International Engineering Educator Certification Program

Fifty students from Argentina, Colombia and Chile participated in this second edition of the course.

Publicada el 27 de agosto de 2018

Sponsored by renowned international institutions, the first part of the International Engineering Educator Certification Program, developed by InnovaHiEd, was taught in the Medrano premises of UTNBA between February 19 and 23.

Fifty students from Colombia, Chile and Argentina, many of them coming from different UTN’s Regional Engineering Schools and other National Universities, participated in the Program, taught in Argentina for the first time.

The aim of the program is to provide formal, internationally recognized training in teaching and learning methodologies for engineering and related disciplines, targeted at teachers, graduates and interested parties.

The training consists of three stages: a first part that requires students to be physically present at the School; a second part consisting of distance education, and a third part which consists in writing a paper to be published/presented in peer-reviewed specialized journal or conference.

The program is based on the “walk the path” concept, which involves the use of active methodologies (flipped learning, peer learning and challenge-based learning, etc.) and a student-centered learning model.

The participants were graduates, teachers and authorities of higher education institutions in the area of Engineering or related disciplines. Out of the 50 students, 23 were from UTN, coming from the Regional Engineering Schools of Buenos Aires, General Pacheco, Tucumán, San Nicolás, Resistencia, Villa María, and Bahía Blanca.

Lueny Morell, M.S., P.E., Director and founder of InnovaHiEd, and Dr. Eduardo Vendrell-Vidal, Academic Vice-Rector of Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, traveled to Argentina for the occasion. In addition, Eng. Uriel Cukierman, M.S., Director of the Center for Education Research and Innovation of UTN Buenos Aires, also participated as course professor.

“We are very proud and excited about teaching this Program in our School of Engineering. Promoting professionalization in Engineering teaching and learning methodologies is one of the goals we have established as part of a broader commitment: educating more and better engineers for our country,” stated Eng. Guillermo Oliveto, Dean of UTN Buenos Aires.

This program is supported by the IGIP (International Society for Engineering Pedagogy). It is backed by InnovaHiEd; the Center for Hemispherical Cooperation in Research and Education in Engineering and Applied Science (CoHemis); the Laspau organization, in partnership with Harvard University; the Center for Education Research and Innovation (CIIE) of Universidad Tecnológica Nacional; the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez; and the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES).

“If we don’t keep up the pace, we are going to fall behind”

When the course finished, professor Lueny Morell stated: “This huge transformation that Argentina is undergoing, the transformation towards a competence-based curriculum, constitutes a great opportunity for every country, because this new approach trains professionals based on the needs of the society and involves curricula and teaching methodologies aimed at developing competences. We are talking about knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, and not about just knowledge anymore. If we don’t keep up the pace, we are going to fall behind”.

Morell stated that the competence-based education system “enhances students’ motivation, reduces dropout rates, improves graduation rates and motivates teachers. Besides, the competences acquired meet the needs of the employers who seek to hire our graduates. In summary, we are all more satisfied and that is what we are looking for,” she explained.

“Competences bring knowledge, skills and aptitudes together”

Eduardo Vendrell-Vidal, one of the teachers in charge of the program, expressed that “this program involves active learning by students in the classroom, a change in the teacher’s role, fostering motivation, and competence-based curricula.”

Finally, he explained that “competence-based education entails making us move away from strictly academic content, towards those competences, skills and attitudes necessary for the professional future demanded by society.”

In this sense, he added: “today, when a student graduates, their cover letter for their profession is basically an academic transcript. An average grade for the degree obtained and a grade for each course completed. But, isn’t it more appropriate for an employer to know which is the graduate’s level in certain competences, that is, those areas in which they are capable of working? Competences bring knowledge, skills and aptitudes together,” he concluded.