Hands-on Learning or Learning by Doing is an important element of the “IC Experience”.
Engineering is different from arts or science disciplines. Engineering is about inventing, designing, building and making of products, tools, components, systems or processes with the application of scientific theories or knowledge. “Hands-on” is not uncommon to engineering and in fact is one of the characteristics of practicing engineers.
Hands-on learning offers a stimulating and inspirational educational experience for students. It ties theory and exciting hands-on experimenting activities which enables students to learn and explore engineering knowledge. Through different hands-on learning activities, students’ professional knowledge, capability, thinking, all-round development, industrial and social perspective as well as creativity and innovation are further reinforced and enhanced. It is an effective way to enrich undergraduate experience of engineering students and hence plays an important role in engineering education.
Most importantly, the involvement of students in planning, designing, building, testing, modifying and manufacturing things turns out to be an extraordinary and exciting experience to them. Students are amazed and excited at what they are capable to create from engineering and science theories. Some others said they discovered / rediscovered the beauty and joy of engineering from IC’s hands-on learning activities.
More and more universities are now re-introducing hands-on learning as an important pedagogy to motivate and stimulate engineering students. A quick internet search can easily give you loads of successful and inspiring cases.
The assessment of hands-on learning activities is different from traditional lecture and tutorial. Some qualities and essences are more emphasized in these activities to reflect their uniqueness. Although IC’s hands-on learning activities are delivered and assessed uniquely, they are planned, designed and delivered in meeting the departmental and programme learning outcomes as well as the University strategic objectives and goals.