Authentic learning – bringing the workplace to the STEM university
Emily Cook, Swinburne University

Thursday 15 June 2017
Lecture theatre G34, Sir Alexander Fleming Building 
South Kensington campus

View the Panopto recording of Emily's lecture here

Swinburne University of Technology is an Australian university with a long history as a leader in work integrated learning and industry partnerships. This talk will outline the new model of STEM practice-based learning that Swinburne is developing, creating an authentic industry learning experience by bringing the workplace to the university and involving future engineers in industry projects from day one and throughout their course. 

The first practice-based Engineering course commences in 2018 and will be co-designed, co-delivered and co-assessed by industry partners. A STEM education research program is being undertaken in conjunction with the course development both to ensure the educational approaches used are grounded in evidence-based best practice and to research the development of the practice itself. Another key aspect of Swinburne’s vision is to increase diversity in the student cohort, specifically in terms of gender, social-economic status and for students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. Some strategies to increase participation from these underrepresented groups include removing systematic barriers such as grade-only entry requirements and widening the viewpoint of what engineering is by creating projects based on four pillars of social impact, transforming industry, research and development and entrepreneurship.

Emily Cook is a physicist and passionate educator with experience teaching maths and science at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Having studied physics at Oxford University, she worked as a secondary science teacher before returning to University to undertake a PhD in Radiation Physics at UCL.

In 2010 Emily moved to Australia and joined Swinburne University of Technology where she has worked on school’s outreach programs and designed and lectured first year maths courses for scientists and engineers. She is currently a Lecturer in STEM education creating a new practice-based degree that will involve students undertaking industry projects from day one and throughout their degrees.