Journal article

Tackling Engineering Education Research Challenges: Web 2.0 Social Software for Personal Learning

This paper focuses on Engineering Education Research on Technology Enhanced Learning carried out at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and on its current focus on personal and collaborative learning. After some thoughts on the distinctive nature of Engineering Education Research, the interplay between engineering education practice and professional engineering practice is analyzed. In particular, it is demonstrated how the actual engineering practice of the faculty members influenced the acceptance and the success of new learning approaches and solutions. Finally, the impact on the current Web 2.0 paradigm is discussed and illustrated with the example of project-based collaborative learning activities supported by innovative social software that can be considered as a Personal Learning Environment. A vision of how to shape and exploit personal learning environments to tackle engineering education research challenges is also presented; this deals especially with the importance of user-driven recommendation mechanisms relying of proper trust models.

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