Strengthening Content with Context: Experience with Alternative Ways of Learning



As the social, political, economical and technical transformations of our world uncover limitations of traditional lecture-based higher education, there is a rising interest in ways of learning that break away from the delivery of information paradigm towards knowledge creation approaches capable of fostering self-learning, responsibility, relational skills, communication, activity and team work. This search lets us revisit approaches that were being used in more specific contexts but that now fit the requirements of a broader reality. Learning contracts and portfolios are two such examples. We report on the use we have made of these learning instruments over the past four years, across dissimilar courses: two B.Sc. and one M.Sc. ' one on advanced IT, another on management, and another that was research-oriented. Different numbers of students were involved in each course, and we have achieved different levels of success. We provide insights from our experience and discuss merits and problems of applying these approaches, persuaded that readers wishing to venture into these avenues may share the rewards and avoid the pitfalls.


Education & Learning


International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE), July 2006

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