Assessment of Actual Workload and Student Performance in the Agricultural Engineering Final Degree Project in a Spanish Higher Education Context
Twenty years after the Bologna Declaration and a decade after Spanish university engineering degrees were updated to comply with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), there is still uncertainty on the degree of adaptation to the ECTS system of the final degree project (FDP) course in engineering programs, especially in terms of the workloads allocated to students. The inherent characteristics of the FDP course, with all the learning activities of an unstructured nature, make the real
... nt workload as well as that of the FDP teachers very uncertain. This study addresses this issue by (1) identifying the nature of the unstructured student learning activities related to the FDP course, (2) measuring the time spent by students in the different FDP learning activities throughout the course, and (3) measuring the workload of FDP teachers. A user-friendly smartphone application was configured so that students and teachers in the agricultural engineering degree program at the University of Seville registered the time spent daily on each of the identified FDP learning (students) and supervising (instructors) activities. The results showed that the reported FDP workloads by students who passed the FDP course in either of the two exam periods of the academic year were not significantly higher than the nominal ECTS credit hours stipulated for the FDP course. The FDP teachers reported notably higher workloads than those stipulated by the university regulations. No significant correlation was found between student workload and FDP scores.