C. Nuñez, A. Castro, G. Iglesias, R. Carballo

University of Santiago de Compostela (SPAIN)
European universities are currently carrying out a reform process to adapt their educational programs to the ‘European Higher Education Area’ (EHEA) whose main objective is to modernize and increase the quality of higher education systems in Europe, making them more competitive and attractive. To achieve this aim, a review of the teaching and learning methods used so far was needed in order to verify if they were providing to the students the competences actually required by the job market. Scientific research conducted on this topic has highlighted the great importance of generic skills which have been barely considered until now in Engineering Education in general and, of course, in Civil Engineering in particular. Taking this fact into account, the new academic program of Civil Engineering adapted to the EHEA specifically includes the need to pay appropriate attention to some generic skills of great interest for the future civil engineers: ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, planning and time management, information management skills, ability to coordinate activities, oral and written communication, critical and self-critical abilities, capacity to adapt to new situations, etc. To put this into practice, the Group of Education Innovation in Civil Engineering was created. The main objective of the group is to promote, implement, develop and coordinate educational innovation activities aimed at updating teaching methods in order to make them more attractive for the students and more suitable for systematically generic skills training. The group has three main lines of activity: cooperative learning, project-based learning and e-learning, which serve to train not only specific competences but also the aforementioned generic skills. In this paper, the teaching methods used by the group to develop generic skills are presented and the results and conclusions obtained from the group experiences discussed.