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Successful integration of informal learning in engineering education

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5 Author(s)
Grant, L. ; Coll. of Eng., Technol., & Archit., Univ. of Hartford, West Harford, CT, USA ; Abu-Aisheh, A. ; Hadad, A. ; Alnajjar, H.
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Research suggests that an emerging environment of ubiquitous information technology affords seamless movement between formal learning, informal learning, and the workplace. This paper reviews research data from one successful teaching and learning methodology that leverages seamless movements between informal and formal learning in engineering education. The research is an ongoing pilot study at the University of Hartford using data from selected technical mathematics and communication electronics courses. The research data suggests that clearly defined academic jurisdictions have a positive correlation with successful integration of formal learning, informal learning, and the workplace. However, themes from the data also suggest that crossing academic boundaries involves more than technology issues and could raise the specter of unintended social-dramas. One theme suggests that, in a seamless environment without clearly defined academic jurisdictions, opportunities for collaboration could be misinterpreted as encroachments. To mitigate issues of competing jurisdictional interests this study employs Learner Agent Objects (LAO) individual portfolios. LAO portfolios are collections of evidence-based artifacts representing a learner's academic experience that independently moves with the learner as data network nodes between jurisdictions in engineering education and the workplace.

Note: As originally published there was an error in this document due to a production issue: the last page is missing from the document originally submitted. A corrected replacement PDF has been supplied.  

Published in:

Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

17-20 April 2012