Integrating Majors and Non-majors in an International Engineering Service-Learning Programme: Course Design, Student Assessments and Learning Outcomes

Kenneth W.K. Lo, Alison K.Y. Ip, Chi Kin Lau, Wing S. Wong, Grace Ngai, Stephen C.F. Chan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The trend towards a globalized and knowledge-based society is one of the development hallmarks of the twenty-first century, and there have been numerous education reforms in response to this trend. Engineering education is no exception. Traditionally, engineering education places heavy emphasis on technical aspects, such as mathematical and scientific fundamentals. This heavy focus on the theory and technical aspects often hinders other professions from understanding the world of engineering. As a result, the general public often views engineering as a field that is isolated and difficult to comprehend, which also limits the development of engineering (Morris et al. in Eur J Eng Educ 32(2):135–142, 2007). However, it has become increasingly difficult to perform professionally in this evolving global environment within traditional curricular (National Academy of Engineering in The engineer of 2020: Visions of engineering in the new century. National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2004). The National Academy of Engineering forecasts that, in 2020, engineers not only need to be technically competent, but also be trained in other ‘soft skills’, such as civic responsibility, intercultural competence, leadership, communication and management, for them to be able to contribute to society (Galloway in Civ Eng Mag Arch 77(11):46–104, 2007). In this chapter, we present an engineering service-learning subject that was designed to incorporate major and non-major students. This multidisciplinary subject, which incorporates an international service-learning project, aims to provide a holistic learning experience that raises the problem-solving skills and general knowledge for all students, in particular, to teach students about the impact of engineering on society, and human and societal factors in engineering. Course design, challenges that we encountered, impacts on major and non-major students, and the limitations of this multidisciplinary approach will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality of Life in Asia
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameQuality of Life in Asia
ISSN (Print)2211-0550
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0569


  • Course design
  • Engineering
  • International Service-Learning
  • Multidisciplinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Demography
  • Development
  • Education


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