Curriculum development, including accreditation and regulations
This theme invites authors to share best practice in curriculum development and programme design. It is essential that Universities keep their curricula up to date to deal with changing demands from industry, prospective and current students and of course accrediting bodies. Departments also like to remain distinctive and thus offer a valued learning experience not available elsewhere. Consequently there is an almost continuous process of reviewing regulations and content and a need for departments to undertake this process effectively and efficiently.
The employment market for engineering graduates continues to be competitive and volatile. More engineering graduates enter the workforce worldwide and a significant proportion of them choose not to follow traditional engineering career paths in preference to service sector employment or even self-employment. Whilst employment is about having a job, employability is about being capable of getting and keeping fulfilling employment. Is it the job of engineering UG and PG programmes to address the employability of graduates in the 21st century? Can the education and training of engineering students in a 3 or 4 or even 5 year degree course prepare them to be able to maximise their potential for a successful career? How far should legislation (e.g., European Employment Strategy) and accreditation requirements be allowed to influence engineering curriculum development in terms of graduate employability? These are some of the questions that could be addressed by papers.
In a higher education environment that increasingly relies on international mobility of students, how can universities provide a learning experience that benefits all students? How can the diversity of the cultural backgrounds in our universities be used to foster both subject specific and broader learning? What teaching approaches are effective when the students and staff have diverse cultural backgrounds? What attributes do our students need to allow them to be internationally mobile during their academic careers and/or after graduation, and how can we encourage the development of these attributes? This theme invites authors to share research and best practice related to educating an international student cohort.
There has been a rapid development in new learning technologies over the recent years. Which of these developments offer the possibility of transformative change in approaches to teaching and learning? Which will prove to have little lasting impact? Are there differences in the perceptions of students and educators as to the utility of these technologies? Does the development of new technologies invalidate the use of old technologies? Papers are invited that address these questions; which provide examples and case studies of the use of new learning technologies in engineering education; and which make comparisons between what can be achieved with different (old and new) educational technologies.
The historic teaching model of lectures/tutorials/exam is undergoing revolution at the moment. E-learning, IBL, project work, and the internet are all allowing student expectations and learning methods to develop at a rapid rate. The traditional infrastructure of the lecture theatre and the laboratory, and maybe even the computer room, are unlikely to provide the learning experience for the next generation of students.
How are we going to inspire and educate engineers in the medium future? Can better spaces engender better learning and teaching? What spaces do students appreciate now, and what do they want going forward? How are our learning spaces going to change to enable this to take place? Do we need new rooms, or can we retrofit for this need? What can we learn from recent developments?
Feedback and assessment
Assessment and feedback are part and parcel of everyday life, however their correct use in Higher Education is particularly important because of the critical role they play in the student learning experience. Authors are invited to share assessment and feedback practices that enable engineering students to take responsibility for their own learning and allow them to critically judge the quality and impact of their academic and practical work. Also welcome, within this area of interest to the wider engineering teaching community, are conceptual frameworks for assessment and feedback; design of assessment tasks and provision of feedback; initiatives that engage students as partners in assessment and feedback practices and assessment and feedback in the National Student Survey.