We present a recently developed learning model of work integrated learning in the Bachelor programs in Mechanical Engineering as well as Electronic and Computer Engineering at Umeå University, Sweden. The model is based on an organized collaboration with our industrial partners in the surrounding geographic region. As a part of the collaboration, each participating student is guaranteed internships at a chosen company over the summer period.
In the model, company based projects are integrated with some of the study program courses. Moreover, the participating students are given a possibility to perform their final thesis at the chosen company. We consider this collaboration as a "win-win situation" for the three parties involved in the learning model: the students, the University/faculty and the industrial partners. A number of positive effects have been observed and documented as follows:
i) The integrated learning improves the learning process for the students, where learning, knowledge and practice are integrated into the engineering curricula.
ii) The general quality of the study programs in the faculty has been developed and improved based on the professional skills as required by modern industrial companies.
iii) The obtained advantage for the industrial partners has been to establish professional contacts with the students as well as the possibility to be acquainted with potential future employees.
We discuss the experiences of this learning model in relation to CDIO standard 7 (Integrated Learning Experiences) and 8 (Active Learning). It has been found that the company based projects promote interdisciplinary learning as well as fostering system building skills and personal communication skills. Moreover, the developed learning model supports the expected learning outcomes, especially with regard to interpersonal skills, teamwork and communication. Finally, we investigate the learning theories that support the developed learning model from a pedagogical point of view.
2014. 1-9 p.
Work Integrated Learning, Integrated Learning Experiences (CDIO Standard 7), Active Learning (CDIO Standard 8)
10th International CDIO Conference, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, June 16-19, 2014