Where should I start with this course. As a first year introductory course ENGG1200 is not hard in content, and many of you might find it easier than ENGG1100 since it actually teaches you something, in the sense that they actually provide you with resources to learn. Yeah, literally. What better ways to teach a student than stuffing their faces with videos each week and quizzes and let them learn themselves. You heard it right. For $2000, you get 4 'materials' videos each week about various topics regarding material in engineering, and multiple quizzes (four to five located in various hidden places on blackboard) to keep you busy. This semester we even had to do a thing called MOOchat which is apparently one of Carl's research project (lab rat much) and all you do is answer questions online then discuss it with others. The questions are hectic and the discussion part often end in people sharing life experiences and posting lame jokes.
Did I just tell you you learn by yourself in this course? While you are forced to attend a Material session and a problem solving session each week, they are quite useless to be honest. In these so called material sessions you participate in activities about engineering materials but the all the content covered comes from the videos. The materials knowledge might be good, but I just do not understand the point of learning about these stuff if you are not going to become anything other than mechanical engineers (or maybe civil and chemical).
The problem solving sessions on the other hand is completely useless in my opinion. Its nothing more than a group of people filling in booklets that are plain useless and teaches you nothing and leaves you going "wtf did i do for 2hrs" afterwards. The problem solving booklets cover stuff such as SOLVEM, MATLAB, excel, math etc. All you do is fill in the blanks, and what to do when you actually don't know anything about these stuff? you google them or ask the tutors who may or may not best at explaining these concepts.
Sounds boring, right? It really is. Whats worse is they are expecting first year engineering students to self learn. what a joke. For a hard course, you are FORCED to learn and try hard because if you don't , you will fail. For ENGG1200, you can try if you want, but if you don't, you will most likely get carried by your team in the end.
Speaking of team, don't even get me started on the team. You should have a bit of idea about what teams are like if you have done ENGG1100. Except this time, despite all the unhappy memories you've had with your previous team in ENGG1100, you are apparently placed with people who received similar PAFs as you. Ok, since you are taking the time to read my review, i'll tell you a bit about my team.
I chose project A which was to build an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a glider. If you are looking to become an electrical or a software engineer (like me) then too sad, this project doesn't relate to these disciplines in the slightest. You are required to build " a dumb thing". I received somewhat good PAF from ENGG1100 for some reason (redroom visits with team paid off ), and was placed in a team with 5 other HIGHLY MOTIVATED individuals. They were so so so so motivated for the project and super duper keen #hypeisreal.
Throughout the semester, we had on average 4 hours of team meeting a week (totally unnecessary but everyone was forced to go in fear of bad PAF), met on weekends to build the craft (i thought it was super unproductive and pointless but had to go because team all went), 8 am team meetings, super intensive facebook group discussions (had to disable notifications cuz its quite annoying), spent over $100 bucks on the materials etc. What makes me angry the most is the fact that despite the stupid amount of time our team spent on this project, our craft didn't even come up on top in terms of results.
The whole point of my story is, ENGG1200 is an incredibly annoying course that puts unnecessary pressure on students and teaches no useful knowledge what so ever. Any deliverable content are present in the form of so called "self learn", meaning minimum direct teaching is done yet you still pay 2k-ish (higher for international students) for this joke of a course.
When you have done this course you will appreciate what i mean.
Thanks for listening to my pointless rant, and I'm glad ENGG1200 is the last course of this type I'll ever do in my degree.
Semester 1 - 2015
I took Project A in ENGG1200, which consisted of creating an 'aerial deployment' system to deploy cargo from a plane. (Apparently the existing approach of simply dropping it is inadequate.) If it was actually attached to the underside of the plane, the design would - by necessity - throw the payload into the plane or directly in front of the cockpit, probably killing everybody on board.
While I'd love to think this was brilliant and dark satire of a career in mechanical or aerospace engineering... I think it's far more likely this subject was not thought out very well.
The first six weeks were spent in problem solving sessions, where we learned how valuable modelling could be in informing design decisions and predicting performance. As a result, the actual modelling component of the course was left too late to inform design decisions or predict performance .
Also during this six weeks, we learned extensively about properties of materials that were almost entirely irrelevant to our project, and crammed for a midsemester exam instead of working on our prototype. After all, the alternative would have been to space this content out nicely and sit a final exam (there was none) that wouldn't interfere with the project, and who would want that?
Continually distracting students from actually performing useful work quickly became thematic, with regular workshops (consisting of purely filler content) and reflections (on which you were marked on your capacity to hate yourself eloquently and thoroughly). In fact, half of the final report consisted on reflecting on your team and the subject, which totally dispels any possibility of ENGG1200 assessment feigning realism... could you imagine Boeing asking you for a design spec of your system, then equally extensive descriptions of how well your team got along and how difficult it was? (I can, because I have a powerful imagination, but you get my point.)
Now, you were probably expecting me to say "Strike Three" here, but I won't. That would dispel the tension and the anticipation you built up, which is incidentally a key part of foreplay. Listen up lads, your missus will appreciate it. If you don't have a missus, even more reason to listen up. If you're not after a missus, well, you're gonna keep reading this anyway, aren't you?
Speaking of interpersonal relationships (I know, foreign to many of my fellow engineering students), I should state that everyone involved with ENGG1200 was lovely, from course coordinators to tutors to rail operators. My experience was actually largely pleasant; it's merely my learning that was undermined. (If only I'd kept the robot from ENGG1100...)
While a rare glimmer of optimism is temporarily relieving the bland malaise pervading the rest of this review, let me also state the modelling component of this course was rather enjoyable and could've been quite successful had more time and learning been allocated to it. Three weeks of following video tutorials got my group *almost* to the point where our simulations became useful; I imagine a proper implementation could actually be quite helpful and engaging.
Alas, instead we only managed a poor representation of a project with uninteresting constraints (size, weight, etc.) and limited design possibilities informed by an inaccurate project brief (lovely to find that out in Week 11) and information scattered across generally irrelevantly named Blackboard subfolders. Our reasonable success came in spite of this subject, not because of it.
(there's a lesson in that too, fellas)
Semester 2 - 2014
BE / BSc