An Implementation of Final Year Mining Engineering Project-based Courses

By Serkan Saydam and Rudrajit Mitra.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

UNSW’s (University of New South Wales') School of Mining Engineering program has a 4th year course called "Hard Rock Mine Design and Feasibility Project" which first started in 2008 as also part of the Mining Education Australia program (MEA). MEA is a successful example of education collaboration spanning several universities which develops and delivers a national undergraduate mining engineering degree program that meets the needs of the professional organisations in partnership with industry. This course is a fully project-based course, and students work within groups of 4 to 5 throughout the semester. The course has been tremendously improved in last 4 years.
Students were initially conducting two progress reports (25%), a presentation (25%) and a final report (50%) as their assessments. Based on the student feedback, in 2009 the assessments were changed to two progress presentations (25%), a final presentation (25%) and a final report (50%). Even with peer assessment, the student contribution was a question mark. Progress interviews were implemented in 2010 instead of reports or presentations. These were conducted in front of a previously selected computer in the school computer laboratory. With this model, the lecturer receives instant observation about the progress of the students in groups by asking direct questions about the project. Students also receive instant feedback about their progress. All the MEA partner universities have implemented this model with great success. With this course student survey scores increased.

Keywords: Project-based Course, Mining Education, Mining Engineering

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.91-105. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 382.588KB).

Assoc Prof Serkan Saydam

Senior Lecturer, School of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Serkan Saydam is a mining engineer with over 15 years experience in research and education. He received his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from the Mining Engineering Department in Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey. He worked for the same department as a research assistant for 10 years. In 2002, he joined as a postdoctoral fellow for one year at the School of Mining Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. From 2003 to 2006 he was employed by De Beers Group in the Mining Research Department in Johannesburg as a project manager. He is currently employed by the School of Mining Engineer, University of New South Wales as a senior lecturer. He is also the postgraduate research coordinator of School of Mining Engineering and a member of the Faculty Higher Degree Committee in University of New South Wales. His fields of research interest include geomechanics (ground support), mine planning and design, project management, collaborative learning and teaching, and peer assessment.

Dr. Rudrajit Mitra

Lecturer, School of Mining Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Rudrajit Mitra joined the School of Mining Engineering at the University of New South Wales in July 2006. After completing his Bachelor in mining engineering in India, he moved to the US and completed his Master at Penn State and his PhD at Virginia Tech, both in mining engineering. His specialisation is geomechanics and ventilation. He is also working as part of mining education Australia, focussing on student collaborative techniques. He is currently the director of Undergraduate Studies.