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J. Mendonça 1, C. Pinto 2, L. Babo 3

1Polytechnic of Porto, School of Engineering (PORTUGAL)
2Polytechnic of Porto, School of Engineering / University of Porto, Centre for Mathematics (PORTUGAL)
3Polytechnic of Porto, ISCAP and CEOS.PP (PORTUGAL)
Engineering education’s main goal is to provide learners with the technical knowledge and skills needed to solve real problems in engineering practice. Critical thinking is one of the most important non-technical skills, essential to solving complex problems emerging in today’s ever-changing world. In Industry 5.0 will be increased collaboration between humans and smart systems taking advantage of the high-speed accuracy of industrial automation and the cognitive, critical thinking skills of humans.

Higher education should give greater importance to teaching methods because it is recognized that engineering graduates are mastered in technical skills, but unfortunately, they are lack in non-technical skills such as critical thinking.

The application of Active-learning (AL) techniques such as eduScrum, Think-Pair-Share or Jigsaw it is one of the keys which opens the door of critical thinking.

The purpose of this paper is to understand students’ awareness of their critical thinking skills. Furthermore, we intended to analyze if the application of AL techniques was recognized as a contribution to the development of the ability to solve problems, to develop innovative problem solutions, to relate different areas of knowledge and to make decisions analyzing different solutions.

A questionnaire was applied to 47 students' second-year Baccalaureate Level Engineering regarding their feeling about the aforementioned abilities. We found high levels of self-confidence regarding students’ critical thinking skills.