Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 125-133
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Getting to get and keep students of Educational Institutions (EI) engaged and motivated is a challenge for lecturers. Despite the idiosyncrasies and diversities of students and college curriculum, research shows that there are certain practices that encourage greater student participation. These practices promote leaving aside uniform and mechanical teaching and rote, in a more constructivist way, and focus on a more intriguing, challenging and complex role, using an interdisciplinary approach rather than one area or subject and encourage cooperative work. The project based learning (PBL) incorporates all these principles.
At the same time we know that in the process of convergence to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is set to use active teaching methodologies that develop in students the capacity for continuous learning and enable them to acquire the skills, aptitudes and competencies demanded at the professional labour markets. One of these active learning methods is the PBL.

Using project activities as part of the college curriculum is not a new concept, and professors have been incorporating it into their schedules often long. However, the PBL is more a comprehensive educational strategy rather than a complement and as such, takes into account all the idiosyncrasies of the students. Thus the uniform learning approach does not help reaching high standards for every single student the same way, while a project based one builds on the individual strengths of each individual student and allows them to explore their areas of interest within the established curriculum framework.
This paper shows the integration of the above in a case of practical application to the subject "Economics" in the School of Building Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de València. The paper includes the methodology used to develop a complete draft "Business Plan" associated with real estate or construction industrial sectors, and implementation of the knowledge gained throughout the project process.

The results show that PBL procedures and methodologies, considering the students as protagonists of their own learning, helps bringing and focusing “Economics” area of knowledge to the intellectual affinities of Building Engineering graders.