An evaluation of the Australian engineers without borders challenge from the course coordinators' perspectives

Stephanie Leigh Cutler, Maura Borrego, Dan Loden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the challenges for engineering professors is providing realistic design projects for their students to work on. Since 2007, Engineers Without Borders, Australia (EWBA) has coordinated a national first year engineering design challenge for students attending Australian universities. The EWB Challenge offers students the opportunity to work in a team on a real world problem aiming to improve conditions in a disadvantaged community. Since its inception, the EWB Challenge has had over 18,000 students at 31 universities participate. A majority of the participating universities have integrated the Challenge into their first year engineering course focusing on professional engineering. In 2010, the first semester course coordinators working with the Challenge were interviewed about their experience working with EWBA on the Challenge. These interviews were one component of an overall program level evaluation that began at the end of the first semester in 2010. The course coordinators are in a unique role of translating the provided EWBA resources into a learning exercise that is appropriate for their students. Coordinators emphasized the importance of utilizing the Challenge to provide the students with a real-world problem that would impact an actual community. The coordinators also discussed a number of different challenges they were facing that were not limited to working on the Challenge such as keeping their students motivated, finding the right balance of providing information and having the students conduct research on their own, as well having trouble facilitating teams and emphasizing communication skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011 - Rapid City, SD, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2011Nov 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityRapid City, SD
Period10/12/1111/15/11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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    Cutler, S. L., Borrego, M., & Loden, D. (2011). An evaluation of the Australian engineers without borders challenge from the course coordinators' perspectives. In 41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011 [6142926] (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE). https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2011.6142926