IMMERSION LEARNING FOR ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Groep T Leuven Engineering College (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:GROEP T – Leuven Engineering college is part of the KU Leuven Association. From next academic year on the engineering programs will be integrated in the new Faculty of Engineering Technology and will be of academic level. The Association of the University of Leuven is at the forefront of research and education in Flanders. Quality strategy is based on the ‘triangle of knowledge’: a close interaction between research, education and innovation.
The Faculty of Engineering Technology is bridging the gap between university and industry by turning results from fundamental research into innovative ideas as base for marketable applications.
Within this faculty GROEP T offers a two year path of the master program Industrial Sciences. The content of the official one-year program is supplemented with the Postgraduate Program in Entrepreneurial Engineering Experience of 60 ECTS. The core of the program is an Immersion Learning Experience (ILE). Immersion learning is defined as the learning that occurs as a result of immersion in a particular environment, in this case an ‘entrepreneurial environment’.
The ILE is sandwiched by both engineering courses in depth and broadening courses related to innovation, intellectual properties, entrepreneurship and related topics. The ILE is aiming to develop a range of well selected and validated set of competencies and is an ideal setting for personal development.
The ILE is profoundly student-centered. Coached by a professor and a mentor from the enterprise, students learn to establish contact with an 'entrepreneurial environment', to obtain commitment of all stakeholders, to set goals and deliverables of the innovation project. Their practical experience is complemented with two types of courses: engineering courses in depth and courses related to innovation and entrepreneurship. All learning activities are planned in a flexible and condensed way. A diversity of learning formats and evaluation systems is used. An electronic portfolio with blog allows to follow up the project continuously.
The presentation will focus on the experiences (SWOT-analysis) of GROUP T with ILE for engineering education.
Keywords: Immersion learning, engineering education.