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Active learning strategies to develop research competences in engineering education

Denise Luciana Rieg (Industrial Engineering, Centro Universitario da FEI, Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil)
Rui M.M. Lima (Department of Production and Systems, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal)
Diana Mesquita (Research Centre for Human Development (CEDH), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal)
Fernando Cezar Leandro Scramim (Industrial Engineering, Centro Universitario da FEI, Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil) (Industrial Engineering, Instituto Maua de Tecnologia Centro Universitario, Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil)
Octavio Mattasoglio Neto (Industrial Engineering, Instituto Maua de Tecnologia Centro Universitario, Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 28 June 2021

Issue publication date: 31 May 2022

225

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to implement and evaluate active learning strategies to support engineering students in the development of research competences, contributing to the growing need for a closer relationship between research and teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was developed using an action research approach. The data were collected through observations, questionnaire and focus group in order to evaluate the active learning strategies used in the context of the study, based on students' perceptions.

Findings

The results show that the implementation of active learning strategies, such as research-based learning and think-pair-share enhance the development of research competences, namely critical thinking and written communication. Additionally, this approach enables students to develop further their capstone projects, using the standards demanded in research process.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based mainly on teacher's observation and the participants are undergraduate engineering students enrolled in the course “Scientific Methodology” during 1 academic year.

Practical implications

Two levels of implications can be identified in this study: (1) for teachers' practice, who can adapt the step-by-step descriptions of the implemented approaches and (2) for research, contributing to the discussion about how to explore the teaching-research relationship in undergraduate courses.

Originality/value

The course of “Scientific Methodology” is part of the curricular structure of most undergraduate engineering programs offered by Brazilian Higher Education Institutions, and this study is a contribution for the improvement of knowledge on how this course may be conducted in an effective and engaging way.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the R&D Units Project Scope UIDB/00319/2020.

Citation

Rieg, D.L., Lima, R.M.M., Mesquita, D., Scramim, F.C.L. and Mattasoglio Neto, O. (2022), "Active learning strategies to develop research competences in engineering education", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 1210-1223. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-01-2021-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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