When does collaboration lead to deeper learning? Renewed definitions of collaboration for engineering students

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Ellis, RA
Han, F
Pardo, A
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2019
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Collaboration is an increasingly important and difficult skill for graduate engineers to develop. While universities provide some measures of collaboration ability of students on graduation, there is still some dissatisfaction with the level of preparedness of students for collaborative activity in the workplace. This paper presents a case study of a first year engineering cohort of more than 350 students to discuss the value of improving the both the measures and definitions of collaborative ability on graduation of engineering students in a blended learning context. Research methods from student approaches to learning research and social network analysis are adopted to provide experiential and mathematical evidence of successful collaboration. The results provide a characterisation of groups of students with respect to their approach to collaboration and the features most common in productively collaborative students The discussion has implications for teaching, course design and how universities define and measure collaborative ability of students.

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IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
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Communications engineering
Specialist studies in education
Applied computing
Human-centred computing
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