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Human-centred design knowledge into maritime engineering education; theoretical framework

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 12:28 authored by Hettiarachchige AbeysiriwardhaneHettiarachchige Abeysiriwardhane, Lutzhoft, M, Petersen, ES, Hossein EnshaeiHossein Enshaei
Maritime designers engaged in the ship design process seem to be fairly unaware about human factors (HF), human-centred design (HCD) and the operational issues that ships’ crew are facing during their sea time. This is likely due to the combined effect of poor maritime HF education in maritime design engineering courses and poor ‘post-design’ contact with those who work onboard the ships. In order to address this issue, recent research studies suggest focusing on transferring HF/HCD knowledge to maritime design engineering students’ education in a more targeted, engineering-oriented fashion. This paper presents a theoretical framework and its proposed application to facilitate the maritime design engineering undergraduates to learn HF/ HCD concepts and apply them during design process. The proposed framework is developed by connecting Problem-Based Learning and Peer-Led Team Learning student-centred pedagogies with Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development theory that is central to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. The final-year design project unit of the Bachelor of engineering degree at Australian Maritime College is chosen to operationalise the proposed framework through a Participatory Action Research methodological framework, which is considered appropriate to study the effectiveness of a teaching intervention.


Publication title

Australasian Journal of Engineering Education








Australian Maritime College


Taylor & Francis Australia

Place of publication


Rights statement

© 2017 Engineers Australia

Repository Status

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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in engineering