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A Characterization of Master Thesis Advisor Skills in Engineering Education
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  • Medidas e indicadores en educación
A master thesis prepares students to tackle the transition from the theoretical knowledge acquired during engineering studies to the actual practice of the profession. In this process, the advisor plays a key role by leading and supervising students work. Yet occasionally, advisors find difficulties to properly carry out this task. In this paper we present a research on the strengths and weaknesses of master thesis advisors in engineering education. We have followed a non-experimental, descriptive research method based on a survey. It was developed following a snowball sampling technique over students from several departments of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, an engineering-focused University. The survey attempts to characterize advisors from the point of view of their advised students. The survey contained 20 questions about different skills of their advisors, and asked students to select the five most important characteristics (among 30) for the success of the master thesis. The input from the students that participated in the study yielded the following results. Students average assessment of their advisors was 3.83 out of 5, combining the results from all the skills. Additionally, the results about the students desired profile for their advisors revealed that strictness and planning were seen as the two most important aspects, collecting 48% of the responses between them. Students highly value the work carried out by their master thesis advisors. However, planning skills needs to be further analyzed. According to the survey, most of the characteristics appreciated by the students are related to planning issues. This result differs with the ones that state that a detailed planning was not carried out at the start of their master thesis. As a result of this mismatch, work planning is probably the most important aspect to be studied in detail, especially when, according to the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE), planning long-term projects is one of the competences to cover within the master thesis. Although students do not equally value their advisors skills there are some skills which particularly require improvement. Planning and strictness are the most appreciated skills. However, planning is badly carried out by advisors according to their students. Inexperience and lack of blueprints or guidelines might be some of the reasons for this ineptitude. Thus, we suggest the creation of a master thesis advisory methodology which supports novel advisors in their early advisory days.
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Esta actividad pertenece a memorias de investigación
  • Autor: Jose Ignacio Fernandez Villamor (UPM)
  • Autor: Rubén Trapero Burgos (UPM)
  • Autor: Felix Cuadrado Latasa (UPM)
  • Autor: Pedro Jose Malagon Marzo (UPM)
  • Autor: Jose Maria del Alamo Ramiro (UPM)
Grupos de investigación, Departamentos, Centros e Institutos de I+D+i relacionados
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Sistemas Inteligentes
  • Departamento: Ingeniería de Sistemas Telemáticos
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Electrónica
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