Promoting collaborative learning in engineering management education through the use of wikis
Engineering Education 2010: Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers, EE 2010
"One of the key demands of industry is that today s engineering students acquire the necessary collaborative skills to be able to work effectively in multi-disciplinary and multi-national teams. Universities and engineering accreditation bodies have responded to this by requiring that engineers complete elements of group work in their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. However in an environment of ever increasing student numbers teaching collaborative skills through group work has become both a pedagogic and logistical challenge. This paper argues that the use of web 2.0 collaborative tools such as wikis may offer academic staff a safe passage through this challenge. It describes the design and delivery of a collaborative wiki-based coursework project on a module in the Masters in Management of Projects at The University of Manchester. The module is delivered on campus to 250 postgraduate students, introducing them to the financing, structuring and management of infrastructure projects. The wiki-based coursework project was delivered using the Confluence wiki tool running within the universitys Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students were required to organise themselves into groups, and to formulate and investigate their own research topic based on a real life infrastructure project. The outcomes of the project included an enhanced student learning experience, improved collaborative working and cohort cohesion on a large postgraduate programme and generated new course content for future student cohorts. In addition the project served as a tested pilot study of the use of wikis prior to roll-out across other programmes at The University of Manchester. © 2009 Authors."""
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