Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 9081

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Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics, Tallinn University of Technology, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: teaching and learning; pedagogy and education; electric drive; power electronics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue provides an opportunity for professors, scientists, professional engineers, and students to present their work, publish their results, exchange ideas, and network for contemporary and future scientific and industrial collaborations. The issue should serve as a catalyst for connecting local and international stakeholders, hence adding value to the global dialogue on how to contribute positively to the advancement of engineering education. Papers in all areas of engineering education are invited, with particular emphasis on the focus of such topics as:

  • Multidisciplinary approaches in engineering education;
  • K-12 STEM education initiatives;
  • Active learning at bachelor and master study levels;
  • Distance learning, blended learning, and team-based learning;
  • Engaging undergraduate and graduate engineering students in research;
  • Digital transformation;
  • Ethical challenges in engineering;
  • Women for leadership in engineering;
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Future-oriented and personalized educational concepts;
  • Game-based learning and gamification;
  • Non-traditional, virtual, and remote labs, exercises, and classrooms;
  • Multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary education.

Prof. Dr. Valery Vodovozov
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • engineering education
  • active learning
  • digital transformation
  • multidisciplinary education

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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29 pages, 4535 KiB  
Article
University–Museum Partnerships for K-12 Engineering Learning: Understanding the Utility of a Community Co-Created Informal Education Program in a Time of Social Disruption
by Sandra Lina Rodegher, Lindsey C. McGowen, Micaha Dean Hughes, Sarah E. Schaible, Ayse J. Muniz and Sarah Chobot Hokanson
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020146 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
This study explores the impact of COVID-19 on informal learning institutions, primarily science museums, through the lens of an activity kit co-created by CELL-MET—a cross-university, engineering research center—and museum partners. While formal learning organizations, like K-12 schools, play a critical role in the [...] Read more.
This study explores the impact of COVID-19 on informal learning institutions, primarily science museums, through the lens of an activity kit co-created by CELL-MET—a cross-university, engineering research center—and museum partners. While formal learning organizations, like K-12 schools, play a critical role in the education process through standardized teaching, informal learning organizations also make important contributions to the engineering education ecosystem, such as by fostering engineering identity development, especially for learners and their families. This is particularly valuable for young learners from underrepresented and under-resourced communities. In this study, two questions are addressed: (1) How were museums impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting disruptions to their operations, and how did they respond? (2) To what extent were museums able to implement and adapt EEK! to reach under-served youth in the face of social disruption? When the world was experiencing social disruption from the spread of COVID-19, the authors realized they had an opportunity to test the utility and adaptability of their model of engineering activity co-creation. Approximately six months into the launch of both EEK! and the global pandemic, a 29-item survey was distributed to EEK! recipient institutions. Of the museum respondents, 97% reported experiencing full closures and 73% reported layoffs and furloughs. Despite these challenges, 78% implemented EEK!, with 70% of the institutions creating new virtual programming, and 38% adapting EEK! for remote facilitation, including real-time virtual events, self-guided activities, and at-home activity kits. Museums were equally impacted by COVID-19 policies and closures, but have not received the public attention and support that K-12 schools have received. Nonetheless, they have responded with ingenuity in using and adapting EEK!. Given their K-12 partnerships, flexibility, and ability to engage learners, museums are undervalued collaborators for universities trying to impact the K-12 engineering education ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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16 pages, 3919 KiB  
Article
A Case Study on the Administrative Impacts of Different Engineering Capstone Teaching Modalities
by Justin L. Lapp, Andrew Goupee and Wilhelm A. Friess
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13101049 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 917
Abstract
The capstone experience in engineering curriculums is a critical component focused on the unification of several years of student learning, but its unique nature can present challenges to engineering departments in faculty assignment and ensuring consistent, high-quality instruction. During a seven-year period, five [...] Read more.
The capstone experience in engineering curriculums is a critical component focused on the unification of several years of student learning, but its unique nature can present challenges to engineering departments in faculty assignment and ensuring consistent, high-quality instruction. During a seven-year period, five instructional modalities, defining the interaction between students and faculty, were explored in capstone courses in the University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Department. By sharing the lessons learned from this case study, other engineering departments can make more informed decisions about how to operate capstone courses. We present the benefits and challenges of each modality and evaluate them for scalability, student satisfaction, project diversity, cost, and instructor workload. Annual data were collected on student, instructor, and project counts. Data from student evaluations and department budgets were used to evaluate student satisfaction and costs, respectively. Insights from the three authors, who were the primary capstone instructors during this study, are shared as part of the evaluations and lessons learned. Key results are that cost, student satisfaction, and project diversity did not depend strongly on the teaching modality. However, scalability and instructor workload were highly dependent on the teaching modality. The University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Department sees the most promise in a modality with multiple lead instructors who each oversee a portion of the teams, which provides scalability to add or remove instructors, and the ability for high-quality instruction through close coordination of a small instructor group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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19 pages, 1101 KiB  
Article
Teaching Complex Introductory Concepts in a Sophomore Circuits Course: A Descriptive Case Study
by Nicole Pitterson
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13101022 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
This descriptive case study explores the teaching and learning of complex introductory circuit concepts in a compulsory sophomore circuits’ course. The study investigates the instructional strategies employed by the instructor to facilitate students’ understanding of intricate circuit phenomena. Data were collected through classroom [...] Read more.
This descriptive case study explores the teaching and learning of complex introductory circuit concepts in a compulsory sophomore circuits’ course. The study investigates the instructional strategies employed by the instructor to facilitate students’ understanding of intricate circuit phenomena. Data were collected through classroom observations, interviews with the instructor, and an analysis of the course documents. The findings shed light on the challenges encountered by students when grappling with introductory circuit concepts, the effectiveness of different instructional methods, and implications for curriculum design and pedagogical approaches in electrical engineering education. Specifically, the instructors reported students’ prior knowledge, the nature of the content, and the structure of the course itself as some of the main features that impact students’ overall learning of the content. The study highlights the importance of providing targeted support and scaffolding to students, promoting active learning strategies, and incorporating practical applications to enhance the comprehension of introductory circuit concepts in sophomore-level electrical engineering courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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15 pages, 413 KiB  
Article
Examining the Setting of Significant Learning Events during the Engineering School-to-Work Transition
by Benjamin Lutz and Marie C. Paretti
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090871 - 26 Aug 2023
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The school-to-work transition is a critical time for engineers that involves rapid learning across multiple fronts, but relatively little is known about the setting (i.e., how, where, and with whom) of significant learning experiences during this time. The purpose of the study is [...] Read more.
The school-to-work transition is a critical time for engineers that involves rapid learning across multiple fronts, but relatively little is known about the setting (i.e., how, where, and with whom) of significant learning experiences during this time. The purpose of the study is to examine the setting of significant learning events for recent engineering graduates. We used a multi-case study in which 12 recent engineering graduates responded to weekly reflective journal prompts for the first twelve weeks of their transition from school to work. Participants described significant learning events through a series of open-ended questions. We used both deductive and inductive coding to identify the setting of the event in terms of how, where, and with whom engineers engaged in learning at work. The findings highlight the emergent, social nature of workplace learning and point to critical differences across school and work. To better prepare students for professional practice, engineering educators should consider how they might create learning environments that promote effective transfer of knowledge and skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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20 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Flipped Micro-Modules for Teaching Sustainable Engineering Practices
by Huiying (Cynthia) Hou, Haoran Zhang and Yishan Wang
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080784 - 01 Aug 2023
Viewed by 933
Abstract
With the aim of assisting students in acquiring the practical knowledge required for sustainable engineering practices, a new intervention method in the form of flipped micro-modules was developed. The perceived quality of the flipped micro-modules and their relationship with the students’ attitudes towards [...] Read more.
With the aim of assisting students in acquiring the practical knowledge required for sustainable engineering practices, a new intervention method in the form of flipped micro-modules was developed. The perceived quality of the flipped micro-modules and their relationship with the students’ attitudes towards using them were then evaluated using an extended technology acceptance model (TAM-extended model). The quality of the flipped micro-modules was measured based on three aspects: the quality of the framework, the quality of the content, and the quality of the operation. The findings revealed that the students considered the framework of the flipped micro-modules to be the most important aspect. The findings also demonstrated that the flipped micro-modules have the potential to improve engineering education and prepare students for future sustainable engineering practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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18 pages, 680 KiB  
Article
Educational Pathways, Spatial Skills, and Academic Achievement in Graphic Expression in First Year of Engineering
by José Sebastián Velázquez, Francisco Cavas, María Castillo Fuentes and Rafael García-Ros
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070756 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 847
Abstract
The subject of Graphic Expression, which is mandatory in the first year of engineering studies, showed poor academic results in recent years. This study analyzes the relationship and predictive capacity of various variables that previous research highlighted as relevant: prior academic preparedness, educational [...] Read more.
The subject of Graphic Expression, which is mandatory in the first year of engineering studies, showed poor academic results in recent years. This study analyzes the relationship and predictive capacity of various variables that previous research highlighted as relevant: prior academic preparedness, educational itinerary followed, mental rotation skills, videogame usage, as well as the gender and age of the students. A total of 161 first-year engineering students from a technical university in southern Europe participated in the study. Their spatial rotation skills were evaluated using the MRT-A, gathering information about the rest of the relevant variables and obtaining their academic results at the end of the course. The predictive capacity of the variables on academic performance was determined through linear regression techniques (grade in the subject, on a 0–10 scale) and logistic regression (pass/fail). All variables are significantly related to academic results in the expected direction, except for videogame usage and gender. No significant differences in spatial skills were found between genders, although differences were observed in videogame usage. The best predictors of performance are prior preparation and the educational itinerary followed. The results are discussed considering previous research, highlighting measures to improve results in Graphic Expression, with emphasis on training in spatial skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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19 pages, 4071 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Supporting Visual Learning Technologies in the Immersive VET Cyber-Physical Learning Model
by Matej Veber, Igor Pesek and Boris Aberšek
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13060608 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1471
Abstract
Humanity faces diverse technological, societal, and sociological challenges. Digitalization is being integrated into every aspect of our lives. Technologies are developing rapidly and the ways in which we live and learn are changing. Young people are acquiring information and learning in a different [...] Read more.
Humanity faces diverse technological, societal, and sociological challenges. Digitalization is being integrated into every aspect of our lives. Technologies are developing rapidly and the ways in which we live and learn are changing. Young people are acquiring information and learning in a different way than in the recent past. Education systems are no longer keeping up with the development of technology. Education systems need to adapt and introduce technologies that motivate students and ultimately contribute to higher learning goals. To this end, we need to develop modern learning models that support education and technological development. In previous research, we developed and evaluated a state-of-the-art learning model, the CPLM. We built on this with a new study, in which we assessed the difference between the cognitive activities of attention and meditation in students during the viewing of a classical educational video, a 360° video, and an AR app on a screen. We found that the 360° video had the greatest impact on students’ attention and is consequently suitable for initially motivating students in the proposed learning model. We made a proposal for a modern educational model and possibilities for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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11 pages, 1144 KiB  
Review
Characterizing Highly Effective Technology and Engineering Educators
by Andrew John Hughes, Tyler S. Love and Kristine Dill
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13060560 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
There have been numerous definitions and models proposed in attempts to better conceptualize effective educators; however, there is no consensus on a definition or model that characterizes effective educators in all contexts. Specific to technology and engineering (T&E) education, the Standards for Technological [...] Read more.
There have been numerous definitions and models proposed in attempts to better conceptualize effective educators; however, there is no consensus on a definition or model that characterizes effective educators in all contexts. Specific to technology and engineering (T&E) education, the Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL) proposed three elements (core standards and benchmarks, T&E practices, and T&E contexts) for standardization of instruction to ensure more effective T&E educators. However, this requires educators to possess a broad spectrum of integrative knowledge and practices to guide authentic T&E teaching and learning experiences, something which the literature has shown is not always correlated with teaching experience. This article examines various definitions and characteristics of effective educators as presented throughout the literature considered within the context of T&E education. The information presented in this article has implications for helping educators, educator preparation programs, and professional development providers identify and develop competencies that the literature suggests can result in more effective T&E educators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning in Engineering Education)
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