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Theme: Transition and Adjustment

A Foundation Unit in Society and Technology for First Year Engineering Students

Daniel McGill, Lynne Fowler, Maurice Allen
School of Engineering
Murdoch University

Judith Mackenzie
jm@c Web Design

Students entering university for their first year of higher learning have a diversity of skills, attitudes and expectations, yet somehow they have to learn to survive and manage in this new culture and environment. At Murdoch University, all first year students are required to complete one of the Foundation Units. This paper outlines and reviews a new Foundation Unit, started in 2000, initially designed for first year engineering students, on the relationships between society and technology. The challenge was to present the subject in a way that was stimulating and relevant to engineering students. A section to help students to identify and understand their learning styles was included with the aim of enabling students in their university and life long learning requirements. Two years later, students from other disciplines now take the Unit and the focus on technological principles has changed to a broad multi-disciplinary approach to accommodate diverse student groups.

Full Paper in MS Word

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