Conducting an Effective Residential School for an Undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering Course

Conducting an Effective Residential School for an Undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering Course

Patrick Keleher (Central Queensland University, Australia) and Arun Patil (Deakin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijqaete.2012070104
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Abstract

Residential schools are an important mechanism by which equitable access to laboratory provide hands-on experience and face-to-face learning for students enrolled in distance mode. This paper elaborates on the evaluation of residential school conducted as a part of undergraduate materials science and engineering course for the distance/flexible students enrolled at Central Queensland University, Australia. The students in this course are adult students who are employed full-time as practitioners and juggling with work, family, and study commitments. This cohort differs greatly in their technical knowledge and professional experience from the students who are enrolled internally. Internal students are predominately students who have progressed from secondary school to tertiary education without any workplace experience. A three day residential school provided the opportunity for students to work individually (undertake quizzes) and as a group (conduct laboratories, pursue group project) to ensure they had access to lecturers and their peers in progressing their tasks and assessment items. The students travelled from throughout Australia to attend the residential school and its design acknowledges the need for the time allocated to be focused, meaningful and worthwhile so students can maximise time at the residential (and the subsequent follow up activities) and minimise time away from the workplace.
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Engineering Programs At Central Queensland University

CQUniversity offers a range of engineering programs, including distance or flexible programs. These include, Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) and Diploma of Professional Practice (Engineering), and Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Specialisation) (CQUniversity, 2011).

The student cohort for engineering programs enrolled at CQUniversity are both internal and flexible or distance. Majority of flexible or distance students are adult or matured, and working either full-time or part-time. These students have financial and family commitments while juggling with their study.

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