Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Digital Competences in a PBL Environment

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With the rapid digital transformation in industry and society, further accelerated by emerging technologies, digital literacy as a set of digital competences is quickly becoming essential for the 21st century engineer and engineering student alike. Thus, different strategies are currently being applied in curriculum development
and teaching practices to integrate digital competency in formal engineering education curricula. However, few studies take point of departure in students’ perceptions of digital competences, its relation to their learning experiences and environment as well as their future perspectives and expectations towards what
digital competences are required within their profession. This extended abstract presents an approach to understand, verbalize, and categorize digital competence within a systemic PBL environment and explores engineering student current perceptions of the digital competences they believe they develop within this
learning environment. Based on empirical data collected through a series of workshops centered around digital practices supporting PBL project work, we synthesize and analyze general trends, potentials and challenges based on students written accounts of their digital user, creator, and reflective competences in relation to their general academic, PBL and discipline-specific practices. Findings show an overall predominance of accounts that relate to skills rather than competences as well as a general absence of contextualization across competence types, indicating that it may be difficult for students to articulate and reflect upon their digital competences in general. Finally, students do not substantially relate their digital creator competences to aspects outside of their respective disciplines. We conclude that formal learning outcomes related to digital competences are indeed needed, but that these should be supported by systematic reflective practices that support engineering students in developing and externalizing both transversal and discipline-specific digital competences.
TitelProceedings of the 9th International Research Symposium on PBL (IRSPBL2023) : Tranforming Engineering Education
RedaktørerAida Guerra, Juebei Chen, Rea Lavi, Lykke Brogaard Bertel, Euan Lindsay
Antal sider6
ForlagAalborg Universitetsforlag
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-7573-023-0
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedInternational Research Symposium on PBL: Transforming Engineering Education - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Varighed: 21 jun. 202323 jun. 2023
Konferencens nummer: 9


KonferenceInternational Research Symposium on PBL
LokationMassachusetts Institute of Technology
NavnInternational Research Symposium on PBL


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