The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Experiential Learning: Connecting Theory and Practice

Clara Vaz, Research Centre in Digitalization and Intelligent Robotics (CeDRI), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (Portugal)


This study describes an experiential activity conducted with students enrolled in the Operations Management (OM) subject from Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Bachelors. This activity was the result of the close collaboration between university and industry, in which a company was involved in the learning process at the school and the students were involved in solving some real problems at the company workplace. This collaboration was crucial to innovate the experiential learning practices. At the university, five seminars were taught by the staff company, in the topics of the OM subject during the first five weeks of the semester. After the seminars, the students developed some projects at the company workplace during six weeks. Each project was developed by a group of students, solving a real problem of the company where it was necessary to eliminate or reduce the waste with the supervision of the lecturer and the company staff. The students all agreed that this experiential learning activity helped them to better understand companies’ real problems and how the company works, enabling to boost the most relevant skills to be better prepared to handle the challenges that they will face in the real world.

Keywords: experiential learning, skills, company, learning-by-doing, operations management.


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