Projects with the industry for the development of competences: a case study in industrial engineering and management

This paper presents a learning process based on PBL concepts, where five teams of 5 to 7 students of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) from the University of Minho, Portugal, developed semester projects in interaction with companies, supported by 5 courses. The paper aims to describe the operational model of this PBL process, evaluate the results in terms of students’ learning and perception of industry, and, finally, develop improvement proposals for the model. The evaluation of learning outcomes is based on project results’ analysis, questionnaires and a closing workshop with students. The perception of industry is achieved using semi-formal interviews with company representatives. This evaluation points out that students have developed the expected competences and, generally, they are pleased with the outcome of their projects. They referred that there should exist better mechanisms of differentiation of individual classifications within the team. The companies’ viewpoint refers good results, although sometimes the improvement proposals are not sufficiently focused. To overcome this issue some process improvements are proposed.

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