Teaching and Learning Activities Leading to Engineering Graduate Attribute Development

Teaching and Learning Activities Leading to Engineering Graduate Attribute Development

R. Paul, S. Hladik, R. Hugo (2016).  Teaching and Learning Activities Leading to Engineering Graduate Attribute Development. 15.

Engineering graduate attributes, as formulated through the Washington Accord, guide higher-education institutes worldwide in the development of their engineering curriculum. It is, however, challenging for instructors to know which methods are most effective in developing some of these attributes in their students. This can result in certain graduate attributes receiving isolated coverage in one engineering course, impacting the ability to achieve deep learning through scaffolding. This paper presents a literature survey summarizing methods reported in the literature for developing, assessing and quantifying development of engineering graduate attributes.

The first phase of the study was presented in during the 11th International CDIO Conference in Chengdu China and compared graduate attribute requirements by country. Graduate attribute guidelines from worldwide engineering regulating bodies were collected and analyzed. The results identified five themes of engineering graduate attributes split into 21 categories. The five themes included: knowledge base, professionalism, problem solving, diverse work setting, and design. The themes and categories identified in the Chengdu paper will be used as the starting point for this study.

This paper seeks to provide an understanding of how institutions develop, assess, and measure graduate attributes in undergraduate engineering students. A comprehensive literature study reviews ten years of data from engineering education journals and conference proceedings. Firstly, a summary will be provided of the teaching and learning activities used to develop each graduate attribute in students. Next, instruments that measure the effectiveness of these activities will also be summarized, including both assessment of student learning and evaluation of implementation. A frequency analysis of this data will provide an understanding of the most commonly used methods for developing, measuring, and assessing each attribute.

Lastly, teaching and learning activities which have been found to provide integrated learning experiences will be highlighted. Integrated learning experiences allow for the development of disciplinary knowledge in conjunction with the development of personal and interpersonal skills. CDIO Standard 7 emphasizes the importance of this; however it can be difficult to know how to effectively implement this in a course. Providing a summary of commonly used methods for integrated learning experiences and assessments associated with these methods will therefore be beneficial.

Engineering institutions can use the results from this study to identify the appropriate teaching and learning activities for the development of specific attributes. The summary of instruments for measurement and assessment will assist institutions in the process of continuous program improvement. Engineering graduate attributes with an insufficient number of associated teaching and learning activities and/or instruments reported in the literature will be highlighted as an area for future research.

Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016

Authors (New): 
Robyn Paul
Stephanie Hladik
Ronald J Hugo
University of Calgary, Canada
learning outcomes
Graduate Attributes
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 3
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 11
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