To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Embracing ambiguity: Agile insights for sustainability in engineering in traditional higher education and in technical and vocational education and training

Dave Towey (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China)
James Walker (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China)
Ricky Ng (Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 21 March 2019

Issue publication date: 7 June 2019

Downloads
232

Abstract

Purpose

Embracing reflective practice and retrospection, with a goal of identifying commonalities, this paper aims to examine delivery of engineering subjects in both traditional higher education (THE) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Design/methodology/approach

Reflections on actions and autoethnography were used to examine the teaching and learning experiences of three educators across two higher education (HE) institutions (HEIs) in the greater Chinese context. Literature reviews and historical contexts are outlined to support the approaches and insights identified.

Findings

This paper presents a number of common characteristics and challenges identified across both THE and TVET. Drawing on the successful embrace of ambiguity and change in recent software engineering (SE) development paradigms, recommendations are made for how the agile SE themes can be applied in a larger sense to address the wider challenges facing both THE and TVET.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that engineering education has been examined and contrasted in the contexts of THE and TVET. The similarities and common challenges may represent a new focus for related work, and the presented insights, from agile methodologies in SE, represent a new perspective for viewing future HE and TVET sustainability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Part of this paper was given as a keynote presentation at the Hong Kong Learning and Teaching Expo 2017, supported by the Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong. A preliminary version of this paper was also presented at the 2018 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2018) Towey et al. (2018). This research was supported by a UNNC FoSE Teaching and Learning Conference Grant.

Citation

Towey, D., Walker, J. and Ng, R. (2019), "Embracing ambiguity: Agile insights for sustainability in engineering in traditional higher education and in technical and vocational education and training", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 143-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-10-2018-0088

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited