- Fellow, Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust)
- Chartered Professional Engineer (CP Eng)
- National Engineering Register (NER)
- Member, Australasian Association of Engineering Education
Work Integrated Learning
Reflection and Experiential Learning
Undergraduate Practice Program (Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice)
Work Integrated Learning
Parr, AJ & Jin, X 2017, 'Researching reflection in an engineering internship program', Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017), 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017), AAEE, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1185-1192.
Context: At the University of Technology Sydney, engineering students undergo a 2 phase internship program consisting of a junior and a senior 6 month internship. Students are taught a framework for reflecting on their internship experiences based on an adaption of the 4 stage Kolb cycle process informed by the work of Schon and Jarvis. Previously reported analysis of students' reflective writing has established that such writing can be taught. However, further study is required to determine if the framework used is actually achieving the intended goals of students identifying their learning, widening their understanding of its application, affecting transformation of behaviour and adopting reflection into practice as a lifelong learning skill.
Purpose: This paper seeks to answer the question: How can rigorous research be undertaken to test whether this reflective framework is achieving its intended goals and where may teaching processes need to be improved?
Approach: The research design in this paper is based on multiple data collection methods. Grades, reflective writing submissions, interviews, questionnaire survey, and observations serve as the major sources of data.
Results: Grades can be related to feedback from students and their employers and plots made from which implications about the efficacy of the framework and teaching methods can be drawn. Correlation between students' reflective writing and observation can also reveal if the framework is creating "reflective-learners". Other observation may help reveal if reflection is adopted to establish a lifelong learning skill.
Conclusions: Whilst it has been established that frameworks for reflection can be taught, this may not necessarily indicate the framework used is actually achieving the intended goals. The research approach proposed in this paper may help to answer the question of how rigorous research can be undertaken to test whether the reflective framework used is achieving its intended goa...