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Surface approachers question their education
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. (TEL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4221-7326
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. (TEL)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5626-1187
2015 (English)In: 43rd Annual SEFI Conference, June 29 - July 2, 2015, Orléans, France, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For the last ten years, out of a total of 1500 students who were admitted to the five- year Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Science (CS) at KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, only 20% graduated within the nominal study period + 1 year. Even though retention is low, employability is high: for 97% of the graduated students the education have lead to employment and 87% got employed already before graduation, which is a reason for the low retention.

In this study we investigated if students’ approaches to learning in their penultimate semester of a master program in computer science engineering can be associated with their study results. The focus of the study can be concluded in the research question; whether students who graduate in time differ from their peers in terms of approaches to learning, study results or how useful they perceive skills learned during their education. For students’ approaches we used the short version of Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST). For study results we used both finished Master’s thesis, and graduation diploma. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2015.
Keyword [en]
Approaches to learning, Computer science engineering education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186128Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84968736395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-186128DiVA: diva2:925579
Conference
SEFI 2015 Annual Conference
Note

QC 20160512

Available from: 2016-05-02 Created: 2016-05-02 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Do excellent engineers approach their studies strategically?: A quantitative study of students' approaches to learning in computer science education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do excellent engineers approach their studies strategically?: A quantitative study of students' approaches to learning in computer science education
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about students’ approaches to learning (SAL) in computer science education. Since the initial development of SAL instruments and inventories in the 70’s, they have been used as a means to understand students’ approaches to learning better, as well as to measure and predict academic achievement (such as retention, grades and credits taken) and other correlating factors. It is an instrument to measure a student’s study strategies – not how “good” a student is.

A Swedish short version of Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) was used to gather information on whether we, through context and content, encouraged sustainable study behaviour among our students. ASSIST was used in two distinct situations: 1) Evaluation and evolvement of an online programming course design, and 2) Engineering education in media technology and computer science in a campus environment where approaches to learning has been evaluated and studied over time during the five year long programmes. Repeated measurements have been analysed against factors predicting academic achievement, and have been evaluated on a cohort level (not individual) in order to clarify patterns rather than individual characteristics.

Significant for both projects was that a surface approach to learning correlated negatively with retention. Students who adopted a combination of deep and strategic approach to learning performed better in terms of grades, ECTS credits completed and perceived value of the education. As part of developmental tools it can be beneficial to use ASSIST at a group level in order to see what kind of approach a course design or a programme supports among the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 26
Keyword
Approaches to learning, computer science engineering education, Computing education research, online learning
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194208 (URN)978-91-7729-156-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-18, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20161028

Available from: 2016-10-28 Created: 2016-10-19 Last updated: 2016-11-01Bibliographically approved

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