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Student Based Learning In A Multicultural Environment

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1125.1 - 9.1125.9



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Paper Authors

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Arvid Andersen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3160


Arvid Andersen

Department of Export Engineering, Copenhagen University College of Engineering, Denmark


Considerations of student based teaching and learning programmes must inevitably concentrate on the two questions of fundamental importance to the student, namely who is responsible for your learning and who owns your time? In discussions with colleagues at engineering conferences about the learning and teaching methods used on the European Project Semester (EPS) and when explanations are given of the concept on which it is based, in attempting to achieve the maximum involvement of the individual student, the same question is asked again and again; how did you manage to do it? The answer is fairly simple: Don’t overfill syllabuses. Most learning programmes fill the subjects with too much information, they continually add to the contents but never seem to take anything out of the course description. The result is well known: Factually overloaded students and frustrated lecturers and professors. They simply cannot cope with this situation any longer. It is necessary to move away from the situation where the professor dispenses wisdom in the classroom in front of the students and they absorb it. This is no longer appropriate as the main concept of teaching. Many years ago the EPS course team realized that to break down traditions and to move away from formally taught courses is difficult; but it must be done in order to be able to cope with the fast growing field of new technology.


The paper reports our experience gained from the learning and teaching methods used on this international teamwork semester known as EPS. This 17 weeks semester programme is about group project work performed by interdisciplinary and internationally mixed teams of 4-6 students. EPS emphasizes the development of technical as well as personal competences to meet identified needs of society, industry, university and students. On this course participants are given the opportunity to use their acquired knowledge to develop a deeper understanding of technical subjects and integrate them through international teamwork in an integrated engineering context. All participants have completed at least four academic semesters at university or college in engineering, business or technology. The course structure is short intensive and project supportive subjects in 16% of time and team-based project work in 84% of time. During the first two weeks of the semester short intensive and project supportive courses are taught1. All projects stand in the real world and are provided by industry. They are located in the technical engineering areas with supportive wide-range activities including marketing and business elements2. Further, the paper provides information relating to the assessment methods used to assure and control the quality of the learning programme. Our experience shows that an instruction that actively involves students

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering”

Andersen, A. (2004, June), Student Based Learning In A Multicultural Environment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13893

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015