Disciplinary differences and implications for the development of generic skills: a study of engineering and business students’ perceptions of generic skills

Cecilia K.Y. Chan*, Emily T.Y. Fong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although previous research has examined how generic skills and disciplinary contexts are related, such investigation has not been conducted from students’ perspectives. Implications of disciplinary differences for the design of a generic skills curriculum have also remained unexplored. In this study, a questionnaire was administered to 502 first-year engineering and business students from a Hong Kong university which explored their perceived importance and competence level of their generic skills, as well as their motivation towards developing these skills. The results of engineering and business students were compared which revealed some disciplinary differences. Substantial differences were found in the importance and competency ratings on IT skills and business students gave significantly higher importance ratings on most generic skills than engineering students. This study will help guide curriculum design that leverages the benefits of interdisciplinary programmes and incorporates generic skills as part of learning outcomes within disciplinary contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-949
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

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