Universidad de Talca (CHILE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 4245-4253
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The paper presents a study of perception of students and companies that have been involved in teaching and learning methodology, which considers a closed University/Industry cooperation. The implemented teaching and learning methodology, which consists of an abstract conceptualization of learning components, their experimentation, and the application of those components in real projects, which are carried out with the active participation of regional and national companies. The goal is to take the study program into the business reality and, in this way, facilitates the student learning process by actively using a situational learning model.

The situational learning model, which considers the active participation of students in the development of IT solutions, is governed by an abstract conceptualization, experimentation and reflective observation. In this learning process, the projects, in which students are involved, are closed followed by the teacher and tutors in order to ensure that students achieve the goals during the course as well as to guarantee the commitment of the students in reaching the objectives imposed by the participating companies.

The goals, contents and expected results of the projects are closed related to course’s objectives, contents and learning methodology. In this way, the application of a learning component by a student will require its previous discussion during the lecture and its exploration during workshops and tutorials. Only then the component may be applied throughout the project depending on the specific requirements expressed by the partner company. Therefore, students not only required to learn and experimentally apply a learning component, but also they will be required to decide if that component should be applied to the practical experience and if that is the case, why it should be applied, when and how that component would be utilized. Finally, the results of the practical experiences are included in project reports and assays, which are focused on a reflective observation of the students’ accomplishments during their participation in their projects.

The application of this learning methodology offers students with the opportunity of experience a real working experience by providing answers to companies’ requirements, and, as a result, it is expected that students gain a more profound understanding of the contents thought in the specific subjects. This study provides an inside of the impact that the application of this methodology has over the students’ learning process. The result had shown that students sense that their experiences working with companies provide them with a better environment to develop their competences.

Finally, the study also analyses the experiences reported by companies and organization that have been involved with the students’ project. In this sense, the perception of the companies had been that students have become more involved in providing good solutions to their requirements.
University/Industry Collaboration experience, situational learning model, IT projects.