Project oriented learning - a vehicle for teaching systems integration
Student engineering projects are an important learning environment for developing a student’s understanding and experience of how products and services are designed and integrated to meet performance, time and cost demands typical of present-day markets. A development programme is underway to create a blended learning system that will support the execution of these student projects in the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Engineering and Technology. Its goals are to expand the range of learning benefits, use resources to better effect, and demonstrably satisfy achievement targets set by the university, engineering professional bodies and prospective employers of graduates. The design principles that underlie the approach taken in order to create this learning system, the attendant practicalities that need to be resolved and the nature of the anticipated outcomes are presented. Of significance to the blended learning community is the use of a relevant methodology, borrowed from the industrial arena of complex systems design. This is highlighting the value of strong formalisation and the observance of explicit processes during the design, integration and application of a blended learning system.