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Engineering programmes have a strong reputation in the delivery of technical knowledge and skills. Graduates need equally high levels of competence in personal and professional skills to not only improve themselves and meet the existing requirements of employers and professional bodies but to also help them manage the inevitable changes that society is facing in an increasingly populated world. The need to move from traditional to student-centred learning in the context of engineering education was the motivation for this project. This can be facilitated through the use of group-based,problem –driven learning as this offers high integration of technical and non-technical knowledge and skills and requires more engagement with the programme from today’s students.
The School of Electrical Engineering Systems in the DIT now delivers a number of engineering modules in this format but experience has shown that it takes a significant amount of time for students to develop personal skills to a high degree. The aim of this project was to develop additional group learning modules and enhance existing ones to pay more attention to personal development. Each of the first three years of the Bachelor of Electrical Engineering programme now contains a group-based module in which learning is project or problem driven and the tutor pays significant attention to personal skills. The concept of progressive development of personal skills was also investigated and a framework to develop these in a structured way through the delivery of group based modules was proposed. The development of further group learning modules and an examination of the effectiveness of this framework will form the basis for continuing this project into the future.
Duffy, Gavin, "Improving the Quality of PBL Modules in an Engineering Programme" (2011). Teaching Fellowships. 12.