Sustainable Development for Design Engineering Students: A Peer Assisted Problem Based Learning Approach

DS 62: Proceedings of E&PDE 2010, the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., Trondheim, Norway, 02.-03.09.2010

Year: 2010
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Garland, Nigel; Parkinson, Brian; Khan, Zulfiqar Ahmad
Page(s): 370-375


The Engineering Council’s UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence explicitly incorporates sustainable development (SD) encouraging engineers to take a leadership role and goes
beyond “eco-design” to include social and cultural aspects. This is reflected by the Royal Academy of Engineering describing a “new integrative principle, not a new set of skills”. To provide first and
second year Design Engineering students with an understanding of SD a primer was developed from the ongoing research incorporating the concept of “social-usefulness”. A problem based learning
approach was adopted with no didactic element. Instead, students learned through investigation, presentation, discussion and reflective learning with both sets of students working together. Data indicated a change in perception of SD with understanding of the complexity evident. Providing the course early in the students’ education enables aspects learned to be developed in future study;
Learning so gained becomes normal practice when the graduate enters the profession and contributes to improved design practices and future sustainability in an ever more demanding environment.

Keywords: Sustainable development, problem based learning, design, education, social, cultural


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