This paper analyzes networking opportunities and challenges in the OTE project. OTE aims to develop teaching and counselling in engineering education. It is a project of ten partners from universities and polytechnics in Finland. The starting point of OTE networking is the belief that collaboration and sharing good practices brings added value to development activities. Networking is done through working groups whose task is to share know-how and develop practices. The analysis of the networking is conducted using SWOT analysis as a framework. The analysis shows that most of the possible disadvantages arise from the number of people and organisations involved in the project. It is also an advantage if the problems it may cause can be overcome. Four themes arise from the analysis. Responsibility and commitment: The commitment of individuals working in the project as well as of the management of the HEIs is crucial. Commitment is increased by sharing responsibility, and defining and making visible the objectives of the project and motivation of each partner and individual for all organisations and individuals involved in the project. Well defined objectives also help coordinate the project activities and ensure that resources are used for contributing to project activities to reach the agreed goals. Project management and coordination: Good communication is essential in ensuring that the activities of partner organisations are in line with each other and project goals. The varying size of the participating organisations can cause challenges to coordination and communication. Sharing good practices: Sharing and developing good practices is central in the OTE project. A working group can be effective in sharing practices and know-how because tacit knowledge is more easily shared while working together. The working group also provides access to information that organizations hold. Practices are also shared between teachers outside the working groups. Future cooperation: Focus of networking is between individuals, not between organisations. Cooperation increases understanding on the different modes of action of universities and polytechnics and creates grounding for future cooperation.
|Title of host publication||Joint International IGIP-SEFI Annual Conference, Trnava, Slovakia, September 19-22, 2010|
|Place of Publication||Brussels, Belgium|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|MoE publication type||A4 Article in a conference publication|
- engineering education
- higher education