Improving learning outcomes of small groups working on an engineering design-assignment during lectures

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Abstract

In the past years, the interest in collaborative learning has increased substantially. However, despite the attention for collaborative learning and the existing body of knowledge on that topic, many lecturers experience problems when implementing collaborative learning. Consequently, the theoretical benefits of collaborative learning are not always achieved in practice. To address this gap, this research studied higher education students collaborating on an engineering design-assignment during lectures, as a form of collaborative learning. The specific research question was: how can lecturers improve learning outcomes of small groups working on an engineering design-assignment during lectures? The research is a design-based research, aimed at systematically investigating problems, and designing and evaluating solutions to improve lecturers’ actions and education. Five groups were videotaped when working on an assignment and the learning outcomes of those groups were assessed. Then, problems were analysed and possible solutions to improve learning outcomes were developed. The solutions had the form of practical interventions that lecturers could apply straight away. The interventions were evaluated by applying them to treatment groups and comparing their learning outcomes with those of control groups, which were not subjected to interventions. The results revealed that for most of the groups to which the interventions were applied, learning outcomes were better. However, there were also exceptions. Further analysis was needed to explain these. This research is relevant for lecturers who apply group work in their lectures because it reveals some mechanisms behind collaborative learning, and provides insight in variables that can be adjusted for further improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Pages217-227
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sep 202024 Sep 2020
Conference number: 48
https://www.sefi2020.eu

Conference

Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
CountryNetherlands
CityEnschede
Period20/09/2024/09/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • Group work
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Higher education

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