Virtual Globalization: An Experience for Engineering Students in the Education 4.0 Framework

Patricia Caratozzolo, Anna Friesel, Peter Jan Randewijk, David Navarro-Duran

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


In February 2020 the World Economic Forum published its report on the characteristics of Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, of which several stand out for their relevant impact on engineering programs. These are: (i) Global citizenship, building awareness about the wider world and playing an active role in the global community; (ii) Collaborative learning, requiring peer collaboration and a move to project- and problem-based content that more closely mirrors their future work; (iii) Innovation and creativity skills, including complex problem-solving and analytical thinking.

In March 2020, the emergence of COVID-19 forced educational institutions to abruptly adopt social distancing and quarantine measures, making compliance with the Education Framework 4.0 much more challenging. However, these challenges led to new opportunities. Lecturers from two universities (separated by 9,500 km and 7 time zones) were discussing for some time, how to make it possible to give students the opportunity to live an international experience within the Education 4.0 Framework. The result was a project of international cooperation, negotiation, leadership, empathy with a broad perspective. The main questions that guided the foundations of this cooperation project were related to the specific problems that engineering schools had to face during the COVID-19 crisis: How to meet the special requirements of courses with a Challenge-Based Learning approach? How to carry out the laboratory practices -normally included in some courses- in a collaborative remote learning way? How to compensate for the cancellation of the international exchange of students enrolled in engineering programs?

The presented study includes: (i) The methodology used for the selection of subjects in which cooperation was established; (ii) The collaboration plan of the lecturers involved; (iii) The design of the experiences for the realization of remote practices "hands on" (via VPN); (iv) The selection of the technological platforms that would best be adapted for the collaboration and exchange of material; (v) A description of how the didactic techniques and spaces for interaction were chosen at different levels (student-student, student-teacher and teacherteacher).

Finally, a brief summary of the preliminary results of the impact measurement is included, with the opinion surveys of the students and the grades obtained in the courses. This study is of special interest to the Cooperative and Experiential Education Division (CEED) of the ASEE since it is focused on improving and promoting experiential learning through cooperative education and virtual internships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2021 ASEE Annual Conference - Virtual event
Duration: 26 Jul 202129 Jul 2021


Conference2021 ASEE Annual Conference
CityVirtual event
Internet address


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