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Enhancing project work at higher education to support students’ acquisition of transferable skills
conference contributionposted on 2022-03-25, 08:58 authored by Chee Ming Ong
Transferable skills are increasingly important for students to be successful at the workplace, as they make the transition from university to work upon graduation (Breslow, 2015; Kantane, 2015, Kao, 2017, Rao, 2015) . One of the ways in which students can acquire these transferable skills at the university is through working in teams to complete a course-related project (Prince & Felder, 2006; Whatley, 2016). This paper explored students’ perspectives on team project work as a means to acquire transferable skills. A survey done with 98 engineering students at an applied university in Singapore indicated a balanced view of both technical and transferable skills as important and suggested that the processes involved in team project work did help them acquire a range of transferable skills. In addition, in the context of enhancing transferable skills, students have preference for projects that were real-world problems, and that formal consultations with instructors and clear assessment rubrics were aspects of team project work that were also valued. The findings were then discussed using the lens of Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation (Vroom, 1964) to derive guidance in the planning, delivery, and assessment of team project work to support students in their acquisition of transferable skills.