master's degree programme, 2 years

(MSc in) Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety

– Experts in a Team

Objective: The intention of the interdisciplinary team project Experts in a Team (EiT) is to prepare the students for work life through training in utilizing their knowledge in an interdisciplinary team.

The students should work on a problem that preferably has its source from real life or the business world. Through the interdisciplinary project the students should gain skills that enable them to work together with people from different professional backgrounds and to ensure that they can function as a team. To achieve this knowledge they should gain:

  • Insight into their own expertise and what it can bring to the team effort
  • Insight into how their behaviour affects the group and how the group affects them
  • Skills to be able to solve an interdisciplinary problem

Prerequisites
Students must be qualified to apply for a masters program in the spring term of 2006.

Course Description
Through participation in the project the students are trained in how to:

  • Handle group processes so that professional integrity, creativity and interdisciplinary cooperation are ensured.
  • Utilize and develop their professional expertise in an interdisciplinary team setting.
  • Communicate across different disciplines.
  • Take responsibility for the planning and progress of the project.
  • Find and utilize relevant literature and academic counsellors.
  • Oral presentation of the project work.

The learning approach in EiT is based on experience in the sense that the learning takes place through the processes that manifests itself in each team. EiT is organized in "villages" (village = class) of up to 30 students; each "village" is divided in groups of approximately 5 students from different disciplines. The "village" is characterized by a broad interdisciplinary theme and often with a commission from an external party. Each group develops their own problem within the theme of the "village" and they are also responsible for the planning and the progress of the project work. The task of the leader of the "village" is to create an environment for the learning processes in the groups that will stimulate the students to reflect on the interdisciplinary cooperation and their own field of expertise. The students may seek guidance or help from any faculty member at the University or other professionals outside the University.

At the end of the semester the students have to hand in two reports; one process report, a project report and a possible product. The project report should contain how the students solved problem and how the product materialized. The process report should deal with how the team cooperated when they tried to solve the problem, and they should also discuss the learning objectives individually and how the learning objectives influenced the result of the product. The product can be e.g. a report, a book, a film, a play, a computer program, a painting or anything else the group chooses. The expectations and evaluation criteria for the final reports are described in a separate document. The first "village" day is the 11th of January 2006. Milestones for each "village" will be given at the beginning of the semester. The intention of the milestones are, amongst other things, to ensure progress, give feedback and create an environment for reflection on the individual groups process both on the project and on the relations between the members of the team. The semester is divided into three phases. The first phase has the intention of promoting a good environment for learning in the "village" and in the individual teams, establishing team contracts for cooperation, identifying a problem to work on and a time schedule for the project.

In the second phase the emphasis is placed on status reporting, oral presentations and feedback on the project and group process. In the last phase the focus is on independent work and tailored guidance for each team and finishing the project and a presentation of the final result. Attendance is compulsory every Wednesday throughout the semester. Students that do not attend the first "village" day will not be permitted to follow the course that semester but through either illness or collision with other approved study activities students may apply for exemption from attending the first day. Absence, for no matter what reason, for more than four "village" days will result in a fail grade. The final reports will be judged according to the grades A-F. The team will receive a joint grade. The product and the product report account for 60% of the mark, while the process report accounts for the remaining 40% of the final grade. An oral presentation is part of the evaluation and must be approved before the final grade is set. Both the product and process report can be handed in as instalments during the semester at agreed times. As a trial project some of the "villages" will have a pass/fail grade. Which "villages" this entails will be announced closer to enrolment. Engineering students will no be able to choose "villages" were the grade "pass/fail" is utilised.

Experts in Teamwork (EiT)