Searching for a viable approach to project work in engineering education

Maria Berge*, Åke Ingerman, Anna Danielsson, Eva Silfver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Pages1393-1400
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789899887572
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017 - Angra do Heroismo, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal
Duration: 18 Sept 201721 Sept 2017

Conference

Conference45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityAngra do Heroismo, Terceira Island, Azores
Period18/09/201721/09/2017

Keywords

  • Project work
  • Quality criteria

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