An Innovative Teaching Approach in Engineering: Mining Education Australia
The three major mining education providers in the country have commenced a highly innovative approach to educating mining engineers in Australia. In July 2006 a Joint Venture Agreement was signed between the three universities; Curtin University of Technology, The University of New South Wales, and The University of Queensland for the establishment of Mining Education Australia (MEA). MEA is a world first collaborative undergraduate mining education and provides a common curriculum for 3rd and 4th year mining engineering students, and allows students to graduate with a world-class degree with financially supported by Mineral Council of Australia. The main objectives are to establish and conduct a collaborative mining education program, create an economically sustainable environment for the teaching of mining engineering, improve course development and research in the field of mining engineering, attract and develop high quality students, and offer high quality programs in mining engineering within Australia and internationally. In order to supply teaching of a comprehensive program across the MEA partner universities, the program has adopted options for teaching using a range of collaborative teaching and learning tools. Since all the partners apply different learning management systems (such as Blackboard and WebCT Vista) which limit the ability to engage in collaborative teaching and learning activities, MEA registered its own domain within Moodle in mid-2007. In 2008 the majority of the courses have used Moodle as the common learning management system in MEA. Most MEA courses use a project and/or problem based learning approach. A result of adopting more problem and project based learning has resulted in more group work. MEA decided to investigate and implement an approach to make sure group work standards were consisted, across the program, including peer assessment. MEA has also investigated different peer assessment tools such as IPEER and SPARK. In addition, MEA is investigating new tools for learning/teaching such as online and digitally mediated tools. The paper describes the collaboration success of MEA and also discusses the teaching and learning management systems and peer assessment tools used across the MEA universities.
Keywords: Collaboration, Innovative Teaching Program, Project Based Learning, Peer Assessment, Teaching, Learning Systems
Assoc Prof Serkan Saydam
Senior Lecturer, Faculty
His fields of research interest include Geomechanics (Ground Support), Mine Planning & Design, Project Management, Collaborative Learning & Teaching, Peer Assessment.