Teaching Guideline for Work-Integrated E-Learning : Design Challenges of Online Courses in Production Technology

University essay from Högskolan Väst/Avd för informatik

Abstract: Due to the increasing requirements for continuous competence development in the manufacturing industry, workplace training and e-learning combined builds a new education platform. Such initiatives and educational models have increasingly been studied as work-integrated e-learning focusing on how organizations are trying to increasingly incorporate higher education at the work place, and how higher education can benefit from close cooperation with organizations. This thesis work investigate challenges among experienced higher education teachers who are going to design and implement course modules as a work-integrated e-learning initiative based on demands from several manufacturing industries in West Sweden. During the project, the required 20-40 course credits (ECTS) will be divided into smaller course modules, consisting of about 2-5 credits in order to meet demands of flexibility and time sensitiveness from participating manufacturing companies. As it is a cooperative project, the course modules could be tailored according to different requirements from the companies. The course modules are focusing on industrial automation, flexible and virtual automation, robotics, simulation based manufacturing, production systems and precision engineering among other fields within production technology. The research method is abduction with qualitative research, and the empirical data is collected through interviews. Through an abductive approach teachers subjective experiences were analyzed in accordance to how they expressed their challenges in relation to how to design courses with flexible pedagogical set ups, incorporating course content and what digital technology best matched these aspects. Based on these analyses, the design guideline was constructed in relation to the analysis and to previous research of collaborative learning and engineering education. The guideline for engineering teaching in production technology suggests a new pedagogical approach of work-integrated e-learning. The guideline is expected to help teachers to design and implement work-integrated e-learning course modules in the production technology field. As a result, the outcome of the guideline could contribute to the development of work-integrated e-learning as a more effective learning approach for competence development for engineering teachers

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