Abstract: Context: Fiji National University (FNU) is a dual sector university in the Australasian Region offering a range of engineering programs from certificates and diplomas to Bachelor of Engineering levels. Being the second most populated country in the Pacific, FNU has been the education hub for engineering students from both Fiji and neighbouring islands countries in the Pacific Region. In order to align these programs to international accreditation standards, a massive program design change has been carried out, particularly in the adoption of project based learning methodology in the curriculum. The new learning and teaching methodology and program structure demand fundamental changes to the educators themselves. FNU Engineering will be expanding rapidly in the next few years while introducing the new engineering programs and seeking accreditation from international engineering organisations. The experience in transforming existing engineering educators at this early stage will need to be consolidated and repeated for future staff.
Purpose: This paper investigates the implication of changes that are occurring in a faculty wide transformation project for FNU Engineering and attempts identify changes in the role and competency of engineering educators in order to adapt to the new and non-structured learning and teaching processes in project based learning course development.
Approach: This research adopts two fundamental approaches. There will be fundamental change in program design and team building due to the implementation of project based learning methodology in the whole curriculum. A team management profile has been developed for each program team to understand the dynamics and potential role conflicts among the educators.
Results: The team profiles have been collected and the progress of program changes is currently being monitored in the next couple of months. The relationship between team profile and the effectiveness of program design will be analysed. Based on the indication in the team profiles, two courses have been chosen to be the pilot study for analysing the changes on the educators, such as amount of courseware, consultative and counselling hours are measured. The results from these pilot courses will form the basis for identifying the implication changes in the system.
Conclusions: It is still early to conclude but the results in the research in the last three months have indicated that team management profiles are strong indicators of team effectiveness in the development of new programs that are required to adopt a non-traditional learning and teaching approach such as project based learning.
To cite this article: Mavoa, Salabogi; Deo, Naoneet; Mo, John PT; Tilstra, Johan J and Burton, Chris. Transformation of educators in project based learning program development [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 607-614.
[cited 23 Jun 17].