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Designing the curriculum to cater for generic skills and student diversity: a shift in thinking

By Jackie Walkington


The engineering profession requests that graduates exhibit particular generic skills as well as an understanding of the traditional content in engineering education. This is a challenge when also trying to cater for the needs of an increasingly diverse group of students. To truly acknowledge the role of these skills in engineering subjects or courses requires an adaptation to the general model used for curriculum planning and implementation. This paper briefly establishes the rationale for the consideration of generic skills, and suggests an additional element of design to enable their integration into educational programs. It suggests that integration is the key concept that affects the definition of goals, content, teaching strategies and assessment. The views expressed are based upon two dominant assumptions evident in engineering education discussion at present; firstly, that the graduate qualities required for professional practice are being emphasised in industry; and secondly that the diversity of engineering students is increasing. In terms of curriculum development, a philosophical shift in thinking is necessary towards a more holistic and integrated approach

Publisher: Monash University
Year: 2001
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