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Applied engineering education for soft skills in the context of sustainability and mobility
Halmstad University, School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7139-7338
Halmstad University, School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5849-1442
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, ISSN 1467-6370, E-ISSN 1758-6739, Vol. 23, no 8, p. 324-336Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the need to rethink the traditional approach to education in the university engineering curriculum. The paper examines two engineering projects led by university students in Sweden: the design and construction of a solar-powered car taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and the creation of a business model for the ownership phase of an electric car together with Polestar.  

Design/method – An extensive literature review was conducted. Students were interviewed and surveyed on their impressions of their learning experience in the two projects and student logbooks reviewed. Problem-based learning, the CDIO approach, and the ABCD-procedure are used. Results are compared to theories from the literature.

Results – Project-based learning in real-world settings can increase engineering students’ technical knowledge and improve their technical skills as they solve complex problems or propose solutions to such problems. Such projects also strengthen students’ commitment, self-confidence, and self-esteem as well as promote co-operation and creativity. These are soft skills largely absent from traditional engineering education.  

Originality/value – This research offers a timely perspective on an issue of current interest in engineering education: student-led learning vs. teacher-led learning. The paper also provides two illustrative student-led projects that focus on sustainability and mobility. 

Practical implications – Innovative, student-led learning in the applied engineering curriculum can foster students’ soft skills in ways that teacher-led, lecture-style learning does not.

© 2022, Joakim Tell and Maya Hoveskog.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022. Vol. 23, no 8, p. 324-336
Keywords [en]
Sustainability, Mobility, Learning models, Soft skills, Engineering education, Student-led learning, Project-based learning
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Smart Cities and Communities, LeaDS - Learning in a Digitalised Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-48550DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-07-2022-0202ISI: 000892568400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85143206296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-48550DiVA, id: diva2:1707438
Available from: 2022-10-31 Created: 2022-10-31 Last updated: 2023-01-11Bibliographically approved

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