INDUSTRIAL TRAINING IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SPAIN

INDUSTRIAL TRAINING IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SPAIN

Urbano Dominguez (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain) and Jesus Magdaleno (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-547-6.ch004
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Abstract

Practical training in companies has been recognized for many years as an important component of the education of new engineering graduates all over the world. The format used to provide this education to students varies widely not only across national boundaries, but also within each country. This chapter deals first with the state of industrial training in engineering education in Spain, both in the old engineering degrees and in the new ones, following the European higher education area requirements, which are now in the process of introduction. An analysis is also carried out on the evaluation and assessment of industrial training when this activity is a part of first cycle engineering curricula, and the role played by the tutor is discussed. Finally, some weak points of industrial training in Spanish curricula are discussed, as well as some proposals to overcome that situation and to move towards a global approach of industrial training in engineering education.
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Industrial Training In Engineering Education

Practical IT activities can be defined as periods of engineering education outside the University geographical space oriented towards providing the students with knowledge, competences not easily obtained in class-rooms, and carried out while they provide some services to the industries implied in the educational process.

“Practical” and “industrial” terms must be understood here in a broad sense. Practical activities mean those educational tasks that are carried out without requiring more theoretical knowledge over that already gained by the student at the moment when the practical stage is initiated. On the other hand, industrial refers here to any organised human group implied in producing goods or supplying services. In this sense, the term industry includes public or private manufacturing or services firms but also public administrations, co- operatives, trade unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and other collectives.

Work placements play a fundamental role in the education of 21st century engineers who have to act on a global and competitive environment. Many authors involved in engineering education have been working on this issue for many years, and some contributions to this topic can be seen elsewhere (Ahrens, 2000; Domínguez & Magdaleno, 2003; El- Sayed, 2001; Greve et al., 2009; Keleher et al., 2007; Maki, 2002; Patkó et al., 2009; Roelofsen, 2009; Schenck & Boots, 2001; Welters & Van de Wetering, 2009).

Engineering Core Curricula requirements have been discussed in the framework of the Socrates Thematic Network Enhancing Engineering Education in Europe (E4) (Heitmann, 2003). Within the personal requirements for Bachelor Engineering Degrees, those related with the practicum are:

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