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Enhancing Industry Exposure, Discovery-Based and Cooperative Learning in Mechanics of Solids Enhancing Industry Exposure, Discovery-Based and Cooperative Learning in Mechanics of Solids HOT

BACKGROUND  

Mechanics of Solids is a second year undergraduate subject, undertaken by both Civil and Mechanical engineering students at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Mechanics of Solids has been delivered for many years in a traditional format with lectures and problem solving tutorials.  As part of a  national  Australian  project  “Enhancing  Industry  Exposure  in  Engineering  Degrees”,  UTS  in partnership with other universities and industry partners in Australia has sought industry involvement to engage students with the real-world challenges of engineering practice.  

PURPOSE 

The main objective of this project is to design, develop and implement learning modules in Mechanis of Solids that integrate industry exposure to provide context for the concepts included in this subject.  

DESIGN 

The  project  consisted  of  six  guest  lectures  by  industry  representatives  on  topics  related  to  typical Mechanics of Solids subject matter and two seminars on using MDSolids software. 

Students completed a collaborative assignment aligned with one of the industry presentations.  Their reports  and  presentations  were  assessed  on  assessment  criteria  which  included  contextual understanding, judgement, effective collaboration and creativity, and their  perceptions  were captured to evaluate the impact of industry engagement in this subject. 

RESULTS 

One of the major benefits of this project was students’ better understanding of engineering practice.  There were also positive effects on students’ motivation for learning engineering.   

CONCLUSIONS  

This paper reports the major findings, outcomes and challenges for implementing enhancing industry exposure  approach  in  Mechanics  of  Solids  subject  at  UTS.  The  main  finding  of  this  research concluded  that  this  project  is  very  valuable  to  both  students  as  it  promotes  exposure  to  real-world engineering  challenges.  The  students’  exposure  to  real  and  substantive  challenges  improves  their contextual  understanding,  plus  their  judgement,  practice  based  planning,  teamwork,  and  initiative learning skills. 

KEYWORDS  

Industrial exposure, motivation, MDSolids and Mechanics of Solids 

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Created 2016-11-13
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