Deakin Engineering Education Research

Deakin Engineering Education Research (DEER) brings together Deakin academic staff with a research interest in engineering education. Our expertise allows us to deliver high impact collaborative research in the areas of design-based learning, project-based learning, distance and cloud-based education and educational technologies.

What we do

We're established as strategic researchers, addressing the national research priorities in engineering education. Specifically, we:

  • facilitate collaboration with industry and other research institutions, leading to improved and increased research outputs
  • attract and retain external funding in an area that has significant potential future growth.

Key research areas

    Curriculum design and enhancement

    • Project-based learning
    • Design-based learning 
    • Project-oriented design-based learning (PODBL)

    Learning spaces and learning technologies

    • Assessment and evaluations
    • Accreditation and quality assurance

    Graduate employability

    • Internationalisation of curriculum

INSPIRE Research Projects

Students’ perspectives on project/design based learning in Engineering - CADET

Duration: 5 years (longitudinal study)

The Engineering courses in the School of Engineering practices project/design based learning approach in all engineering degrees. The Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET) is designed to assist with the project /design based learning approaches. There is a need to acquire students’ perspectives on these learning approaches to identify the best possible learning experiences.

Staff involved:

Enhancing Higher Education Teaching and Learning Outcomes for Graduate Employability

Duration: 2 years

This study aims to develop a framework that maps three-way graduate-attribute expectations between engineering employers, academics and graduating students in order to improve the employability of engineering graduates in Australian regional areas. The framework is expected to provide a clear set of strategies in designing appropriate learning system, providing adequate learning environment and engaging human factors in order to close the gap between these expectations and to clearly identify employability needs.

Staff involved:

Evaluating students’ and staff experience on Collaborative teaching at WUHAN (Wuhan University of Science and Technology, CHINA)

Duration: 3-5 years

This study is a part of a teaching collaboration between Deakin University and Wuhan University of Science and Technology. The cohort of students from Wuhan was a freshman undergraduate engineering course in mechanical engineering. The particular subject was a freshman engineering-materials course taught in English. The content of the unit included introduction to material science principles and practices. A survey was used for evaluating student perceptions. It is aimed that this study will help academics from Deakin University to better understand student experiences, and to identify the current challenges and barriers faced in student learning.

Staff involved:

Evaluating students’ perspectives on new learning spaces (CADET) in undergraduate engineering studies

Duration: 5 years

The Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET) is the new learning spaces for School of Engineering. There is a need to acquire students’ perspectives on these new learning spaces and to identify the best practices in these learning spaces to ensure the best possible learning experience for the student.

Staff involved:

The role of technology – Reforming distance education

Duration: 2 years

The role of technology has played an important role in the provision of educational equity for learners in Australian communities. Engaging off-campus students through technology resources is vital need for engineering education. To ensure a positive experience for the students in off-campus learning, the role and scope of technology is a definite resource for collaborative and active learning. This longitudinal study analyses student’s experiences in distance education with the use of technologies.

Staff involved:

Analysing international students’ learning experiences at Deakin study environment

Duration: 1 year

By analysing international students’ experiences in the School of Engineering at Deakin University. It helps the teaching staff to better understand and assess students’ experience, challenges and barriers in learning at Deakin study environment. It also helps both international students and staff to enhance learning and teaching in a better way.

Staff involved:

Evaluating Assessment Practices in Design Based Learning Environment

Duration: 1 year

This study focuses on evaluating assessment practices in design based learning environment. The School of Engineering at Deakin University practices project/design based learning as one of its learning and teaching approach. By practicing the design focused learning environment and evaluating students’ perceptions, this research study examines students’ experiences of assessment practices in their curriculum through an online survey given to the same cohort of students in third year and fourth year undergraduate engineering.

Staff involved:

Our staff


Educational technologies
Professor Carol Boyle
Problem-based learning, Curriculum development and enhancement
Professor Mike Tan
Project/design-based learning, Educational technologies
Associate Professor Aman Maung Than Oo
Educational technologies, Project/design-based learning
Dr Yanan Wang
Educational technologies
Dr Mohammad Arif
Educational technologies
Dr Mahbube Subhani
Educational technologies, Cloud and located learning
Samuel Thomas