Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival
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Darwinism at work: College attitude change may provide college survival?. Trond Clausen, Telemark University College Porsgrunn, Norway 3 rd CeTUSS workshop: Cross-disciplinarity in Engineering Education Uppsala, Sweden, 5– 6 December, 2005. References.

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Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival

Darwinism at work: College attitude change may provide college survival?

Trond Clausen,

Telemark University College

Porsgrunn, Norway

3rd CeTUSS workshop: Cross-disciplinarity in Engineering Education

Uppsala, Sweden, 5– 6 December, 2005


References

References

  • [1] Clausen, T., Hagen, S.T., Hasleberg, H, and Aarnes, J.H.: Recruiting engineering students from vocational schools. Proc 7th UICEE Annual Conf. On Engn. Educ., Mumbai, India, 285-288 (2003) - background

  • [2] Clausen, T., Hagen, S.T., Hasleberg, H, and Aarnes, J.H.: Recruiting com-petence from vocational schools: Paradise Regained? Proc 6th UICEE Annual Conf. On Engn. Educ., Cairns, Australia, 199-202 (2004) - background

  • [3] Clausen, T.: Vocational School Interdisciplinarity as a Key to Success, Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Savannah, GA, USA (2004), http://fie.engrng.pitt.edu/fie2004/index.htm - background

  • [4] Hagen, S. T.: Evalueringsrapport 3, Y-VEI, Høgskolen i Telemark (Telemark University College – TUC), 3901 Porsgrunn, Norway (2005) – tables and graphs


Project background negative aspects

Project background – negative aspects

  • After the ”mid-nineties”: A dwindling student body, all engineering departments were affected

  • Electrical (power) engineering in particular suffered, resulting in the shut down of 8 of the country’s 11 power engineering departments. Three surviving departments exist in 1) Trondheim, 2) Bergen, and 3) Telemark (Porsgrunn)


Project background positive aspects

Project background – positive aspects

  • Since 1974 a law has required all secondary education programs to ”promote scientific way of thinking and way of working”. - This could open for ”new thinking”-experiments like the Telemark University College’s (TUC) pilot project on recruitment directly from vocational schools

  • Such ”new thinking” is heavily and jointly supported (politically, practically, economically) by the labor organization and employer’s federations, the Air Force, the Ministry of Education and the Parliament

  • Positive…? The TUC thinking is – as expected - heavily opposed by major university & college rectors and some professors claiming such thinking to represent a flattening of “the academic level” and quality of education


Conflicting views

Conflicting views

  • Traditional:The Academic Level in engineering is expressed by the student’s ability to solve particularly advanced equations in mathematics and engineering:

    The course content is the key

  • Alternative: At the bachelor level, the academic level is expressed by the selection, implementation, and documentation of learning processes:

    The professor role as an administrator of learning proces-ses is the key


Hand brain equivalency under the law

Hand & Brain Equivalency Under the Law

  • One law of training governs primary and secondary education in Norway. Its § 2 “Pur-pose” states that the school system shall … promote “..scientific way of thinking and way of working…”

  • Thus, this principle applies even to the voca-tional school, which is a part of the secondary education system


Equivalence changes

Equivalence/Changes

  • ”Ordinary” students have a broad, general background but are technically almost illiterate. Thus, their engineering programs must contain material which is already well known by vocationally trained students

  • ”Vocational” students are already technically literal (practical and theoretical) at the elementary level but need a program taking them broader and deeper into certain basics, such as sciences, including liberal arts, mathematics etc.


Ill defined quality criteria

Ill-defined quality criteria

  • “Quality” in higher education has recently been defined as (1) professor competency at the time of hiring, and (2) the number of students per professor rate

  • At TUC an educational research program has been designed to document, evaluate, and assess the pilot class


Pilot project quality assurance program

Pilot project quality assurance program

  • Scientific evaluation (international conferences on engineering education and articles in national and international professional journals)

  • External peer evaluation with respect to pedagogical and methodical aspects

  • The Project Board:

  • The TUC rector

  • The TUC-faculty project leader

  • 1 repr. from The Electrical Contractors Association of Norway (TELFO)

  • 1 repr. from The Federation of Norwegian Manufacturing Industries (TBL)

  • 1 repr. for The Norwegian Electricity Industry Association (EBL)

  • 1 repr. for The Air Force

  • 1 repr. for the Superintendent of Telemark primary and secondary schools


Evaluation and assessment

Evaluation and assessment

1. Evaluation

  • A continuous evaluation process, including tests, homework, laboratory exercises, projects etc. The final exam normally counts 30 – 60 %

    2. Assessment

  • ”Surprise tests” about two weeks after first semester start, given to the ”vocational” class and selected reference groups simultaneously

  • Specially designed final exams given each year to enable a rele-vant comparison of ”vocational” and ”traditional” student groups


Six tuc benefits better tuc economy and faculty joy not mentioned

Six TUC benefits(better TUC economy and faculty joy not mentioned)

  • Internal organization has created many project ”owners”

  • An internal environment of self evaluation and criticism has been established

  • An internal culture of scientifically controlled ”cut and try” culture appears to emerge

  • Channels for future cooperation TUC and regional secondary schools are opening up

  • Direct links between organizations, federations, regional businesses and TUC are reinforced

  • Hand and brain integration in technical education are about to be restored


Y vei number of applicants and factual number of students 2002 2005

Y-VEINumber of applicants and factual number of students 2002 - 2005


Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival

Average grades through three years of study1st pilot class students (2002 - 2005)A (best) – E: passing grades; F = “fail”


Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival

Average grades through the first two years of study2nd pilot class students (2003 - 2005) A (best) – E: passing grades; F = “fail”


Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival

Average grades through the first year of study3rd pilot class students (2004 - 2005) A (best) – E: passing grades; F = “fail”

Second year: 42 stud, but by now, no exams


Darwinism at work college attitude change may provide college survival

AnyQuestions?


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