The University of Technical Education of Ho Chi Minh City (UTE) hosted a faculty workshop on June 27, where faculty worked together to create a new course for incoming freshmen. The first-year course, called Introduction to Engineering, will provide students with career orientation, soft skill training and engineering ethics training in order to help them adapt to the college environment and move forward on the way to becoming engineers.
Workshop participants included the leader of the workshop organizing committee, UTE’s Assistant Professor Dr. Do Van Dung, along with Dr. Hoa Nguyen, HEEAP Country Manager, Khoi Le Van, HEEAP Country Director, Dr. Ha Anh Tung from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) and other UTE faculty.
During the workshop, participants gave presentations and discussed teaching experiences and problems related to students’ first year at college. Topics included important skills training, how to encourage innovative thinking, basic knowledge necessary for students to achieve learning goals, and new and effective teaching methods for skill building, such as group work and problem resolution.
“Since 2012, UTE has deployed a new 150-credit training program with the CDIO approach (Conceive – Design – Implement – Operate). One of the most important parts in this program is the Introduction to Engineering course. This course gives our students the idea of what engineering is, information related to their majors, career opportunities and foreign languages as well as soft skills, like presenting, working in groups, problem solving and especially motivation to learn, which leads to self-planning, and self-orientation for the future,” said Vo Xuan Tien from UTE’s Department of Machinery Mechanics.
During his presentation, Tien talked about active learning techniques, bringing joy to the classroom, and arranging the class to avoid affecting other classes, since introductory courses like this can be very noisy. Another participant, Dr. Vo Viet Cuong, raised the issue of large class sizes, and the audience agreed to try for class sizes of 50.
At the end of the workshop, participants broke into groups to brainstorm ideas to build a completed Introduction to Engineering course, and how to make it effective at the highest level as a part of the 150-credit training program. Issues discussed included important topics to cover, possible industry field trips, development of English skills for first year students, and how to grade these introductory courses.
“Since 2010, we have been trying to create introduction courses. HEEAP was a great leverage that came to us at the right time to implement the changes,” Dr. Nguyen Tien Dzung, head of the training department said.
1.Participant groups discuss how to build a completed Introduction to Engineering course
2. Assistant Professor Dr. Do Van Dung gives a speech at the workshop
3.Dr. Nguyen Ba Hai presents Multimedia in Active Teaching: Introduction to Automotive Engineering
4. Workshop participants Mr. Khoi Le Van, Dr. Hoa Nguyen, and Dr. Ha Anh Tung
Introductory Discipline - Dang Truong Son
Activities and Competitions
Introduction to Engineering: The Feel of Teaching - Ha Anh Tung, HCMUT Mechanical Department