Learning opportunities and diversity of engineering students’ background in interdisciplinary group projects
Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Article publication date: 28 September 2021
Issue publication date: 9 May 2022
In line with business goals of customer satisfaction, higher education institutions of learning consider excellent student experience a priority. Teaching and learning are important aspects of satisfaction that are monitored annually by universities using tools such as the National Student Survey (NSS). The NSS results are useful for educational planning and informing consumer choices. This research measured undergraduate student experiences on an interdisciplinary project using the NSS framework. Hinged on diversity, the purpose was to investigate whether full-time (FT), part-time (PT) and degree apprenticeship students with varied work experience enhance their learning studying together on an interdisciplinary project.
This research has measured, using the NSS criteria, student experiences on an interdisciplinary project on a civil engineering programme. It benchmarks the quality of learning and student understanding and perceptions of learning. The method is based upon a literature review and questionnaire survey of students.
Results indicate good amounts of peer influence on learning in a simulated interdisciplinary team setting supported by a mix of diverse work experience in students’ background.
Sections of the NSS are extended with additional questions to capture the impact that FT, PT and degree apprenticeship study modes, closely associated with students’ background of job experience, have on teaching and learning.
The authors and the Civil Engineering division of School of Engineering acknowledge collaborators that have partnered with the University of Bolton on the Interdisciplinary Project including Cavendish Nuclear, Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Limited and the Education unit of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Oti, A.H., Farrell, P., Berrais, A., McMahon, P., Boulbibane, M., Paschalis, S., Osman, Y., AL-Faraj, F. and Duncan, M. (2022), "Learning opportunities and diversity of engineering students’ background in interdisciplinary group projects", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 475-495. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-04-2021-0077
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