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Searching for a viable approach to project work in engineering education

Paper i proceeding
Författare Maria Berge
Åke Ingerman
Anna Danielsson
Eva Silfver
Publicerad i Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 Education Excellence for Sustainability, Edited by JoséCarlos Quadrado; Jorge Bernardino; Joao Rocha
ISBN 978-989-98875-7-2
Förlag European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Förlagsort Brussels, Belgium
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession
Språk en
Länkar https://www.sefi.be/proceedings/?co...
Ämnesord project work, quality criteria
Ämneskategorier , Didaktik, Utbildningsvetenskap


Many engineering departments across the world are moving towards implementing project-organised courses. In this paper we make the claim that there is a need for quality criteria for project work, given that research provides a mixed picture of what students can potentially learn in project work. The empirical data in this case study consists of ethnography, video-recordings, video-diaries and interviews, from one project work with four students taking a six weeks long course on machine elements. Our analysis shows that the students spend substantial amounts of time on activities with little or no value to their education, but that this is interspersed with very productive moments. In addition, our analysis showed that two of the students worked considerably less than the other two, but the assessment structure made this more or less invisible to the teacher. The analysis also illustrates the uneven nature of implementations of group work and we argue that as engineering educators we must implement approaches to project work that bring out and utilise the valuable parts, while actively suppressing less productive parts, thereby producing a shift towards being more ‘effective’.

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