Colibri: An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems

Jens Myrup Pedersen, Sükrü Kuran, Jan Frick, Lea Mank

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Abstract

Colibri is a European project funded by Erasmus+, where seven universities, a governmental organisation and two enterprises work together and explore new and innovative approaches to teaching. As part of the project we offer a joint
course during the spring semester which was followed by 30 students in 2015. It contains both course and project activities.
In this paper we describe our experiences from the project work, from the initial formulation of the project problems by the companies, over the organisation of the seminars and virtual collaboration phase to the final exams.
The whole course was organised as follows: First there was a virtual kick-off meeting for all students and teachers. This was followed by a phase where students studied different modules online. Each student chooses an individual combination of modules that fits his/her background while also supporting the later project work. After the online modules, the students and teachers all meet physically for a week in Istanbul to finalize the modules and begin working on the real life Projects provided by the enterprises. Then there was a period of virtual collaboration in the groups followed by the final seminar in Riga where everyone (students, teachers, and company representatives) met to finalize the projects, prepare for presentations/exams, and conduct examinations.
Overall, the project was successful and received positive evaluations from the students, particularly regarding the international and interdisciplinary dimensions. On the other hand, we also learned how important it is to facilitate the collaboration, group work, and project planning during the first physical seminar. We found that it is both challenging and important to be very explicit about what exactly is expected from the students, as both students and supervisors have differing understandings of what a project is. Discussing the learning objectives with the students to obtain a common understanding can be a useful tool.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering
EditorsRui M. Lima, Erik de Graaff, Anabela Alves, Andromeda Menezes, Diana Mesquita, José Dinis-Carvalho, Lamjed Bettaieb, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Nelson Costa, Rui M. Sousa, Sandra Fernandes, Valquiria Villas-Boas
PublisherUniversity of Minho
Publication date2016
Pages259-268
ISBN (Print)978-989-20-6829-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education - Guimarães, Portugal
Duration: 6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016
Conference number: 8th
http://paee.dps.uminho.pt/

Conference

Conference8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education
Number8th
CountryPortugal
CityGuimarães
Period06/07/201608/07/2016
Internet address
SeriesInternational Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE)
ISSN2183-1378

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Blended Learning
experience
student
project planning
learning objective
group work
teacher
student teacher
semester
examination
university

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Pedersen, J. M., Kuran, S., Frick, J., & Mank, L. (2016). Colibri: An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems. In R. M. Lima, E. D. Graaff, A. Alves, A. Menezes, D. Mesquita, J. Dinis-Carvalho, L. Bettaieb, N. van Hattum-Janssen, N. Costa, R. M. Sousa, S. Fernandes, ... V. Villas-Boas (Eds.), Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering (pp. 259-268). University of Minho. International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE)
Pedersen, Jens Myrup ; Kuran, Sükrü ; Frick, Jan ; Mank, Lea. / Colibri : An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems. Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering. editor / Rui M. Lima ; Erik de Graaff ; Anabela Alves ; Andromeda Menezes ; Diana Mesquita ; José Dinis-Carvalho ; Lamjed Bettaieb ; Natascha van Hattum-Janssen ; Nelson Costa ; Rui M. Sousa ; Sandra Fernandes ; Valquiria Villas-Boas. University of Minho, 2016. pp. 259-268 (International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE)).
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abstract = "Colibri is a European project funded by Erasmus+, where seven universities, a governmental organisation and two enterprises work together and explore new and innovative approaches to teaching. As part of the project we offer a jointcourse during the spring semester which was followed by 30 students in 2015. It contains both course and project activities. In this paper we describe our experiences from the project work, from the initial formulation of the project problems by the companies, over the organisation of the seminars and virtual collaboration phase to the final exams.The whole course was organised as follows: First there was a virtual kick-off meeting for all students and teachers. This was followed by a phase where students studied different modules online. Each student chooses an individual combination of modules that fits his/her background while also supporting the later project work. After the online modules, the students and teachers all meet physically for a week in Istanbul to finalize the modules and begin working on the real life Projects provided by the enterprises. Then there was a period of virtual collaboration in the groups followed by the final seminar in Riga where everyone (students, teachers, and company representatives) met to finalize the projects, prepare for presentations/exams, and conduct examinations.Overall, the project was successful and received positive evaluations from the students, particularly regarding the international and interdisciplinary dimensions. On the other hand, we also learned how important it is to facilitate the collaboration, group work, and project planning during the first physical seminar. We found that it is both challenging and important to be very explicit about what exactly is expected from the students, as both students and supervisors have differing understandings of what a project is. Discussing the learning objectives with the students to obtain a common understanding can be a useful tool.",
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Pedersen, JM, Kuran, S, Frick, J & Mank, L 2016, Colibri: An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems. in RM Lima, ED Graaff, A Alves, A Menezes, D Mesquita, J Dinis-Carvalho, L Bettaieb, N van Hattum-Janssen, N Costa, R M. Sousa, S Fernandes & V Villas-Boas (eds), Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering. University of Minho, International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE), pp. 259-268, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education, Guimarães, Portugal, 06/07/2016.

Colibri : An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems. / Pedersen, Jens Myrup; Kuran, Sükrü; Frick, Jan; Mank, Lea.

Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering. ed. / Rui M. Lima; Erik de Graaff; Anabela Alves; Andromeda Menezes; Diana Mesquita; José Dinis-Carvalho; Lamjed Bettaieb; Natascha van Hattum-Janssen; Nelson Costa; Rui M. Sousa; Sandra Fernandes; Valquiria Villas-Boas. University of Minho, 2016. p. 259-268.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Colibri

T2 - An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems

AU - Pedersen, Jens Myrup

AU - Kuran, Sükrü

AU - Frick, Jan

AU - Mank, Lea

PY - 2016

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N2 - Colibri is a European project funded by Erasmus+, where seven universities, a governmental organisation and two enterprises work together and explore new and innovative approaches to teaching. As part of the project we offer a jointcourse during the spring semester which was followed by 30 students in 2015. It contains both course and project activities. In this paper we describe our experiences from the project work, from the initial formulation of the project problems by the companies, over the organisation of the seminars and virtual collaboration phase to the final exams.The whole course was organised as follows: First there was a virtual kick-off meeting for all students and teachers. This was followed by a phase where students studied different modules online. Each student chooses an individual combination of modules that fits his/her background while also supporting the later project work. After the online modules, the students and teachers all meet physically for a week in Istanbul to finalize the modules and begin working on the real life Projects provided by the enterprises. Then there was a period of virtual collaboration in the groups followed by the final seminar in Riga where everyone (students, teachers, and company representatives) met to finalize the projects, prepare for presentations/exams, and conduct examinations.Overall, the project was successful and received positive evaluations from the students, particularly regarding the international and interdisciplinary dimensions. On the other hand, we also learned how important it is to facilitate the collaboration, group work, and project planning during the first physical seminar. We found that it is both challenging and important to be very explicit about what exactly is expected from the students, as both students and supervisors have differing understandings of what a project is. Discussing the learning objectives with the students to obtain a common understanding can be a useful tool.

AB - Colibri is a European project funded by Erasmus+, where seven universities, a governmental organisation and two enterprises work together and explore new and innovative approaches to teaching. As part of the project we offer a jointcourse during the spring semester which was followed by 30 students in 2015. It contains both course and project activities. In this paper we describe our experiences from the project work, from the initial formulation of the project problems by the companies, over the organisation of the seminars and virtual collaboration phase to the final exams.The whole course was organised as follows: First there was a virtual kick-off meeting for all students and teachers. This was followed by a phase where students studied different modules online. Each student chooses an individual combination of modules that fits his/her background while also supporting the later project work. After the online modules, the students and teachers all meet physically for a week in Istanbul to finalize the modules and begin working on the real life Projects provided by the enterprises. Then there was a period of virtual collaboration in the groups followed by the final seminar in Riga where everyone (students, teachers, and company representatives) met to finalize the projects, prepare for presentations/exams, and conduct examinations.Overall, the project was successful and received positive evaluations from the students, particularly regarding the international and interdisciplinary dimensions. On the other hand, we also learned how important it is to facilitate the collaboration, group work, and project planning during the first physical seminar. We found that it is both challenging and important to be very explicit about what exactly is expected from the students, as both students and supervisors have differing understandings of what a project is. Discussing the learning objectives with the students to obtain a common understanding can be a useful tool.

UR - http://paee.dps.uminho.pt/

M3 - Article in proceeding

SN - 978-989-20-6829-9

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BT - Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering

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Pedersen JM, Kuran S, Frick J, Mank L. Colibri: An International Blended Learning Experience based on Real-World Problems. In Lima RM, Graaff ED, Alves A, Menezes A, Mesquita D, Dinis-Carvalho J, Bettaieb L, van Hattum-Janssen N, Costa N, M. Sousa R, Fernandes S, Villas-Boas V, editors, Proceedings of the PAEE/ALE’2016, 8th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering. University of Minho. 2016. p. 259-268. (International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education (PAEE)).