The Systematic Development of a New Introductory Course

The Systematic Development of a New Introductory Course

C. McCartan, G. Cunningham, E. Bernard, F. Buchanan, M. McAfee, R. Kenny, et al, et al (2007).  The Systematic Development of a New Introductory Course. 13.


Continuing curriculum reform and a commitment to enhancing the quality of student learning in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast has influenced it to comply with CDIO Standard 4, and design and implement an Introduction to Engineering Course at Stage 1 (first year students). This type of course must motivate and excite the students and engage them in the practice of engineering. The design and implementation of such an introductory course is therefore a very complex issue which inevitably depends on the resources available in terms of personnel, workspaces and finance, and the number of students involved. 

This paper explains the systematic approach that the School adopted to ensure that the prime objective of designing and implementing such an introductory course was achievable within a given time frame and with the available resources of personnel and workspaces. The means of achieving this, and the content chosen for the course is described in detail in order to illustrate the context of the change and the methodology adopted. Of particular interest is the change management process employed, which was accomplished in collaboration with an external agency. The execution of this change management process is also described. 

The structure of this introductory course and its underlying objectives are all described in detail. The successful application of the change management process adopted and its implications for general curriculum change are also discussed. 


Authors (New): 
Charles McCartan
Geoffrey Cunningham
Emmanuel Bernard
Fraser J Buchanan
Marion McAfee
Robert G. Kenny
Ian Taylor
Adam Mannis
Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Engineering education
Introductory course
curriculum reform
Change Management
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