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New trends in final degree projects and project based learning: towards the integration of research into the marine engineers formation
Vervoort, M.; Noteboom, J.; Maes, W.; Cools, T. (2011). New trends in final degree projects and project based learning: towards the integration of research into the marine engineers formation, in: Gómez Chova, L. et al. EDULEARN11 Proceedings. 3rd international conference on education and new learning technologies, Barcelona, Spain, 4th - 6th July, 2011. pp. 2578-2586
In: Gómez Chova, L. et al. (2011). EDULEARN11 Proceedings. 3rd international conference on education and new learning technologies, Barcelona, Spain, 4th - 6th July, 2011. IATED: [s.l.]. ISBN 978-84-615-0441-1. , more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Integration research-education; (marine) engineers; technology; Researchand; Development and Innovation projects; Project Based Learning; FinalDegree Projects

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Abstract
    The scope of the paper is the presentation of new trends in Final Degree Projects (FDPs) in the marine engineers division at the Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA) in Belgium. Also the use of Project Based Learning (PBL) for the education of marine engineers and the benefit of implementing scientific research into education is shown [1], [ 2]. This education will result in the graduate degree of the `professional bachelor in marine engineering'. Our educational project is to enable marine engineering students to integrate technical knowledge encompassing social skills ( teamwork, cooperation, planning, decision making, problem-solving abilities, communication skills.). This model is based on the deployment of a project-based cooperative learning approach across the curriculum (2nd and 3rd year). At Antwerp Maritime Academy ( AMA), the PBL and FDPs are illustrated by projects since 2007 like the project `Condition Monitoring and Preventive Maintenance of ( ship) Engines ( 2007-2010)', the projects `Frisian Solar Challenge ( FSC) ( 2008, 2010, 2012)', and the project `DOSC ( Dutch Open Solarboat Challenge) 2011'. During their study the students deal with different teamwork-related issues as, leadership, team capabilities, common purpose, team norms, communication, conflicts, team operating procedures, member integration. These activities are distributed across the curricula, considering a long-term deployment. The training in non-technical capabilities helps our students to set the pattern to become successful life-long learners. Student's main objections to the project-based cooperative learning approach were the excessive time devoted to the project and they demand more effort in supervising. We realize that, as students are not used to this kind of teaching, at the beginning of the project more continuous help and guidance is needed than in traditional teaching methodologies. Preliminary results show that undergraduate students are involved, enhance understanding, improve retention, become proficient in problem solving, self-directed learning, build decision criteria and team participation ( cooperate rather than compete). The interrelationship between education and ( practical) research and its specific application to engineering are an interesting example for all participants, especially for those who want to obtain a deeper understanding of how innovation can be nurtured by education that is in itself supported, cultivated and strengthened by ( practically-based) scientific research.

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