Politehnica University of Timisoara (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 4975-4982
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Developing competencies and skills has become the main concern of any educational institution. The objective of this paper is to identify new teaching methods in order to increase the quality of the graduates and to facilitate their integration on the work market.

In the first part of the paper the current situation of the work market in Romania as well as the research methodology are presented. In the second part, the paper presents the findings of a survey carried out on a sample of 75 students at a technical specialization in Romania. The findings of the research are the basis for integrating the concept of User Centered Design with the view to increasing the competencies of the future graduates. The research methodology is based on data from secondary and primary sources. The data from the secondary sources present the current situation on the work market in Romania. The data from the primary sources are used to achieve the objective of this paper.

Romania is facing the problem of integrating the young graduates on the work market. According to the data published by the National Employment Agency, at the end of February 2015 the unemployment in Romania represented 5,51%, (498531 people). Out of the total number of unemployed people registered in Romania 13% (64834 people) are younger than 25 and 8% (41176 people) are between 25 and 29 years old.
In addition to this, Romania is among the last on the list regarding the percentage of young people who find a workplace within one year from graduation: 51.6%, compared to 66% -the European average for the data available in 2011. (Eurofound study).

Taking into consideration the statistic data regarding unemployment among the young people, it is necessary to identify solutions in order to develop the professional competencies of the future graduates. In this way we have developed a research tool, a questionnaire in order to carry out a survey on a sample of students from a technical specialization in Romania. The objective of this study is: Establishing the level of knowledge acquired after studying subject X1 in order to increase the level of competencies for the subject X2.

Based on the findings of the survey, solutions have been identified in order to increase the students’ level of competencies by integrating the concept of user centered design in the teaching activity.

User Centered Design (UCD) is a process (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which the needs and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. There are a number of tools that are used in the analysis of user-centered design, mainly: persons, scenarios, and essential use cases.

In conclusion, 72% of the participants in the survey do not want to make an extra effort in order to gain extra knowledge or competencies. Also 48% of the participants did not suggest any topic that should be tackled throughout the subject analyzed. Taking into account these two conclusions it is difficult to apply the user centered design concept in the educational system from Romania, considering that the students do not express their needs, wishes and expectations clearly.
Design, student, skills, study, user.