About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7303-7311
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING - EXPERIENCES IN THE ADAPTATION OF A SUBJECT FOR TELECOMMUNICATION STUDENTS TO THE BOLOGNA PROCESS

M. Eckert, P. Garcia del Pino

Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
The present article describes the experiences achieved during a two-year adaptation of the subject “Projects” to new teaching methodologies in the context of the Bologna process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The subject is taught in the last year of the degree program in Telecommunication Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and focuses on projects realized in the Telecommunication industry. Besides covering all the general concepts, it deals with topics of special importance for the students’ professional career and, as a novelty, foster the skills to be acquired within the framework of Bologna.
The subject is taught during one semester and covers 6 ECTS credits. Before implementing the changes in teaching methodologies, students attended a weekly two-hour formal lecture. For grading, they had to work out in groups the documentation of a hypothetical project and to pass an individual exam at the end. Changes were performed stepwise during the last two academic years. First, class activities were introduced into the formal lectures and base groups were established for elaborating the project by means of special assignments. In the second year, two more attending hours were gained by transforming the students’ home-working time into “laboratory” hours. Collaborative virtual environments, such as Moodle and a Wiki space, were extensively used to support the activities.
The article firstly describes the contents of the subject to give an overview over the topics. Further on, our teaching environment and the process of changing the teaching methodology from formal lectures to cooperative learning as well as the application of PBL (project based learning) is explained. This includes the presentation of different types of activities which have been selected to develop a set of competences, such as written communication skills or leadership.
Most activities are performed individually or in small groups of 2-3 people. For the laboratory work we use cooperative base groups of 5-6 students called “companies” which concentrate their work on a particular project; all activities are centred on the planning and documentation of this project, simulating the working in a real project (students assign roles, responsibilities and tasks among themselves). All assignments and activities performed during lectures, laboratory and at home are related and the final goal is to achieve the acceptance of all project proposals elaborated by the companies.
Concretely, the work over the semester includes performing feasibility studies, publishing important project data on self created web-sites (Wiki), elaborating documentation for the project proposal, estimating and planning execution tasks, carrying out a real planning in MS Project and finally presenting the project proposal in public, always applying the theoretical concepts. The applied teaching methodologies and assignments requested from the students during the whole semester will be described in detail in the article, indicating which skills are addressed and analyzing pros and cons of the transformation process.
Finally, the here presented two-year experience has been evaluated by analyzing a set of quality parameters like average marks, assistance to class, rate of success and time dedication. Results regarding learning efficiency will be shown as well as the results of surveys conducted at the end of the semester. In general, the results are quite satisfactory.
@InProceedings{ECKERT2009PRO,
author = {Eckert, M. and Garcia del Pino, P.},
title = {PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING - EXPERIENCES IN THE ADAPTATION OF A SUBJECT FOR TELECOMMUNICATION STUDENTS TO THE BOLOGNA PROCESS},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {7303-7311}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Eckert AU - P. Garcia del Pino
TI - PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING - EXPERIENCES IN THE ADAPTATION OF A SUBJECT FOR TELECOMMUNICATION STUDENTS TO THE BOLOGNA PROCESS
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 7303
EP - 7311
ER -
M. Eckert, P. Garcia del Pino (2009) PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING - EXPERIENCES IN THE ADAPTATION OF A SUBJECT FOR TELECOMMUNICATION STUDENTS TO THE BOLOGNA PROCESS, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 7303-7311.
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