Ready to face the world?Lessons learnt from applying a Multi-Professional Shared Learning Test tofirst year Engineering and Science students at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

This paper presents the results of a project aimed to measure changes in attitudes and perception of science, engineering and architecture first year students about working in a professionally diverse environment. At the beginning of the Global Issues course of the autumn semester in 2014 all 1, 800 students were asked to complete two psychometric tests: The Readiness for Inter-professional Learning Scale (RIPLS) aims at measuring attitudes towards inter-professional learning (McFayden, AK, et al, 2005); and the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT) aiming to measure moral reasoning in engineering by responding to professional ethical dilemmas. Students were asked to repeat the task 13 weeks later after having followed lectures and completed the requested interdisciplinary group work (Holzer, A., Vonèche-Cardia, I., et al, 2016). A superficial analysis of the RIPLS scores shows an overall decreased positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work. A more detailed analysis suggest a paradox: While students agree that team work skills will make them better professionals they disagree on the benefit of practicing such skills before qualification. The paper will focus in discussing the reasons for such paradox looking into the timing of the testing (too early), students' disciplinary identity, and other potential reasons such as conflicts in schedules and difficulties in communication. Our results are taken as a clear sign of the need to keep in mind the ‘hidden curriculum’ in scientific and engineering education when tailoring the learning activities supporting interdisciplinary courses (Tormey, R, Le Duc, I, et al, 2015).


Presented at:
International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) Conference 2016 Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development, Cape Town, South Africa, November 22-25, 2016
Year:
2016
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 Record created 2016-12-21, last modified 2019-03-17

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