STUDENTS PREPAREDNESS TOWARDS WRITING A BACHELOR THESIS; A SURVEY-BASED INVESTIGATION
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Heimdal, Anette (1); Svennevig, Paul (1); Norheim, Thomas (2)
Institution: 1: University of Agder, Norway; 2: Dagfin Skaar AS
Section: Educating Designers and Engineers for a Sustainable Future in Design and Engineering Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.76
This paper investigates how the students perceive their preparedness when they start writing their bachelor thesis. Students at the University of Agder (UiA) will, in their first semester, receive lectures in ethics, academic writing and referencing to equip them for future writing, mostly academic reports. In the Civil Engineering Department, an IMRAD report template is used during their bachelor thesis. The Civil Engineering Department also requires lecturers to use variations of the same template for every report to prepare the students for their bachelor thesis. National Guidelines for engineering studies require students to have general competencies in environmental, social, health-related, and financial consequences around their work in Civil Engineering and put this into an ethical and life cycle perspective. Hence, this paper investigates if the students meet these requirements. In January and February, the students will attend a workshop and follow a course called ‘TFL200 – system course for engineers’. The workshop will give the students a recap in academic writing, referencing, the writing process, project management, and how the template is structured, explaining the template's different parts. TFL200 covers ethics, systems theory, innovation and LCA, sustainability, and academic writing. In the spring semester, two surveys will be sent out to third-year bachelor students in Civil Engineering writing their bachelor thesis. The first survey will be sent out at the beginning of January before the students start their course and workshop. This survey will investigate to which degree the students feel prepared, motivated, and ready to write their bachelor thesis. The second survey will be conducted in late February to evaluate the effects of TFL200 regarding the bachelor project and the workshop, measuring the student's current preparedness, motivation, and to which degree the students feel competent.