Planting the seeds of future mechanical design engineers - Learning skills

Hamburg University of Technology
  • Fundamental learning skills
  • Learning strategies
  • Mechanical engineering education
  • Study groups
  • Tutorials for efficient studies
  • 600: Technik
  • The learning process of students in mechanical engineering is accompanied with various challenges. A gap in students’ fundamental learning abilities, such as learning competences and self-organisation skills is revealed. These fundamental lacks impact the students’ performance in engineering design lectures as well. One example is that students have difficulties in searching for and extracting useful knowledge for design tasks on their own from literature. This paper introduces and evaluates a model consisting of three pillars, each of them representing processes performed to contribute to the development of students’ fundamental learning skills. The first pillar, being a kick-off, is a study group connection platform during which students have the opportunity to find adequate study partners and form study groups. Individuals and groups can then participate in subsequent offers. The second pillar refers to learning tutorials during which students have the possibility to learn and try out learning strategies. Reflection about the personal learning behaviour is a core element of these learning tutorials. These should ultimately help students develop and deepen their learning capabilities to be able to cope with any exam and organise themselves efficiently. The third pillar serves the purpose of linking the general learning strategies to specific subjects to be studied, such as engineering design courses. The fundamental learning abilities are not only considered to be essential for successful studies, but also regarded as beneficial for professional life. Recommendations for future engineering design education will be outlined.
TUHH Open Research

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