomes required by the Australian Qualifications Framework for 4-year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degrees. The purpose of the second phase was to develop and disseminate guidelines that assist academics to create and assess FYEP tasks in relation to the learning outcome areas of knowledge, skills and application. These guidelines are accompanied by exemplar practice as identified from the review of survey data and are designed to assist academics in the design, assessment and moderation of tasks associated with FYEP work. 

The study set out to firstly map practices in relation to final year engineering or capstone projects and to consider the implications for compliance with AQF8 outcomes. The study explored how projects are developed, how they are supervised and assessed and explored the challenges faced by universities in FYEP practice. Data from phase 1, together with the national and international literature, has been used to inform the development of good practice guidelines. These guidelines have been developed specifically to assist universities in ensuring their undergraduate engineering embedded honours degrees meet and reflect AQF level 8 outcomes in the key areas of curriculum, supervision and assessment.

In order to address transitional barriers faced by IS, a series of support modules are designed through: 

  • identification of any PA sub-areas IS are struggling with; and
  • review of feedback IS received from their teammates and tutors.

This  paper  aims  to  present  two  levels  of  project  reflections  based  on  the  postgraduate  review initiatives  conducted.  Firstly,  it  reflects  on  the  mechanisms  that  lead  to  the  emergence  of  a  multi-stakeholder  action-research  framework  that  is  practitioner-orientated,  reflective  and  collaborative. Secondly, it reflects on the attributes and skills necessary to inform such a framework.