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Study on the Development of Engineering Practice Competence Based on Industrial Needs

Author: YuXiao
Tutor: WangPeiMin; KongHanBing
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Educational Economy and Management
Keywords: Engineering Education Engineering Practice Competence Development Competence Framework Key Factors Enhancement Mechanism
CLC: G642
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 729
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Abstract


Driven by powerful forces included population characteristics, globalization and the rapid development of technology revolution, the function of engineering has undergone profound changes in society and the importance of engineering practice becomes increasingly outstanding. As the essential attribute of engineering, practice is the key issue of the engineering education transform from traditional "science paradigm" to modern "engineering paradigm". But, as a result of the failure in the field of engineering education to clarify the relationship between engineering theory and engineering practice, to distinguish the internal differences between scientific education and professional education and define the concrete connotation of the engineering practice competence, the condition of "valuing theory while despising practice" and "staying talking of theory but never knowing getting down to practice" are very common in the field of engineering practice which in turn put the quality of engineering education under rigorous tests.Therefore, this research will focus on the basic problem of "how to develop engineer’s practice competence" and attempt to analyze the two themes of the engineering practice connotation as well as engineering practice competence buliding deeply and comprehensively. To be specific, the thesis intends to solve the following questions step by step.(1)What is the best model of developing engineering practice competence in different periods of the formation of engineer’s competence?(2)Under the background of knowledge-based economy, information technology and network technology have achieved rapid development. What engineering practice competence framework should engineer possess? How does the requirement of industry for engineers’practice competence correspond to the training of engineering talents in colleges of science and engineering? Whether there are significant differences between them?(3)How important does the dominant formation period as well as different periods of engineers’practice competence mean to the formation of competence?(4)How to design and establish the policy mechanism in which engineers’ practice competence can be advanced from the viewpoint of management? Bringing the questions mentioned above, the thesis carries out a series of investigations from the view of theory and positivism through ways of theoretical derivation, case study, content analysis, questionnaire research and data analysis and so on.The main conclusions of originality concluded from the study are as follows:To begin with, the formation of engineering talent’s competence is a dynamic, cross-boundary and long-standing process. Based on the period of engineer formation, after analyzing comprehensively the new environment engineering practice is facing, the study, from the perspective of college, industry and society training institution, analyzes, summarizes and concludes their best pattern in launching engineering practice. From the viewpoint of college, the study puts forward the industry-oriented engineering degree building pattern and engineering training platform pattern; From the industry’s point of view, the corporate university pattern and the community of practice pattern; As to the society training institution,Occupational accreditation-supported pattern and combination pattern of industry and society institution. These patterns construct the entire process of the formation of engineering talent’s practice competence ranging from college education to engineering training until the professional practice.Moreover, the connotation of engineering practice competence has close relations with the economy environment, technology standard and the productivity condition in the situation of that time. Under the new history condition and background, the connotation has undergone great change. After analyzing the research data of366enterprise technology managers, the thesis generalizes the engineering practice capability into the following five dimensions according to the analysis result: Engineering design competence, Engineering application competence, Engineering operation competence, Engineering business competence and Engineering communication competence. It also specifies the specific content of every dimension. And then, through the framework which has gained practice competence and investigating the teachers of engineering major, the results show that as to company’s requirement, college of science and technology has obvious difference with companies on the knowledge of developing engineering practice competence with an correspondence degree of about80%; Among the result, the engineering design competence and the engineering communication competence have a high correspondence degree while the engineering business competence and engineering operation competence have a lower one. The results illustrate that higher engineering education should attach great importance to engineering practice.Thirdly, college, industry and society institution all have an obvious positive effect on the formation process of engineer’s practice competence. By interviewing34engineers who joined the company in three years and coding the interview data through means of content analysis, the results find that college and industry exert important influence on the formation while society training institution and individual factors have relatively weak effect on it. Based on this finding, taking advantage of the results of content analysis to design questionnaire and after analyzing231effective questionnaires through means of multiple regression, the study further proved the above conclusion. However, the regression conclusion shows that individual factors have no conspicuous effect on the formation directly. Regarding different dimensions of engineering practice competence, both college and industry have positive effect on the formation of engineering design competence, Engineering application competence, Engineering operation competence and Engineering business competence. And society institution also has a positive-going bearing on engineering communication competence; but the training of engineering business competence rests mainly on the training of society institution and individual’s own quality while college only produces definitive effects among the training.Finally, on the basis of the above discussion, the study scans the external and internal environment as well as development situation of every key-factor and puts forward the strategic planning to enhance Engineer’s practice competence from the viewpoint of management research. It also designs action plan accordingly and investigates the plan’s institutional protection from the point of resource allocation mechanism and evaluation mechanism and so on, in order to establish the enhancement mechanism of engineer’s practice competence in a new period.The contributions of the thesis mainly lie on the following items.(1)From the point of industry requirement, studying how college’s understanding of engineering practice competence corresponds to company’s requirement and strengthening management means with policy tools is the thesis’s new visual angle.(2)As a new idea, in the new engineering practice scene, the thesis has established the engineering practice competence framework in accordance with the Chinese situation.(3)In addition, some new contents appear in the formation period of engineering talent’s competence by studying and distinguishing the critical factors of engineering practice competence.

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