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Engineering Education Research in Practice: Evolving use of open ended group projects as a pedagogical strategy for developing skills in global collaboration
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems. (UpCERG, CeTUSS)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems. (UpCERG, CeTUSS)
2010 (English)In: International journal of engineering education, ISSN 0949-149X, Vol. 26, no 4, 795-806 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Globalization presents engineering educators with new challenges as they face the need for graduates who can function comfortably in an increasingly distributed team context which crosses country and cultural boundaries. Scaffolding learners to acquire professional attributes which transcend the solely technical places stress on traditional curriculum models. This paper analyses an Open Ended Group Project Framework (OEGP) situated in an action research program applied within the IT in Society course at Uppsala University. The approach results in conscious evolution of the course as an integral element of its design. It enables flexible planned educational change informed by a combination of learning theories and stakeholder input. In this paper we discuss the role of the research program in addressing the educational challenges we faced assisting students to develop global collaboration skills. The implications of combining this course with one at a partner institution in the USA and developing a global collaboration are also addressed. The paper concludes by summarizing the benefits of adopting an integrated action research and OEGP framework to support flexible course delivery in a global professional engineering context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 26, no 4, 795-806 p.
Keyword [en]
Open Ended Group Projects, global collaboration, action research, engineering education research
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Computer Science Education Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112983ISI: 000282010500007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-112983DiVA: diva2:289363
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Developing and Assessing Professional Competencies: a Pipe Dream?: Experiences from an Open-Ended Group Project Learning Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developing and Assessing Professional Competencies: a Pipe Dream?: Experiences from an Open-Ended Group Project Learning Environment
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Professional competencies are explicitly identified in the primary learning outcomes for science and engineering degrees at many tertiary institutions.  Fulfillment of the requirements to equip our students with these skills, while formally acknowledged as important by all stakeholders, can be hard to demonstrate in practice.  Most degree awarding institutions would have difficulties if asked to document where in degree programs such competencies are developed.

The work in this thesis addresses the issue of professional competencies from several angles.  The Open-Ended Group Project (OEGP) concept is introduced and proposed as an approach to constructing learning environments in which students’ development of professional competencies can be stimulated and assessed.  Scholarly, research-based development of the IT in Society course unit (ITiS) is described and analyzed in order to present ideas for tailoring OEGP-based course units towards meeting learning objectives related to professional competence.  Work in this thesis includes an examination of both the meanings attributed to the term professional competencies, and methods which can be used to assess the competencies once they are agreed on.

The empirical work on developing ITiS is based on a framework for educational research, which has been both refined and extended as an integral part of my research.  The action research methodology is presented and concrete examples of implementations of different pedagogical interventions, based on the methodology, are given.  The framework provides support for relating a theoretical foundation to studies, or development, of learning environments.  The particular theoretical foundation for the examples in this thesis includes, apart from the action research methodology, constructivism, conceptual change, threshold concepts, communities of practice, ill-structured problem solving, the reflective practicum, and problem based learning.

The key finding in this thesis is that development and assessment of professional competencies is not a pipe dream.  Assessment can be accomplished, and the OEGP concept provides a flexible base for creating an appropriate learning environment for this purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 107 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 808
Keyword
Computing education research, engineering education research, computer science, open-ended group project, professional competencies, action research, educational research framework, learning, communities of practice, constructivism, conceptual change, threshold concepts, problem based learning, ill-structured problem solving, international student collaboration, constructive controversy, reflection
National Category
Computer Science Didactics
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Computer Science Education Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-145983 (URN)978-91-554-8024-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-04-09, Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Felaktigt tryckt som Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 738

Available from: 2011-03-18 Created: 2011-02-14 Last updated: 2014-07-21

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Daniels, MatsCajander, ÅsaPears, Arnold

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