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Student Views on Engineering Mechanics Education and the Implications for Educators


Goldfinch, TL and Carew, AL and Thomas, G, Student Views on Engineering Mechanics Education and the Implications for Educators, Engineering Education: an Australian Perspective, Multi-Science Publishing Co Ltd, S Grainger and C Kestell (ed), Essex, pp. 171-181. ISBN 9781907132292 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2011 Multi-Science Publishing

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This paper presents findings of a qualitative study conducted as part of a larger project to address the issue of high failure rates in first year engineering mechanics. Engineering student focus groups were held at two institutions, and students were asked about the subject area, curriculum, and their approaches to study. Eight academics were also interviewed individually on the same topics to provide some context for the focus group outcomes. Documented responses revealed a tendency for both groups to focus on the most negative or extreme examples as cases which were representative of a wider situation. Although the focus group and interview protocols were designed to elicit positive and negative views, the negative appeared to dominate. We propose that the predominantly negative perception and interpretation of the situation, and an apparent 'us and them' mentality potentially contribute to high failure rates in engineering mechanics. These issues may be creating stumbling blocks, or leading to de-motivation in educators' attempts to teach the topic successfully, and students' efforts to learn the material effectively.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime engineering
Research Field:Maritime engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Carew, AL (Dr Anna Carew)
UTAS Author:Thomas, G (Professor Giles Thomas)
ID Code:75696
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2012-02-09
Last Modified:2017-10-17

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