C. Devece Carañana, M. Peris-Ortiz, C. Rueda-Armengot, D. Palacios Marqués

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
The final project has traditionally been the last step to attain an engineering degree in most countries. This final project is undertaken when all the subjects were passed, and it supposed at least 6 months of hard work. It is the last and bigger barrier to pass. In Spain, where any engineering degree used to take five or six academic years plus the final project, the Bologna process, with the homologation of all the degrees along Europe, has shortened this lapse of time to four years. This reduction of time has triggered curricula redesigning in most of the Universities all over Europe, especially in countries with engineering degrees following the French tradition, like Spain.

The objective of this study is to analyse the introduction of the project-based learning in some of the subjects of the last year of the engineering degrees, in order to keep the old tradition of facing students to real problems, and at the same time, keep the length of the studies in the standardized European Credit Transfer System span. Project based learning, although very comprehensive in the development of competencies like those related to team work, leadership, has a major drawback, it is a big time-consumer. Besides, typically in the engineering degrees, the final project is not for gaining knowledge in a specific field, but to test if the students have the necessary competencies to apply the knowledge gained in the basic subjects during the degree and accomplish a complex real-life problem. This approach must be changed and the project should be integrated in some subjects and used to develop the knowledge and specific competencies of these subjects. This paper analyses different approaches to obtain this integration.