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A new approach of engineering higher education - the CIVA system

Lo, HR (2017) A new approach of engineering higher education - the CIVA system. International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management, 6 (6). pp. 332-337. ISSN 2319-4847


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The CIVA system (standing for Coursework-driven teaching & learning process, Integrated teaching approach, Verification & Validation guided quality learning and professional development, and Active support mechanism) has been developed to address some key issues in the engineering education reform [1]. It represents a new way to manage the teaching and learning process in order to achieve a high quality engineering education outcome that is characterised by high academic standard, high inclusiveness and high employability. In this paper, a brief overview of the CIVA system and its rationale will be provided. This will be followed by the presentation of a CIVA coursework for a structural vibration module run in the 2016/7 academic session. This example shows that the CIVA coursework generates a problem-solving focused structured learning process that puts the learner in the driving seat throughout the process. Highlights of some new features in this session further demonstrate that the CIVA coursework, on one hand, is a powerful tool for integrating new knowledge and skills in learning and application, but on the other hand, may require extra efforts by the tutor to achieve the highly desirable individuality of the coursework for each student, especially for large sized classes. To set the focus for further development, the main challenges relating to each aspect of the CIVA system are identified and discussed. In conclusion, the CIVA system can bring about high pedagogical value for engineering education. For its further development, collaboration of universities with industry, software providers and testing equipment manufacturers is highly desirable.

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