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Department of Planning

PhD defence by Kjell Staffas

Developing Requisite Motivation in Engineering Studies - A study on a Master and Bachelor Program in Electronic Engineering at Uppsala University


16.03.2017 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


This thesis is a result of a frustrated teacher at a larger research-intensive University. In almost ten years, teaching went from being a pure joy to disappointing and almost ridiculously demanding students in terms of what a teacher’s role in students’ learning process was.
Kjell Staffas was guided to other teaching methods and came, among others, in contact with PBL, Kolb’s experiential learning and other more student active learning methods. Although the students enjoyed the new approach of teaching, the results did not improve significantly and Kjell Staffas’ curiosity increased even more on how to help the students to learn what was necessary to pass the exam. Investigations have been focused on what motivated the students to work harder and know how and what to study to learn electronics that is expected to pass an abstract and quite mathematically demanding subject.

Summarizing, teaching in higher education has changed and other methods are needed, probably because the number of students have increased and because the general standard of the average student has dropped in western European countries (a trend shown in PISA tests and such) in terms of mathematical and science knowledge from secondary school, especially in Sweden.

The method this thesis presents is based on the revised taxonomy of Bloom and focus on students working with “real problems”, mainly with simulators instead of wasting time on boring and ineffective lectures. Furthermore, studies will focus on this kind of teaching in a larger scale and extensively analyze the concept “teacher” as an institution rather than merely a person that informs and explains how to understand and solve abstract problems.


Free of charge


Department of Planning


Skibbrogade 5, room C1/12

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