A PROPOSAL FOR DEBATE-BASED METHODOLOGIES TO ASSESS AND TO IMPROVE WEAKNESSES IN ORAL-COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD OF NEW ENGINEERING GRADUATES

H. Garcia1, R. Sancibrian2, M. Zubizarreta1, J. Cuadrado1, E. Roji1, J.R. Llata2

1University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) (SPAIN)
2University of Cantabria (SPAIN)
This study is based on data collected over the last 10-15 years, during which time there has been a sharp rise in unemployment among graduates. In an initial analysis, the situation is partly explained by a direct relationship with the global crisis that began in 2007. However, other possible reasons are raised in this paper. In the Eurobarometer report [1] a list of weak points in recent graduates is listed, which explains possible reasons for poor performance and rejection in job interviews. The ability to communicate is one of these reasons, often observed more among advanced students. In this paper, a set of methodological guidelines are described, which will be put into practice in some subjects over the 2017-2018 course, in order to assess and to improve the communication capabilities of students. They will consider a series of debates (one every three weeks) on subject-related topics. Following the discussion, each student will assess the behavior of their fellow students, by filling in assessment tables designed for that purpose. Indexes will be obtained from the data in these tables and at the end of the course the changes noted in these indexes will be available for each student. During the academic year, students will be able to track their progress with these indexes and the teacher will contribute documentation and information for students to improve their scores. In doing so, we will have evaluated different modes of debate and different ways of evaluating each participant; information that will help us to classify the most appropriate modes for the number of students in each scenario.