Designing Quality Engineering Curricula to Produce Industry Ready Graduates: A Whole of Course Approach

  • Neal LakeEmail author
  • Julienne Holt


Designing engineering curriculum for industry ready graduates requires a whole of course approach that embeds and scaffolds competency development through time. The main design features of a quality engineering curriculum include scaffolding of discipline knowledge, skills application and professional engineering competencies, student participation in authentic tasks and self-assessment, reflective practice and critical thinking. To this end, a course wide assessment ePortfolio offers opportunities for students to collect, collate and most importantly synthesise evidence to demonstrate the evolution of their professional engineering competence over time. An embedded Competency Development Model (CDM) allows a cyclic and developmental approach to learning which incorporates capacity building and progressively scaffolds complexity relevant to students’ current academic life and their future industry practice. This assessment driven model focuses on the processes of embedded competency rather than just on the products and outputs. The processes involve explicit exploration of real world engineering projects, experiences and theoretical and professional perspectives including modelling discipline and professional processes by industry experts. Reflective practice emphasises improvement over time through guided reflective activities and assessment focused on current study and future professional requirements. Models of understanding are also explored using coaching, visualisation and feedback techniques so that students can modify, record and report back on their experiences and hence incorporate more complexity into their thinking and experiences about engineering. This process allows students to explore and analyse their own learning processes at a meta-learning level and enables the development of strategic control over their study including personal and professional development.


Whole of course engineering curriculum Competency Development Model ePortfolio Reflective practice Scaffolding Embedding 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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