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ASSESSMENT OF TRANSVERSE AND SPECIFIC COMPETENCES IN CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDIES: ‘CRITICAL THINKING’

T. García-Segura, V. Yepes, F. Molina-Moreno, J.V. Martí

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
This communication presents a novel methodology used in the development of activities within the field of civil engineering. Aside of the specific competences of the course learning curricula, the transverse competence ‘Critical Thinking’ is one of the challenging skills to evaluate in a basically technical course because of its subjective nature. Therefore, the use of evaluation rubric will help to quantify the underlying logical skills. An evaluation rubric for the critical thinking assessment has been elaborated. It comprises two tasks to be carried out in groups and an individual task, defined for a case study. The task consists of the discussion about the type of foundation and constructive process of a real bridge, from which the necessary data are provided, as well as unnecessary information or even incomplete. Students decide the best performing solution through reasoned discourse. Besides, they expound how the group consensus has been reached. The results sought are obtained through the evaluation of such tasks, that reflects, on the one hand the critical thinking competence, and on the other, the specific technical competence so it also takes part in the global mark of the subject. We aim to determine whether the specific technical competence is related to the transverse competence ‘critical thinking’ and to what extent, if so. To that aim, the study provides statistical correlational analysis that indicates the relationship observed between the evaluation of such activity and the qualifications obtained in the rest of tasks. Results indicate that the assignment intended for evaluation of specific competences is also useful to assess the transverse competence to some extent. Findings also show that the acquisition of the transverse competence is favored by group discussions. The majority of the students agree with the idea that the work carried out was useful for the critical thinking.