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ICED 11
Papers

Increasing student confidence and motivation in a project-based Machine Construction and Mechatronics course

Increasing student confidence and motivation in a project-based Machine Construction and Mechatronics course

Year: 2016

Section: Educational Perspectives

Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas

Author: Slĺttsveen, Kristoffer Bjřrnerud; Steinert, Martin; Aasland, Knut Einar

Series: NordDESIGN

Institution: NTNU, Norway

Section: Educational Perspectives

Pages: 178-187

ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3

Abstract

This paper describes an exercise project implemented in a 7th semester mechatronics course for mechanical engineers. Its intention is to teach technical know-how, theoretical understanding, practical experience and to increase confidence in the students. This is achieved by encouraging exploration, practical work and to let the students’ experience achievement in a new subject early in the semester. The project spanned over 4 four weeks and the task was to build an Arduino based robot that reacts on input from minimum two sensors.

Previous years‘ exercise routine has been a teacher driven activity that left little creative freedom for the students. However, by adopting ideas from both project-based learning (PBL) and design thinking (DT) the focus has changed. Creative confidence or creative self-efficacy is one of the most important aspects for the students to develop, along with a good understanding of the theory. As an experiment, we incorporated these elements in the exercise routine of the course. The intent was to increase the students’ confidence in the theoretical elements of the course and in their abilities to solve relevant problems.

There were 71 students in the course with a gender distribution of 59 male and 12 female. Measurements were done using a questionnaire (n=43) answered just after the project was finished, 36 male and 7 female. The results presented in this paper are based on dichotomous items from the questionnaire. The descriptive results show an increase of motivation for learning mechatronics (88.4%), increased confidence in translating theory to practice (79.1%) and high satisfaction on individual performance in the project (82.9%). This indicates that the project was successful. The complete dataset and the exercise project is discussed further in the full paper.

Keywords: Engineering education, mechatronics education, confidence, motivation

ds conferenceNEW DATE: NordDesign 2016, 10th - 12th August 2016, Trondheim, Norway.

NEW DATE: NordDesign 2016, 10th - 12th August 2016, Trondheim, Norway.Welcome to NordDesign 2016. We are pleased to announce that NordDesign 2016 will be hosted in the beautiful city of Trondheim on 10th-12th August 2016. The conference will take place at NTNU and is organised by the Department of Product Development and Materials in collaboration with the Department of Product Design. We are calling for evidence based academic work on topical issues on design, development and innovation that strengthens both our theoretical understanding and the connection between...

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Enhancing a Nordic approach to product development in industry, education and research...

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SIG Workshop - March 2013