Keywords: Engineering Education, Collaboration in Higher Education, CLIL, Interdisciplinary learning and teaching in Higher Education


Aim: The aim of the research is to discuss if the lean thinking methodology may contribute to enhance interdisciplinarity and collaboration in higher education engineering courses, namely when applied to engineering students at a Portuguese Higher Education Technology School.

Methods. Lean thinking is an organisational methodology that uses innovation to organise and optimise human activities with the aim of eliminating waste. This methodology can be applied to a wide range of activities envisaging to mainly perform tasks that effectively add value to the related processes. When used in an educational context, this approach may also contribute to identifying which activities successfully contribute to add value to the students’ learning process, as opposed to being ineffective for that aim.

Results. Current study focuses on interdisciplinarity through a set of collaborative Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) tasks that were planned, tested and assessed in an engineering Higher Education context.

Conclusion. One of the main aspects envisaged through the developed CLIL tasks was to contribute to the enhancement of peer-to-peer collaborative learning in an interdisciplinary context, another was to reflect on reciprocal cooperation methodologies that enhance interdisciplinarity in Higher Education.

Author Biographies

Margarida Morgado, Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal

Margarida Morgado completed her Master and PhD degrees in English Literature at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She is Coordinating Professor of English Cultural Studies at Castelo Branco Polytechnic Institute at the Social Sciences and Humanities Department since 1995. She has been the Director of the Language and Culture Centre (CILCE – Centro Interdisciplinar de Línguas, Culturas e Educação) at the School of Education of the Castelo Branco Polytechnic Institute since 2006 and a co-founder of the ReCLes association (Association of Language Centres in Higher Education) in Portugal, affiliated into the European CERCLES association.

Marcelo Gaspar, Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal

Engineer and Adjunct Professor, holds a Master and a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering completed at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Currently he focuses his research efforts on Sustainability and Product Development, as well as iin Engineering Education and the use of online learning environments.

Mónica Régio, Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal

Mónica Régio is a PhD candidate in English Travel Literature. She is a Lecturer at the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Portugal. Research interests: CLIL, EMI, Tellecollaboration, Intercultural and cross disciplinary skills.


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How to Cite
Morgado, M., Gaspar, M., & Régio, M. (2018). INTERDISCIPLINARITY AND COLLABORATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION ENGINEERING COURSES. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 9(2), 179-186. Retrieved from