Course Title: Engineering in the Community: Building Links, Building Awareness

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Engineering in the Community: Building Links, Building Awareness

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. John Smith

Course Coordinator Phone: 03 9925 1830

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 7.2.11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

A general understanding of engineering is assumed.

Course Description

This elective enables engineering students to get ‘out there’ and work with communities around negotiated and agreed upon projects that deliver beneficial outcomes to the students and the community with whom they work. Recognition of the complexity of capability development is reflected in both the curriculum and the teaching and learning approaches within this course. Emphasis will be given to providing students with authentic and diverse learning experiences, whereby students are given on-going opportunities to reflect on those experiences and to build on them as they encounter new situations.

Key educational principles which frame this elective come from an Action Learning perspective:
• Doing – getting out into local and regional communities
• Acting – applying new understandings, experiences and knowledge to new situations in local communities.
• Reflection – students engaging in class discussions about their own development as they work on projects across the group and with the community

The teaching and learning processes of this elective are characterised by:
• Process rather than content orientation in teaching and learning
• Diversity and flexibility in delivery modes
• Inter-disciplinary co-operation and cross professional understanding

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Communication skills, team skills, self-reflection, critical thinking

1. Understanding of and exposure to issues of diversity access and equity including an awareness and capability in cross cultural communication
2. Experience in working in a team for agreed outcomes
3. Ability to communicate engineering practice to non-engineers
4. Insight into the role of the engineering in the community
5. Capacity to experiment with integrating and applying skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts and to reflect and to convey these reflections confidently
6. Developing a critical awareness of identity as learners and as part of a professional culture.
7. Developing a critical awareness of the discourses and discursive practices which surround the profession

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Reading about community and developing an understanding of the multifaceted nature of community (see Learning Resources).
  • Undertaking the community project. Working with community members during the project.
  • Keeping a reflective journal.
  • Working in teams, negotiating responses to a problem or need as identified by or with a community partner.
  • Communicating engineering theories and concepts to diverse groups and facilitating discussions.
  • Group discussions with peers and teaching staff, reflective dialogue
  • Testing skills, knowledge and experiences in new situations and reflecting on whether approaches work and why

Overview of Learning Resources

A range of learning resouces will be made available.

Overview of Assessment

Oral and graphical communication skills will be assessed through reporting back on the chosen problem and its description. The development of a solution to a complex engineering situation will be assessed through the project based work. The project will also be used to assess student engagement in learning, personal development, teamwork and leadership as well as communication capability development.