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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Journey Making: Applying PSE Principles to Complex Curriculum Designs

School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(3), 373;
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
Since the 1950s, Process Systems Engineering (PSE) concepts have traditionally been applied to the process industries, with great effect and with significant benefit. However, the same general approaches and principles in designing complex process designs can be applied to the design of higher education (HE) curricula. Curricula represent intended learning journeys, these being similar to the design of process flowsheets. In this paper, we set out the formal framework and concepts that underlie the challenges in design of curricula. The approaches use generic and fundamental concepts that can be applied by any discipline to curriculum design. We show how integration of discipline-specific concepts, across time and space, can be combined through design choices, to create learning journeys for students. These concepts are captured within a web-based design tool that permits wide choices for designers to build innovative curricula. The importance of visualization of curricula is discussed and illustrated, using a range of tools that permit insight into the nature of the designs. The framework and tool presented in this paper have been widely used across many disciplines, such as science, engineering, nursing, philosophy and pharmacy. As a special issue in memory of Professor Roger W.H. Sargent; we show these new developments in curriculum design are similar to the development of process flowsheets. Professor Sargent was not only an eminent research leader and pioneer, but an influential educator who gave rise to a new area in Chemical Engineering, influencing its many directions for more than 50 years. View Full-Text
Keywords: process systems engineering; design; higher education; curricula; visualization process systems engineering; design; higher education; curricula; visualization
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Cameron, I.; Birkett, G. Journey Making: Applying PSE Principles to Complex Curriculum Designs. Processes 2020, 8, 373.

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