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The book focuses on teaching knowledge and principles (Higher Education) regarding professional practice of engineering (life and lifelong learning). It covers recent developments in engineering education. This book comprises the select proceedings of the conference organised by the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education. This book goes beyond the examination of the economic, culture, and social factors, which influence the education of engineers in different higher education institutions, and encompasses critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation. These are essential components of engineering education. The contents of this book are useful to researchers and professionals engaged in the re-engineering of engineering education.



International Cooperation for Remote Laboratory Use

Experimenting is fundamental to the training process of all scientists and engineers. While experiments have been traditionally done inside laboratories, the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies added two alternatives accessible anytime, anywhere. These two alternatives are known as virtual and remote laboratories and are sometimes indistinguishably referred as online laboratories. Similarly to other instructional technologies, virtual and remote laboratories require some effort from teachers in integrating them into curricula, taking into consideration several factors that affect their adoption (i.e., cost) and their educational effectiveness (i.e., benefit). This chapter analyzes these two dimensions and sustains the case where only through international cooperation it is possible to serve the large number of teachers and students involved in engineering education. It presents an example in the area of electrical and electronics engineering, based on a remote laboratory named Virtual Instruments System in Reality, and it then describes how a number of European and Latin American institutions have been cooperating under the scope of an Erasmus+ project, for spreading its use in Brazil and Argentina.
Gustavo R. Alves, André V. Fidalgo, Maria A. Marques, Maria C. Viegas, Manuel C. Felgueiras, Ricardo J. Costa, Natércia Lima, Manuel Castro, Gabriel Díaz-Orueta, Elio SanCristóbal-Ruiz, Felix García-Loro, Javier García-Zubía, Unai Hernández-Jayo, Wlodek J. Kulesza, Ingvar Gustavsson, Kristian Nilsson, Johan Zackrisson, Andreas Pester, Danilo G. Zutin, Luis C. Schlichting, Golberi Ferreira, Daniel D. de Bona, Fernando S. Pacheco, Juarez B. da Silva, João B. Alves, Simone Biléssimo, Ana M. Pavani, Delberis A. Lima, Guilherme Temporão, Susana Marchisio, Sonia B. Concari, Federico Lerro, Gaston S. de Arregui, Claudio Merendino, Miguel Plano, Rubén A. Fernández, Héctor R. Paz, Mario F. Soria, Mario J. Gómez, Nival N. de Almeida, Vanderli F. de Oliveira, María I. Pozzo, Elsa Dobboletta, Brenda Bertramo

Mature Learners’ Participation in Higher Education and Flexible Learning Pathways: Lessons Learned from an Exploratory Experimental Research

Higher education institutions play an important role in promoting equity and access conditions to mature learners. Such role includes the ethical commitment to facilitate learning processes, removing barriers to mature learners’ entry and persistence in higher education. This paper describes the implementation of flexible learning pathways in a technology and industrial management graduate course designed for mature learners. Findings confirm that mature learners welcome flexible learning pathways and choose the pathways that better suit their needs. Despite initial academic background differences, success rates are adequate and similar for different learning pathways, showing that mature learners are capable of bridging the gaps in their academic development. Findings also show that doubts related to the impact of some learning pathways on students’ academic integration are unfounded. Considering the positive results, it is concluded that flexible learning pathways, together with the widening of entry routes to higher education, promote equity and access conditions to mature learners.
Rogério Duarte, Ana Luísa de Oliveira Pires, Ângela Lacerda Nobre

The Flow of Knowledge and Level of Satisfaction in Engineering Courses Based on Students’ Perceptions

In this chapter, the results of a questionnaire are analyzed to assess engineering students’ satisfaction toward their courses, working conditions, and academic environment, as well as the flow of knowledge perception along the first three curricular years. With a sample of 654 students from four higher education institutions and two countries, the study focused in eleven items, concerning teachers’ involvement perception, student–teacher interaction, course organization, and functioning, and overall satisfaction. Several research hypotheses were considered, and significant correlations were investigated. Results show that students, in average, are satisfied with the course and with student–teacher interaction, but perceive that teachers do not contextualize the contents in a professional perspective. The flow of knowledge is neither clearly understood. Two positive significant correlations exist between: students’ overall satisfaction and their expectations; the way students assess their interaction with teachers and the way they assess teachers’ involvement. No significant differences were found between the two countries.
Celina P. Leão, Filomena Soares, Anabela Guedes, M. Teresa Sena Esteves, Gustavo R. Alves, Isabel M. Brás Pereira, Romeu Hausmann, Clovis António Petry

Innovative Methodologies to Teach Materials and Manufacturing Processes in Mechanical Engineering

This chapter discusses some methodologies implemented in teaching materials and manufacturing processes at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, of Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Portugal, that aim to keep mechanical engineering students motivated and strongly enrolled in classes. Practical classes are structured around experimental works where students have the opportunity to design and perform different experiments, do research using databases, training presentations, do technical reports and posters, and visits to industrial companies. Although the experimental works are very demanding and time consuming, they are extremely appreciated by the students, leading to great motivation for learning and an uncommon enrolment in the curricular units. This chapter presents the methodologies adopted in teaching metallic and non-metallic materials, considering international criteria for engineering students, and learning outcomes and competences. Finally, different cases studies of implementation of this project based learning methodology are presented. These classes contribute to acquire solid technical knowledge and simultaneously, development of soft skills that are extremely important and appreciated by the companies.
J. Lino Alves, Teresa P. Duarte, A. T. Marques

“Learning by Doing” Integrated Project Design in a Master Program on Product and Industrial Design

The Master in Product and Industrial Design (MDIP) of the University of Porto, hosted by the Faculty of Fine Arts (FBAUP) and the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP), has in its genetic code the project-based learning model. Giving the students a design studio scenario, the curriculum is developed under the integrated project design thinking, taking advantage of the knowledge provided by the two scientific areas. In a straight connection with the industry, the projects are developed in a real context, for real clients thus simulating all the tasks and stages undertaken in a design company. At the end of each exercise, the best students’ concepts are developed together with the industry in response to the market need, which is a job experience opportunity in the partner company. This “formula” has been a key factor for the success of both the course and the students’ career. They have the opportunity to see their project executed and implemented in the market, as well as the chance for a job opportunity in their future. In this chapter, the methodology is presented followed by the course and one example of these projects: the development of school furniture and technologies for an education company, Nautilus; this project entailed the development of a low-cost stackable and evolutionary school chair for children between 6 and 10 years old.
Ângela Gomes, Bárbara Rangel, Vitor Carneiro, Jorge Lino

The Views of Engineering Students on Creativity

Creativity plays a growing role in education, from elementary school to higher education. Nowadays, both employers and universities develop research and are committed to the development of the twenty-first-century interpersonal, applied skills—creativity included—foreseen as fundamental to all professionals, engineers added. Generally, engineering degrees focus on the content of their scientific areas. In some higher education degrees, creativity still plays a small role. In order to reinforce the importance of creativity in the engineering degrees in a Portuguese northeastern university, it was pertinent to study the conceptions of engineering students about creativity. This study presents the conceptions of creativity of the first-year students of higher education, in the engineering area in two school years. The answers of 128 first-year students from two academic years (61 from 2014/15 and 67 from 2016/17) and four different degrees to the open question—“What is creativity?” were analyzed. It was a mixed study, qualitative to deepen students’ conceptions and quantitative to study some proportions differences and variables crossing. The results show low personal involvement even in the use of the first person plural in either school year, although the students’ most used sentence was “for me.” In both academic years, students’ definitions mentioned more the creation of the implicit category in the content analysis. The words “new” and “way” were common to all the word clouds produced, and creativity and innovation appear somehow connected. In general, proportion differences were not statistically significant and degree crossed with categories showed no dependency.
Paula Catarino, Maria M. Nascimento, Eva Morais, Paulo Vasco, Helena Campos, Helena Silva, Rita Payan-Carreira, M. João Monteiro
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