Creativity and innovation in Higher Education : The Use of Project-Based Learning for Mechanical Engineering Students’ Competence Development

Luchinskaya, Elena and Kristiansson, Lilia (2013) Creativity and innovation in Higher Education : The Use of Project-Based Learning for Mechanical Engineering Students’ Competence Development. In: The European Conference on Educational Research, 2013-09-09 - 2013-09-13, Bahçeşehir University.

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The focus on innovation as a drive for developing competitive and dynamic European society creates new challenges for educators in equipping students with creative competences and innovative skills necessary for their future professional life. Integration of a variety of teaching and learning methods into existing curricula addresses this task and facilitates the transition from factual knowledge acquisition towards developing skills and competences for today's knowledge-based society [1]. This paper presents the results from a case study conducted at the University West of Sweden, concerning the use of project-based learning (PrBL) in higher education. In today's increasingly competitive climate, employers of engineering graduates frequently highlight that graduates’ lack important competences and the ability to work efficiently in team-based projects. This paper analyses student experience in generic and subject-specific competence development in order to evaluate the potential of using project-based learning. The aim is to improve students' employment prospects and stimulate their creative abilities. Equipping students with relevant competences required for their social and professional integration, successful career and personal development is a key mission of the higher education sector. Project-based learning (PrBL) is an example of collaborative student-focused learning and is supported by constructivist learning theory [2-4]. This method encourages deeper learning through the construction of meaning, connecting ideas and creating meaningful artefacts. Project-based learning stimulates a collaborative knowledge building process among participants, develops self-directed learning, motivation, creativity, improves student performance and develops a range of study skills through creating an informal learning environment. Despite the changes and challenges of modern society, the existing teaching and learning strategies in engineering are still very traditional and mainly lecture-based. The introduction of student centred methods such as problem-based and project-based learning [4-9] is still not widely accepted in mainstream engineering education [7,8].

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Contribution to Conference (Other)
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The European Conference on Educational Research
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22 Jun 2019 09:47
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15 Jul 2024 08:38