UCL Centre for Engineering Education


Engineering Education Existing Staff Capacity Enhancement Programme

30 November 2018

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the Department of Higher Education and Training have established a collaborative programme to support capacity development in  engineering education in South Africa, through partnerships between universities and organisations in South Africa and with UK universities and organisations. The project funds eight workshops over two years moving between Johannesberg and Cape Town. The work is funded by Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, as well the UK’s Newton Fund. Our UK partner institutions in this initiative are the University College London and Aston University, with the Univeristy of Cape Town and the University of Johannesberg being the South African partners. These “master-class” workshops will be completely free to attend and delegates will be provided with free overnight accommodation as well as all meals, etc. for 25 engineering educators.

Vist the project website

Class 1: Introducing Problem Based Learning into Engineering mathematics 

26/27 September 2017 at the Devonvale Golf Estate (http://www.devonvale.co.za/) in Stellenbosch.

  • Dr Michael Peters – Centre Director, Aston University’s Foundation Programmes, School of Engineering and Applied Science;
  • Dr Abel Nyamapfene – Senior Teaching Fellow in the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

The number of students coming into engineering without adequate pre-university preparation in mathematics is rising. In addition, most engineering students often fail to apply their mathematical knowledge to resolving problems within their own engineering disciplines. This workshop considers strategies that can be adopted to support engineering students to reach the basic level of competency required for their studies, and to gain an understanding and appreciation of the relevance of the material they are studying. 

Class 2: Developing an integrated curriculum

Thursday 16 and Friday 17 November 2017 in Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg.

  • Professor John Mitchell – Vice Dean Education, UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences.; and
  • Professor Robin Clarke – Professor of Practice and Associate Director of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Warwick 

The engineering curriculum is not a set of discrete blocks of knowledge or skills, but a hierarchy where students build on previous technical knowledge and develop skills in design, communication and problem-solving by connecting knowledge from across a number of modules. This workshop will help participants develop integrated curriculum designs that can form the basis of curriculum change within an engineering school. Using interactive methods there will be an opportunity to review international case-studies of engineering curricula and consider how these might be applicable to each individual context. 

Class 3: Authentic Assessment and Feedback

February 7 and 8 in Cape Town

  • Dr Jenny Griffiths – Principal Teaching Fellow, Arena Centre for Research-based Education, Centre for Engineering Education, UCL
  • Dr Pilar Garcia Souto – Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Centre for Engineering Education, UCL

Our graduate engineers will build their careers in a profession that requires them to produce varied types of outputs – reports, presentations, prototypes, etc. – for a range of stakeholders – clients, peers, technical and non-technical audiences, etc - while exhibiting a wide range of skills, knowledge and self-awareness.

We can, and should, support students’ development in these areas by using authentic and appropriate assessments throughout their studies. This workshop will consider how assessment and feedback can create rounded engineers. Participants will discuss examples of authentic assessment and feedback methods, and have the opportunity to consider how they can create their own assessments to fit with their own context.  We will also discuss how to involve students in peer assessment to improve knowledge, critical thinking, self-reflection and ability to construct feedback.

Class 4: Making Effective Use of Teamwork

April 24 and 25, at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, in Johannesburg. 

The workshop will be facilitated by:

  • Professor Shannon Chance – Marie Curie Research Fellow, UCL, Faculty of Engineering Sciences
  • Dr Folashade Akinmolayan – Teaching Fellow, UCL, Department of Chemical Engineering

Teamwork is one among a number of professional skills increasingly emphasised by industry as a key to graduate employability and as a result, it is becoming increasingly important in engineering education.  This workshop will help participants to design activities suitable for teams, to put teams together and provide activities for them that give them the best possible chance of success.  We will also cover the inevitable instances where teams do not function well and explore how support materials and interventions can provide invaluable learning experiences for our students. 

Class 5: Preparing and Developing your Teaching in Engineering Education: Tips and Tricks for engineering lecturers”. 

This “master-class” workshop will take place on October 17 and 18 at Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Cape Town.

The workshop will be facilitated by:

  • Dr Ian Tuersley – Associate Professor, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick. Awarded Warwick’s highest award for teaching in 2018.
  • Dr Sarah Junaid – Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering and Design, Aston University and Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy.

This interactive workshop will explore different perspectives on engineering education and what it means to be an effective educator in engineering. We will start by exploring the current challenges and opportunities in teaching engineering in higher education. Teaching frameworks and tools will be introduced with focus on understanding the learner. Using the mechanical engineering and design programs at Aston and Warwick as case studies, day 2 will focus on the CDIO approach and exploring such topics as team building and professional skills. Being an essential and integral part of our social fabric in society, team building and professional development plays a big part on our social, personal and professional success. So how do we imbue team-building skills into our curriculum and effectively assess these skills?

Class 6: From excellent teaching to scholarly teaching to scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL): Putting it all to work in your practice”. 

 This “master-class” workshop will take place on November 13 and 14 at the Spier Wine Estate in Cape Town.

The workshop will be facilitated by:

  • Emanuela Tilley – Director, Integrated Engineering Programme, University College London
  • Dr Inês Direito – Research Associate, Centre for Engineering Education, University College London
  • Prof Jenni Case – Head of Department, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech and Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town

This interactive workshop is focused on supporting engineering educators who are keen to develop a scholarly approach to improving teaching and learning in their courses and/or curricula.  Scholarly teaching refers to teaching which is excellent in its impact on students but also broadly informed by the engineering education literature.  To capture the impact of your own teaching and provide narrative through reflection into the public domain is to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

Drawing on their own work in engineering teaching, education research, course and curriculum development, the presenters will offer a broad overview of contemporary innovations in the field, as well as offer very practical suggestions on how to locate your work and gather the necessary evidence for it to constitute scholarship.  Workshop participants will identify an area where they would like to develop their work, and will engage practically to develop a plan to accomplish this.

Class 7: Large-class teaching in a multi-cultural, multi-ability and multi-disciplinary setting

9 + 10 May 2019, Birchwood Hotel & Conference Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Dr Gareth Thomson: Reader in Mechanical Engineering, Aston University, UK
  • Dr Jane Andrews: Senior Teaching Fellow at Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, UK

This workshop focusses on the challenges and benefits of large-class teaching within a multi-cultural, multi-ability and multi-discipline setting. The two workshop facilitators have several years’ experience teaching within an engineering setting in Birmingham, in the UK. Being one of the most diverse cities in the UK, Birmingham is a ‘minority-majority’ city.

Class 8: Fostering inclusivity in engineering education in the South African context.

8 & 9 July 2019 Spier Wine Estate, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Shanali Govender: Lecturer Academic Staff Development at the Center for Innovation in Learning & Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Dr Shannon Chance: Visiting Professor at the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University College London, UK
  • Dr Inês Direito: Research Associate at the Center for Engineering Education (CEE), University College London, UK
  • Dr Mohohlo Tsoeu: Senior lecturer at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa

This interactive workshop is focused on supporting engineering educators who are keen to develop inclusive learning and teaching environments and research the effect of their interventions. Fostering inclusivity means creating learning environments that are welcoming to everyone, and where all members have equitable access to learning. How do we support the creation of inclusive environments for all stakeholders?

Drawing on participants’ own experience teaching and conducting research in engineering education, the workshop is an opportunity to engage with contemporary and global issues related to inclusivity within engineering education in light of research on engineering education. In discussions and activities, participants reflect upon their own practices and identify inclusivity areas and goals they would like to improve. The discussion also helps participants identify barriers to inclusivity and develop ways to remove barriers in practice.