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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Management, Procurement and Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


The activities available to civil engineering students during the University of Edinburgh's innovative learning week in 2012 were examined. The academic staff proposed a wide range of possible activities and student participation was optional. Popular activities were those with a ‘hands-on’ element: making or doing something. The practical activities offered included designing and building trebuchets, relaying railway permanent way on a heritage railway, practical workshops on engineering in international development and learning to juggle. These activities suggested that heuristic learning by trial and error was likely to enhance the visualisation skills that contribute to good engineering design. Further, the linking of achievement to purposeful practice rather than innate talent could inform teaching methods in the future. They also showed that in some cases safety culture messages were still not fully assimilated by students.

    Research areas

  • education & training, design methods & aids, buildings, structures & design

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