HEEAP Faculty Applying Soft Skills in Teaching

Engineering students learned more than just science during the 2011-2012 school year at Ho Chi Minh Vocational College of Technology (HVCT). As part of a HEEAP project entitled “Applying Soft Skills in Vocational Training Programs to Develop Students with Active Skills at HVCT,” students majoring in industrial electronics, mechatronics and mechanical engineering completed soft skills training that covered skills such as communication, creativity, presentation and teamwork.

In addition to soft skills training, HVCT students learned to apply those skills in professional courses with active learning in a dynamic and compatible setting. According to professors and students at HVCT, the project went well, with both teachers and students eager to actively participate in the courses.

When asked what they like most about the courses, students said they enjoyed the chance to practice and discuss freely with others, as well as to correct their mistakes. They also reported satisfaction with the professors, who they said worked effectively and helped them to better understand concepts. Students said that after the courses, they know more about life, have more time to practice skills and feel more confident about creating their own products.

However, students also reported a few points to be improved upon in future courses. Students said that teamwork portions of the class took too much time and that students who didn’t take learning seriously affected the rest of the class.

Overall, the HEEAP project was carried out effectively, with enthusiastic support from the school, students, and professors. Students came away feeling prepared to graduate, with professional knowledge about the soft skills necessary to successfully enter the engineering workforce.

Story by Alex Gregory