STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Törlind, Peter; Eklöf, Lars
Institution: Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Section: Meeting 21st Century Challenges in Further and Higher Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.39
Personal and interpersonal skills are an essential part of design engineers’ knowledge and skills, which students rarely feel they work with in a structured way during their education. To improve soft skills, the ideas on developing students’ personal and interpersonal skills were implemented in design-implement experience, a 15 ECTS third-year capstone project for bachelor students. Parallel to the design project, students had to identify personal or interpersonal skills that they wanted to develop during the course. Personal development was done in several stages: Identification of personal challenges, discussion of individual challenges in group meetings, creating a development plan, personal coach meetings, and a final reflection The results of this paper are based on teachers notes, written documentation and course evaluations. In the analysis, development areas were categorised using the CDIO Syllabus 2.0, where 59% was classified as Personal skills and 40% related to Interpersonal skills. The perseverance subset was the most common one identified. Other areas included lack of self-confidence, conflict mediation, creating a constructive dialogue between team members and time and resource management. Using this approach for three years and analysing the implementation, we can conclude that it has improved students’ personal and interpersonal skills. The results also highlight that students like to be challenged to change their professional conduct.