TEACHING AND ASSESSING “LIFELONG LEARNING” IN ENGINEERING COMMUNICATION COURSES
AbstractRecent changes to CEAB’s accreditation process have resulted in the need for engineering programs in Canada to find ways to assess critical graduate attributes. While many of the attributes can be measured through traditional methods, others are more subtle and challenging to assess. One that can be particularly challenging both to teach and assess is lifelong learning. As its name suggests, lifelong learning is a process that begins before and continues after a person’s formal education; it is a learner-initiated activity or habit of mind. As such, educators must develop ways to ensure that students understand the importance of learning itself, both during and after their formal engineering studies.
Technical Communication courses are excellent vehicles for delivering and reinforcing the skills and competencies associated with lifelong learning. This paper will explore how “Lifelong Learning” as a CEAB graduate attribute can be taught and assessed in communication courses (APSC 176 and APSC 201) housed in an engineering program at UBC’s School of Engineering. This paper will also explore the next steps in developing appropriate metrics for determining the success of these courses in meeting this element of accreditation.