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Title: Emerging student-centred perspectives on work placement as a component of mechanical engineering technology education
Authors: Ngonda, Tiyamike 
Shaw, Corrinne 
Kloot, Bruce 
Keywords: Emerging student-centred perspectives;Work placement;Mechanical engineering technology education;Mechanical engineering students
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: SASEE Biennial Conference Organising Committee
Conference: Fourth Biennial Conference of the South African Society for Engineering Education 
Abstract: The paper reports on a qualitative study that explores how work placement experiences of mechanical engineering students affect perceptions of their own competency development. The study focuses on twelve information-rich cases. Data for the study was collected using semistructured interviews that were conducted with students at the end of their placement period. It was transcribed, coded and analysed. Resulting themes and categories were then compared with the core concepts of social cognitive theory. Seven distinct category themes were identified from the analysis: student work actions, organisational contextual factors, mentorship structure and quality, personal factors, social networks, competency development, and work tasks. Organisational culture emerged as a regulator of the triadic reciprocal causation of learning in the workplace. Two types of organisational culture were discovered in the study: rigid culture and affiliative culture, A rigid culture limits student access to both authentic tasks and appropriate mentoring. The reciprocal effect of students’ approach to work solicitation, personal agency and self-efficacy are of lesser strength in a rigid culture. The dominance of organisational culture falls away either when there is a formalised mentorship scheme or in an affiliative environment. It was found that in the latter culture, student approach to work allocation is a major influence on competency development.
ISBN: 978-0-620-76309-7
Appears in Collections:Eng - Conference Proceedings

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