Special Issue "Engineering Education and Technological / Professional Learning"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Clara Viegas
Website
Guest Editor
Polythecnic of Porto, School of Engineering, Physics Department / CIETI - Center for Innovation in Engineering and Industrial Technology, Porto, 4200-072, Portugal
Interests: engineering education; physics didactics; science and technological education research; teacher mediation; teaching practices; teacher professional development; remote labs learning outcomes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Arcelina Marques
Website
Guest Editor
Polythecnic of Porto, School of Engineering, Physics Department / CIETI - Center for Innovation in Engineering and Industrial Technology, Porto, 4200-072, Portugal
Interests: engineering education; remote labs; STEM education
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gustavo Alves
Website
Guest Editor
Polythecnic of Porto, School of Engineering, Electrotechnics Department / CIETI - Center for Innovation in Engineering and Industrial Technology, Porto, 4200-072, Portugal
Interests: engineering education; remote labs; STEM education
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Francisco José García-Peñalvo
Website
Guest Editor
Computer Science Department. Research Institute for Educational Sciences. GRIAL Research Group. University of Salamanca. Faculty of Sciences, Plaza de los Caídos S/N, 37008, Salamanca, Spain
Interests: STEM; computational thinking
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The focus of this Special Issue is to enhance the discussion around Science and Engineering Education, and, in particular, technology and professional learning. This Special Issue is especially concerned with how student academic education prepares them for demanding professions. It is dedicated to openly discuss how young engineers are addressing these new challenges while adapting to their professional environments. How can they make a difference in the actual and demanding professional world? Which major difficulties do employers see in them? What do senior engineers seek and what is most value for a young professional? How can teachers and the academic background help students to stand out? In sum, what can we learn from these young professionals, from their employers, and from their teachers?

In the 21st century, students face a challenging demand: They are expected to have the best scientific expertise, but also highly-developed social skills and qualities like teamwork, creativity, communication and leadership. Even though students should be prepared over their academic education, there is still a gap between academic life and professional life. This gap might have several origins, namely students’ lack of maturity or intrinsic motivation to learn, excessive traditional classrooms practices, lack of opportunities for students to envisage contextualized professional practices, among others. 

The purpose of this Special Issue is to help identify good practices and/or particular concerns that young engineers or their employees feel need improvement. In order to discuss this, different perspectives are welcome, including the viewpoint of young engineers, educators, tutors and employers. On the other hand, it would also be most helpful for freshmen students better understand what exactly is expected from them in the real world: What better than CEOs or former students’ thoughts to help students develop the needed intrinsic motivation to learn, solve problems, and become a true engineer?

Engineering education organizations have been addressing new professional challenges, guided by general concerns, such as teamwork abilities, argumentation and persuasion abilities in multiple social contexts, creativity, complexity handling, and leadership or strong work ethics. This stresses the importance of these competencies being worked through college along with communication, scientific/technological expertise, problem-solving or analytical/quantitative skills. Nowadays, it is as important to address scientific expertise as students’ social and professional competencies. Even though both are important, they do not play equal parts in students and teachers minds. Plus, the outcome perspectives from academic and professional worlds can be quite different. Thus, different point of views must be acknowledged and documented.

The need for a better understanding of engineering education in the 21st century is reflected in scientific research, where it is common to encounter big experiences, involving funding or school commitments. However, it is less common to encounter studies that can be applied by any goodwilling teacher. Smaller scaled studies representing better-contextualized teaching, closer to professional demands, can also bring valid insight to this discussion in the scientific community.


Dr. Clara Viegas
Dr. Arcelina Marques
Dr. Gustavo Alves
Dr. Francisco José García-Peñalvo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Engineering Education
  • Engineering Internships
  • Professional Contexts
  • Soft Skills
  • PBL
  • Project Management
  • Engineering Classroom Practices

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Open AccessEditorial
Engineering Education and Technological/Professional Learning
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040277 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
The focus of this Special Issue is aimed at enhancing the discussion of Engineering Education, particularly related to technological and professional learning [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Open AccessArticle
A Systematic Review of Project Allocation Methods in Undergraduate Transnational Engineering Education
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040258 - 22 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The final year design project is one of the most important components of any undergraduate engineering program. Fair and efficient project allocation procedures can be vital in ensuring a great student experience and exceptional learning out of these projects, which then could contribute [...] Read more.
The final year design project is one of the most important components of any undergraduate engineering program. Fair and efficient project allocation procedures can be vital in ensuring a great student experience and exceptional learning out of these projects, which then could contribute in shaping students’ future prospects. In this paper, we review a wide range of project allocation strategies used in various universities at undergraduate levels. We then focus on the project allocations in transnational education (TNE) contexts, which inherit additional allocation challenges. We highlight these challenges and provide recommendations to solve them. We present and compare project allocation strategies adopted at two of the largest TNE programs in China. We also present the factors that influence the project allocations, particularly regarding TNE provisions. Finally, we describe the challenges associated with the project allocations in the TNE scenario, along with proposing some feasible solutions to address these challenges. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Student’s Perceptions Regarding Assessment Changes in a Fluid Mechanics Course
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020152 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The main objective of this study is to evaluate students’ perceptions regarding different methods of assessment and which teaching/learning methodologies may be the most effective in a Fluid Transport System course. The impact of the changes in the assessment methodology in the final [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study is to evaluate students’ perceptions regarding different methods of assessment and which teaching/learning methodologies may be the most effective in a Fluid Transport System course. The impact of the changes in the assessment methodology in the final students’ grades and attendance at theoretical classes is also analysed, and the results show that students’ attendance at theoretical classes changed significantly. The students prefer and consider more beneficial for their learning assessment through several questions/problems and small tests during theoretical lessons instead of a single moment of evaluation. For them, the traditional teaching/learning methodology is still considered the most effective one. At the same time, students perceive that the development of the Practical Work (PW) and several moments of assessment had positive repercussions on the way they focus on the course content and keep up with the subjects taught, providing knowledge on the area under study, encouraging collaborative work and stimulating the students’ intellectual curiosity. Largely, students agree that the PW is an important tool in their learning process and recommend it as a teaching activity. In general, students are confident with the knowledge acquired with the PW and feel able to size fluid transport systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Railway Engineering Student Engagement Using Interactive Technology Embedded with Infotainment
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020136 - 16 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Interactive learning technology is an emerging innovation for future communication-aided teaching and learning that could positively enhance students’ engagement and intrinsic motivation. Due to the virtue of interactive communication, classrooms are now anticipated to enable a variety of interaction-based learning technologies with diverse [...] Read more.
Interactive learning technology is an emerging innovation for future communication-aided teaching and learning that could positively enhance students’ engagement and intrinsic motivation. Due to the virtue of interactive communication, classrooms are now anticipated to enable a variety of interaction-based learning technologies with diverse infotainment (a subset of “serious play”) integrated with practical enquiry-based projects and case studies for employability improvement. In this paper, a comprehensive review of various teaching and learning pedagogies is assessed. Their suitability and association with infotainment and interactive technology is discussed and highlighted. In addition, a recent research activity on interactive communication is presented to form a new teaching application using interactive technology and infotainment (or edutainment) appropriate for student engagement in railway geometry and alignment design classes. The development of the integrated interactive technology and infotainment was implemented and evaluated in a postgraduate railway engineering class. Questionnaires were used to survey students’ experiences in the classes with and without the technology enhanced learning. The outcome clearly shows that students enjoyed and felt they were significantly engaged in the class with the new interactive resources. Their participation and learning performance increased. Despite the favourable outcomes, the flexibility and viability of using this interactive technology still largely depends on the students’ background and their previous experience. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-design and Eco-efficiency Competencies Development in Engineering and Design Students
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020126 - 07 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of vital competencies and a mindset to rethink products, production, and business models in engineering and design students is presently of great importance. These future professionals will play a key role in the development of sustainable products. Within Eco-design and Eco-efficiency [...] Read more.
The development of vital competencies and a mindset to rethink products, production, and business models in engineering and design students is presently of great importance. These future professionals will play a key role in the development of sustainable products. Within Eco-design and Eco-efficiency curricular unit, an assignment was developed that consisted of the development of an eco-design and eco-efficiency study of a given product, provided by a real industrial company. In this paper, the challenge description and application are reported, as well as the key conclusions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fostering Professional Competencies in Engineering Undergraduates with [email protected]
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020119 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Engineering education addresses the development of professional competencies in undergraduates. In this context, the core set of professional competencies includes critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication, collaboration and team building, and creativity and innovation—also known as the four Cs—as well as socio-professional [...] Read more.
Engineering education addresses the development of professional competencies in undergraduates. In this context, the core set of professional competencies includes critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication, collaboration and team building, and creativity and innovation—also known as the four Cs—as well as socio-professional ethics and sustainable development—referred in this paper as the two Ss. While the four Cs were identified by the associates of the American Management Association based on the needs of the society, professional associations, and businesses; this paper proposes the two S extension to ensure that future engineers contribute to the well-being of individuals and the preservation of life on Earth. It proposes a tangible framework—the 4C2S—and an application method to analyse the contributions made by engineering capstone programmes to the development of these core competencies in future engineering professionals. The method is applied to an engineering capstone programme—the European Project Semester (EPS) offered by the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP)—and a specific project case—[email protected] Pet Tracker project developed in 2013, constituting, in addition, a road map for the application of the 4C2S framework to engineering capstone programmes. The results show that [email protected] complies with the 4C2S framework. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lessons Learned from the Development of Open Educational Resources at Post-Secondary Level in the Field of Environmental Modelling: An Exploratory Study
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020103 - 13 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Open educational resources (OER) have become increasingly popular in recent times. Here, the aim was to synthesise the lessons learned through the development of OER materials for a university-level course called “environmental modelling”. Consequently, the topics of discussion included: (i) how to choose [...] Read more.
Open educational resources (OER) have become increasingly popular in recent times. Here, the aim was to synthesise the lessons learned through the development of OER materials for a university-level course called “environmental modelling”. Consequently, the topics of discussion included: (i) how to choose an appropriate creative commons license; (ii) ways of incorporating materials from other sources, such as publicly available sources, other open access materials, and an author’s own published materials if not published under a creative commons license; (iii) the impact of the developed OER in the field of environmental modelling; and (iv) the challenges in developing OER material. Upon developing the materials, we observed the following: (i) students enrolled in the course did not purchase textbooks; (ii) our OER materials ranked as one of the most accessed (i.e., number 7) materials according to the usage data that summed the number of file downloads and item views from PRISM (i.e., the hosting platform maintained by the University of Calgary); (iii) the students learned relatively better as per the data acquired by the University of Calgary’s universal student ratings of instruction (USRI) instrument; and (iv) other universities expressed interest in adopting the materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Project Management Competences by Teaching and Research Staff for the Sustained Success of Engineering Education
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010044 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Projects have become an essential instrument for the success of universities. In a context of globalization and increasing complexity, they must sharpen their resourcefulness to face these challenges and adapt to this changing environment. To reach these objectives, they undertake a series of [...] Read more.
Projects have become an essential instrument for the success of universities. In a context of globalization and increasing complexity, they must sharpen their resourcefulness to face these challenges and adapt to this changing environment. To reach these objectives, they undertake a series of activities of a unique, concrete and temporary nature, not always technical but managerial ones. If universities work with people on projects in the production, transmission and dissemination of knowledge, then they link with society to solve its problems. For this reason, teaching and research staff (TRS) should promote a range of professional project management (PM) competences in different areas for the proper management of the projects in which they take part. Through a Delphi technique, a panel of twenty-four accredited teaching experts who are carrying out significant research and holding directive roles, measured the importance of acquiring and/or improving professional PM competences by their TRS. Consensus and stability reached after two rounds of consultation confirmed there are a series of crucial competences for the practice of relevant teaching and pioneer research. Results obtained are the basis for a gap plan that allows the TRS to participate in and/or lead university projects with greater self-confidence and personal motivation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Final Projects in Engineering Degrees around an Industry 4.0-Oriented Flexible Manufacturing System: Preliminary Outcomes and Some Initial Considerations
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040214 - 09 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
New paradigms such as the Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or industrial cyber-physical systems (ICPSs) have been impacting the manufacturing environment in recent years. Nevertheless, these challenging concepts are also being faced from the educational field: Engineering students must acquire [...] Read more.
New paradigms such as the Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or industrial cyber-physical systems (ICPSs) have been impacting the manufacturing environment in recent years. Nevertheless, these challenging concepts are also being faced from the educational field: Engineering students must acquire knowledge and skills under the view of these frameworks. This paper describes the utilization of an Industry 4.0-oriented flexible manufacturing system (FMS) as an educational tool to develop final projects (FPs) of engineering degrees. A number of scopes are covered by an FMS, such as automation, supervision, instrumentation, communications, and robotics. The utilization of an FMS with educational purposes started in the academic year 2011–2012 and still remains active. Here, the most illustrative FPs are expounded, and successful academic outcomes are reported. In addition, a set of initial considerations based on the experience acquired by the FP tutors is provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tutorials for Integrating CAD/CAM in Engineering Curricula
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8030151 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
This article addresses the issue of educating engineering students with the knowledge and skills of Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM). In particular, three carefully designed tutorials—cutting tool offsetting, tool-path generation for freeform surfaces, and the integration of advanced machine tools (e.g., hexapod-based machine [...] Read more.
This article addresses the issue of educating engineering students with the knowledge and skills of Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM). In particular, three carefully designed tutorials—cutting tool offsetting, tool-path generation for freeform surfaces, and the integration of advanced machine tools (e.g., hexapod-based machine tools) with solid modeling—are described. The tutorials help students gain an in-depth understanding of how the CAD/CAM-relevant hardware devices and software packages work in real-life settings. At the same time, the tutorials help students achieve the following educational outcomes: (1) an ability to apply the knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering; (2) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet the desired needs, (3) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems; and (4) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools that are necessary for engineering practice. The tutorials can be modified for incorporating other contemporary issues (e.g., additive manufacturing, reverse engineering, and sustainable manufacturing), which can be delved into as a natural extension of this study. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
An Extended Constructive Alignment Model in Teaching Electromagnetism to Engineering Undergraduates
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9030199 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Introducing abstract concepts to students from applied fields can be challenging. Electromagnetics is one of those courses where abstract concepts are introduced. This work presents a conceptual model which defines learning objectives in three levels for Engineering Electromagnetics. Each level is aligned with [...] Read more.
Introducing abstract concepts to students from applied fields can be challenging. Electromagnetics is one of those courses where abstract concepts are introduced. This work presents a conceptual model which defines learning objectives in three levels for Engineering Electromagnetics. Each level is aligned with its own assessment and evaluation methods. The advantage is that the three-level learning objectives can be extended as student self-assess and instructor assessment rubrics, and a detailed implementation is presented here. This model gives students more accessibility to the learning objectives and increases the transparency of the learning and grading processes. The main goal of this conceptual model is to make students learn with the end in mind. Full article
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