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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Scientific Method in Engineering (BEN200)

Organisational Unit Engineering and Energy
Credit Points 3
Description This unit introduces the research skills that students will need to work with innovations in engineering technology. The unit will take students through full cycles of generating new knowledge and testing ideas by applying the scientific method. In the process of using the enquiry-based learning, students will develop skills in effective use of search engines, summarising scholarly articles on engineering innovations, testing ideas by experiments and simple mathematical modelling, and communicating of findings as written paragraphs, website components and process simulations.
Unit Learning Outcomes The completion of this unit enables students to
1. Generate new understanding by applying the scientific method of inquiry.
2. Differentiate the effect of driving force on the kinetics of different processes.
3. Test hypotheses by using tests, models and literature.
4. Use current technology (i.e. websites) to disseminate knowledge to the community.
5. Develop technical and scientific writing skills.
6. Produce computer model simulations from a process they investigated
7. Become an effective team worker.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; workshops: 1 x 2 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences Students work in a team environment (generating results) as well as individuals (scientific writing of website, modelling). Next to carrying out experiments in a science laboratory students they will be trained in the use of data analysis, presentation and modelling using computer spreadsheets. Further training will be provided in using process control software that is used in later years for the production of simple process simulations.
The use of LMS-moodle is an essential part of the unit as it provides the platform to present student websites as well as student models to enable peer review and students' comparison of own work with that of others. Students need to be in contact via LMS on a regular basis. Feedback from peer reviewing is part of formative assessment.
Other Learning Experiences Learning activities required to complete this unit are
· Laboratory experimental class
· Computer lab classes
· Group and individual work on website production
· Group meetings
· Online Peer Reviews
Assessment Assessments include a mixture of peer review and written feedback on the three tasks, research paper, paragraph writing and computer model production. Assessment is formative and adaptive. Assessment criteria are published to students via rubrics. Students have opportunities to practise and gain feedback on their tasks prior to final submission. If students are sufficiently well advanced in the unit, they will also have the opportunity to gain a larger role as peer reviewer.

Verbal feedback by tutors during teamwork is available to improve the assessed tasks.
Research Article as peer reviewed website: 40%
Computer Process Simulation: 30%
Evidence based writing (supervised writing activities): 30%
Prerequisites BEN100 Transitioning into Engineering, BEN150 Design Concepts in Science and Engineering; ENG109 Engineering Computing Systems; MAS182 Applied Mathematics; PEN152 Principles of Physics.
Previously 2014: 'Engineering Research Skills'
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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