Title: Multidisciplinary integrative learning in undergraduate design projects

Authors: Abdallah M. Hasna

Addresses: Department of Sustainability, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering & Health, Central Queensland University, Australia

Abstract: Design is inherently multidisciplinary. Engineering design is a merger between many fields of science combined with decision-making that produces an object that satisfies predetermined constraints. These constraints could be technical, socio-political, environmental, and economic since all engineering decisions have human consequences. This article discusses innovations and blended approaches to learning and teaching that encourage life-long learning through a management strategy for design projects. The case study used is a design project that included a team of electrical, chemical, mechanical and civil engineers. Traditionally, multidisciplinary engineering design projects have common pitfalls that are exacerbated when forming groups of students from different disciplines to collaborate together on the projects. This paper accounts curriculum development activities supervising a multidisciplinary engineering design project at undergraduate level. It presents the pedagogical challenges: independent learning, task integration management tools used to guide a Generation Y design team considering the value of reflection and in which students learn to be engineers.

Keywords: management strategy; design projects; learning design; learning objects; capstone projects; design education; higher education; life-long learning; multidisciplinary projects; engineering design; independent learning; task integration; reflection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2010.037789

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2010 Vol.20 No.6, pp.495 - 516

Received: 24 Dec 2008
Accepted: 31 Oct 2009

Published online: 30 Dec 2010 *

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