Undergraduate mechanical engineering research project work in an action learning environment
This paper examines the nature of the action learning educational approach and its application to research project work in undergraduate engineering education. In particular, a case study involving the establishment of an action learning environment to improve student learning in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Western Australia is discussed. The action learning environment implemented had a positive effect on students’ performance, their ability to cope with the stresses associated with managing an engineering honours research project, the depth of learning and their development as autonomous learners, as well as their perception of the research project experience. It is argued that the deeper approach to student learning encouraged by the action learning approach directly addresses some of the concerns from industry regarding the attributes of engineering graduates.
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