Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2008

Summary of Projects

Project Title

AQF5/6 Civil Engineering Program Development

Project Leaders

Tony Skinner

Funds Approved

$33,000

Summary of the project, outcomes, impacts and dissemination

This project addressed the needs of the Victorian civil engineering industry.

The bulk of resources were directed towards a series of negotiations with our industry partners to investigate their training needs for design drafters. The outcomes of these meetings were communicated to the working party at TAFE South Australia which was responsible for the reaccreditation of the Advanced Diploma of Civil Engineering. Membership of the working party comprised representatives from South Australian industry and, since this was to be a nationally accredited program, it was considered imperative that the views of Victorian industry were presented.

The TAFE SA working party also sought input from several Skills Councils who were promoting their respective training packages which purported to address the training needs of the civil engineering industry. It was incumbent upon the National TAFE Engineering Group (NTEG) to impress upon the working party the deficiencies of these training packages in addressing the needs of design drafters and to proceed with the reaccreditation of the pre-existing advanced diploma. This entailed extensive research and preparation of numerous presentations and arguments. The efforts of NTEG were successful and the new program was accredited from August 1, 2008 until July 31, 2013.

Following reaccreditation, the RMIT project team’s next objective was to customise the structure of this now very expansive program to the needs of our industry partners and RMIT students. (Employers from disciplines other than civil engineering were impressed with the quality of the program and requested the inclusion of suitable courses for training needs in the industrial engineering and building services sectors). There followed further negotiations with our Victorian industry partners to fine-tune their needs and select appropriate courses from those offered. Meetings with teaching staff then took place and these courses were arranged into a structure with sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of all stakeholders but with due regard to the limited resources available to the civil department.

In support of the new program, the project team worked on the development of various resources :

Staff training. Discussion with our industry partners suggested that we needed to incorporate the use of InRoads software into our MicroStation training since their CAD drafters were required to use this package at an early stage in their training. Three staff members attended the training at Bentley Systems in May and an introduction to InRoads is now incorporated in our elective courses for CAD – Roads.

Soils laboratory. To date, our students have been sharing a soil-testing facility with the Higher Education sector. For numerous reasons this has not proved to be a satisfactory arrangement and the release of laboratory space in Building 56/57 has raised the possibility of establishing an in-house TAFE facility. Quotes were sourced (Attachment 14) and layout plans drawn up but a location has yet to be finalised.

Course material. 95% of the Civil program has been developed in online format. The project team completed development of Drainage Design to add to the suite of courses that will be available, pending further funding, for delivery online. (This material, in excess of 100 pages, is now available online only to students enrolled in this course).

Work Integrated Learning. Preliminary groundwork was undertaken in sourcing a staff member with expertise in this area and an application for funding was made to undertake research in 2009.

Dissemination of the project outcomes are discussed in detail on p. 11 of the main report and illustrated in the attachments.

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