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International 2016 Materials Education Symposium

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Associative Dialog Techniques for Teaching Engineers in Large Classes

Dr Pavel Kasyanik | St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia

Associative Dialog Techniques for Teaching Engineers in Large Classes

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Requirements of developing the transferable personal skills in engineering education are included in accreditation schemes such as ABET or EUR-ACE. Challenges of modified curriculums and limited resources increase educators' interest not only in computer technologies but also in developing pedagogical techniques which will enable effective subject and soft skills learning, especially in large classes. Engineering students are expected to learn how to work in teams and obtain interpersonal, creative and critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, analytical decision-making skills to acquire competences of the "global engineer". Simple translation of the experience accumulated by society is no longer sufficient to prepare a successful engineer. In the place of the model of adaptive behavior comes the model of professional development, which focuses on the formation of general cultural competences of personal and professional growth. Suggested approach connected traditional didactical methods and the concept of the "Associative Dialogue in Changing Pairs" adopted at the lectures in large classes. The goal was to make students work in changing pairs providing the opportunity for each student to communicate with each student in the class on the basis of specially designed cards and texts. Organizing of meaningful dialogic interaction between the participants within the changing pairs allowed creating the most favorable conditions for the development of students' ability to work with information, communicate it to others and receive it, to find appropriate ways to communicate with different people, to solve technical problems and find new solutions in non-technical tasks. The obtained results have shown that all students have achieved good learning outcome and indicated significant differences in the level of formation of communicative competence between control and experimental groups. Experimentally proven techniques may be effectively used by the teachers in different educational programs (disciplines) after short training.