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Experiences, and student and teacher feedback, on the integration of hands-on project work in the first year engineering studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 2016 Annual Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering Education on Top of the Wolrd: Industry University Cooperation
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education
Period1/01/00 → …

Abstract

All the time the requirements for university studies are becoming more demanding in Finland. The students should graduate fast, and they should learn versatile skills and various theoretical topics during their studies. This means that the student’s study motivation together with study results are demanded to be extremely good. At the same time the teaching resources in Finnish universities are decreasing. In this situation the efficiency of teaching has to be really carefully thought in order to ensure highly skilled professionals to Finnish, and world-wide, careers.

Smooth and motivating start to university studies is extremely essential to students’ further study motivation and study success. There are many factors affecting students’ performance in university studies, including the theoretical topics of the subject matter, but what is surprisingly important to the later success both in studies and future work life, are so called generic skills. In addition, every subject matter has its’ own special skills, these have to be known and understood, in order to achieve expert level and become a professional in that field. The subject related skills can be combined with generic skills, both are something a student have to assimilate during his/her studies in order to fulfil the requirements of an engineer.

Engineering students are very motivated and eager to do hands-on work. In order to boost the students’ motivation and learning results, a hands-on project work was included in the first year’s first study period’s curriculum. The main intention in this project work was to help students to connect theoretical studies to real life engineering cases, and to provide them the basis of hands-on skills that every electrical engineer needs. In addition, the students were introduced to business thinking and basics of entrepreneurship. The project work was found very interesting by almost all the students.

In this study, we will share practical experience and as well student feedback as teacher feedback about the inclusion of subject related skills together with generic skills into the first year curriculum in engineering BSc studies.

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