Title: Stewardship: engineering students' team responsibilities in problem-based projects

Authors: Marietjie Havenga

Addresses: School of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract: The purpose of the research reported here was to explore how engineering students could develop stewardship in teams when working on problem-based projects. Stewardship relates to a shared sense of ongoing responsibility and taking care of or managing something. Integrated in stewardship is the active participation in decision-making and problem solving, and this may strengthen students' responsibility in teams. Undergraduate engineering students need to work in teams as a reflection of professional development. Accordingly, teaching-learning approaches should mirror skills development for responsible learning, such as the development of joint projects. Developing problem-based projects in teams could be a catalyst for taking up stewardship. A qualitative research method was used in this study. Participants comprised of 380 first-year engineering students at a South African university. Data collection involved students' written narratives and project feedback sheets. The data were analysed and coded manually. Thematic ideas were mainly based on the literature to guide the analysis process. Qualitative results showed that the engineering students' development of problem-based projects provided an expanded array of learning experiences, certain responsibilities and skill development involved in stewardship.

Keywords: engineering education; problem-based projects; responsibilities; stewardship; teams.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2018.098075

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2018 Vol.28 No.3/4, pp.337 - 349

Received: 07 Oct 2017
Accepted: 28 Jun 2018

Published online: 01 Mar 2019 *

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