Industry engagement projects for engineering undergraduate students during lockdown : what worked and what failed?

Lambert, Chris (2022) Industry engagement projects for engineering undergraduate students during lockdown : what worked and what failed? In: Proceedings of the International Symposium of Engineering Education :. University of Strathclyde, GBR. ISBN 9781914241208

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There is recognised value in the role that authentic problem-based learning (aPBL) provides engineering undergraduate students in preparation for employability when done in collaboration with industry partners. Such practice falls within the construct of work-based or work-integrated learning. Motivations for industry agents to engage in these programmes include access to specialist facilities and resources for the purposes of prototype development, fabrication and testing as well as fulfilling future talent pipeline requirements, such as placement or graduate roles. The spirit of in-person collaboration between students and industry partners is an exciting and enriching part of experiential, work-based learning. During academic year 2020/21 at the height of movement restrictions, all registered MEng students in their third and fourth years (n=208) at Lancaster University undertook remote projects (n=42). These are group-based and last full-time for a fortnight. This paper describes the 'what', the 'why' and the 'how' of this activity; it reflects on the shift from conducting such industry-based research and development projects in-person to wholly online endeavours, in pedagogical and practical terms. The paper utilises a range of feedback alongside the author’s direct personal experience of leading this core module. It considers the recruitment of projects, the preparation of students, the nature of projects and scaffolding required. It critically reflects through a relatively holistic lens on the successes of such experiential learning and what features can be continued in the future. In so doing, it hopes to provide engineering educators with evidence informed approaches who utilise or are aspiring to conduct such work-based learning.

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?? experiential learningauthentic problem-based learningapblwork-integrated learningcovid-19 ??
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15 Dec 2022 14:35
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:13