About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5891-5898
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain


J. Avalos, H. Witt

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (SPAIN)
The ETSEQ in Tarragona has re-designed its educational curriculum to equip students to successfully handle the challenges arising from globalization.
In a world changing at exponential speed the professionals of today and tomorrow need a very different skill set than in the past. To that end ETSEQ has designed a particular curriculum which is building necessary social competencies to enhance the technical performance.
At the heart of this innovative approach is a project-based educative method in which a professional environment is virtually mimicked. Groups of students form working teams and develop a technical assignment. 4rth year students perform the leadership role for the 1st year team.
For the 2nd and 3rd courses, the leadership role is carried out on a less formal basis within the work teams. Professors perform a dual role as expert consultant or mentor as well as that of a client. Furthermore, along the three first courses, additional professors –with no evaluation responsibilities deploy coaching support to the teams.

Along the curriculum, the students receive extensive education on the essential social competencies that would not typically appear in an academic curriculum.

These are the kind of professional competencies enumerated in ABET’s technical profiles or in the Dublin’s descriptors. In the case of ETSEQ, the key social competencies to be build are: 1. Leadership; 2. Team work; 3. Active learning; 4. Communication and conflict resolution; 5. Ethical and social responsibility. In addition, team leaders and Professors along with selected “full-time coaches” receive an additional education in form of a coaching module. All of these competencies are interwoven with the technical engineering curriculum.

Most of the education for the social competencies delivered is done by experts from the industry to assure that the competencies built are matching up to the challenges of the workplace. Furthermore, advanced adult education principles are applied to enhance the effectiveness of the delivery of the education.

The virtual professional environment (VPE) created around the project permits an effective evaluation of the competency building of the students. For example, team leader and students receive feedback from the coaches. The direct and individual observation of the students’ behaviour permits assessing the level of progress.

Together with the mentioned benefits for the students, the development of the VPE has also an important beneficial influence onto the staff. Through the VPE the staff is compelled to equally acquire a significant level of social competencies, as well as obliging them to work as a team.

In this presentation we share:
i) the social competencies selected and the relevance to globalization
ii) the design and educational principles of this unique curriculum
iii) the delivery and implementation of formation
iiii) the deployment and implementation of the project
iiiii) the coaching strategy and evaluation of the competencies
author = {Avalos, J. and Witt, H.},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5891-5898}}
AU - J. Avalos AU - H. Witt
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5891
EP - 5898
ER -
J. Avalos, H. Witt (2011) BUILDING COMPETENCIES, MASTERING GLOBALIZATION, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5891-5898.