Delivering Key Graduate Attributes via Teams Working in Virtual Space

September 19, 2011


Transferable skills are gaining an increasing emphasis in engineering education. The skills of teamwork, communication, self directed learning and problem solving feature in most of the accrediting agencies criteria. This paper is a case study of a course which uses Problem Based Learning method to deliver key transferable skills to engineering students studying via distance education The students use a range of communication systems including a Learning Management System which offers synchronous and asynchronous communications to work in a team where there is no face to face contact between either the team members or with the supervising academic. The teams solve open ended, contextualised engineering problems. These teams form a learning community which scaffolds individual and team learning goals. Results from a longitudinal study show that students significantly increase their teamwork, communication, problem solving and self directed learning skills. These are key graduate attributes now required by professional accreditation bodies. In addition specific theoretical and technical skills and knowledge are learnt and applied to new problems.

SOURCE: International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)

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