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WORKLOAD IN ENGINEERING COURSES AND HOW TO REDUCE IT Jean Armstrong
 

Summary: WORKLOAD IN ENGINEERING COURSES AND HOW TO REDUCE IT
Jean Armstrong
School of Electronic Engineering,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
La Trobe University,
Bundoora, Victoria 3083,
Australia.
ABSTRACT: Excessive student workload has been identified as a major problem in engineering courses in Australia.
Excessive workload means that students have little time to develop interests outside engineering and causes students to adopt a
surface rather than a deep approach to learning. The high workload is the result of a number of factors including the rapid
development of technology, courses being structured around historical development, the ready availability of photocopiers and
overhead projectors and the culture of engineering. This paper discusses what a reasonable workload is for today's students
who come from a wider cross-section of society and have greater and different demands on their time than those of earlier
generations. A number of practical methods of reducing workload are suggested including reducing course content and instead
developing lifelong learning skills, restructuring courses to take account of new tools like Mathematica and teaching some
topics using a `big picture' rather than an analytical approach.
INTRODUCTION
Course overload in engineering courses in Australia has been
identified in a number of important publications as a major
issue. For example one of the recommendations of the

  

Source: Armstrong, Jean - Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University

 

Collections: Engineering