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Orienting students to studio learning

Armarego, J. (2005) Orienting students to studio learning. In: 2005 Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, 26-30 September, Sydney, Australia Paper 80.

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Murdoch University has instituted a shift to Studio Learning within 3rd and 4th years of all its undergraduate Engineering programs This is driven by industry demands for graduates who integrate and function effectively into organisations, developments in education theory towards considering education as active engagement and the learning expectations of current students. Considered a paradigm shift, Studio Learning involves confronting learners with situations modelled on professional practice. It is a group-based approach that requires the assistance of academics working as facilitators to provide guidance in a richer, holistic learning environment.

In order to effect a ‘cultural change’ towards learning the relevant students were involved in a Studio orientation, providing students with the opportunity to learn about Studios by undergoing a Studio learning experience. A key component of the program was documentation of the process and the outcomes by way of an individual journal/diary indicating tasks, outcomes and times spent.

Preliminary evidence indicates that students who were at Murdoch Engineering prior to the Studio week were better able to make the shift to Studio Learning. However, articulation students and (international) students joining the School on exchange programs found the learning model dis-orienting and confronting. Their reticence was replaced by increasing involvement as the week progressed, spurred on by the enthusiasm of other group members. Groups gelled as each student’s discipline strengths came into play.

Students demonstrated their engagement with this learning model: the quality of the final presentations and diversity of solutions emphasised their ability to be self motivated independent learners.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering Science
Publisher: School of Engineering, The University of Queensland
Copyright: (c) American Society for Engineering Education/Australasian Association for Engineering Education
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