Design Studios in Civil Engineering Education

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While the education of civil engineers is presently considered to be at the expected level, the engineering profession consistently points to the lack of integration of technical content in problem solving activities, and the inadequate communication and team-working skills of many graduates. Very often we all come across the students who know the content but can’t seem to apply it and the question that comes to mind is how to re-energise the learning experience for both ourselves and our students? Literature consistently points out that any form of group activity will result in a better quality of student learning when compared to traditional delivery methods (Fink, 2003). Students often point to the obvious inconsequence of much of the course material learned in early years to real engineering problems. Once real design projects are encountered in later years, much of this knowledge has been lost; the application is not obvious or it is considered too theoretical for practical applications. The motivation of students to learn and integrate scientific and technological concepts from early on in their academic career is one of the key objectives for the creation of Civil Engineering Design Studios at a number of universities worldwide, as uncovered by the first author during her recent visit to several Universitas 21 (U21) member institutions as a U21 Fellow. This paper presents some of the findings concerning the Design Studios in Civil Engineering education, as revealed during the Fellowship.
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Vrcelj, Zora
Attard, Mario
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UNSW Faculty
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