Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 181-184
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.37B047
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Exploration and Practice of the Practical Teaching Curriculum
System for Cultivating Applied and Innovative Undergraduate
Chunhua He, Haiyan Zhang, Aixiang Wei
Faculty of M aterial and Ener gy, Guangdong Univers ity of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R.China
Received 2012
Aiming at shortcomings in the current system of practice teaching in high schools especially in regional
high schools, a system of practice teaching that fit current cultivation of practical and innovative talents is
explored in education. In accordance with the progressive regularity of ability cultivation, the system of
practice teaching is divided into four levels: basic practice, basic experiment, advanced practice and com-
prehensive innovation. And this characteristic system of practice teaching is built up to cultivate practical
and innovative talents in grassroots who can meet the requirements of current socio-economic develop-
Keywords: Cultivation of Practical and Innovative Talents; Practice Teaching; Education Reform
In order to speed up the transformation of economic devel-
opment, promote scientific development, build up a modern
industrial system, promote industrial structure optimization and
upgrading, improve the ability of innovation, and take the initi-
ative in fierce competition of globalization , the application of
cultivation of practical and innovative talents must be accel e-
rated. In other words, we should focus on promotion of industry
adjustment and economic transformation and upgrading. And
we should vigorously cultivate specialized talents who can
transform and upgrade traditional industries and develop ad-
vanced manufacturing industry, service industry and strategic
emerging industries. Then we can build up a large team of
high-quality ta lents for modern industry.
Practical ability is the foundation of talent cultivation of
practical and innovative undergraduate. In the talent cultivation
of practical and innovative undergraduate in colleges and uni-
versities, especially in regional colleges and universit ies, prac-
tice teaching has been an important part of education and a
basic teaching link for cultivating qualified talents. Besides,
practice teaching has a unique affect in ability cultivation and
comprehensive quality improvement. Via practice teaching,
students will improve their ability of practice, ability of ana-
lyzing and solving problems, correct thinking pattern and ri-
gorous scientific attitude and style of work [1]. Aiming at cul-
tivating talents for social and economy development in the new
era, it is necessary to carry out new exploration in practice
teaching system for talent cultivation of practical and innova-
tive undergraduate, and continually reform, innovate and dee-
pen in the long-term process of teaching practice in order to
achieve better effects.
Connotations and Capacity Characteristics o f
Practical and Innocative Talents
The so-called practical and innovative talents are people who
have strong ability of teaching oneself, ability of job adaptabil-
ity, ability of technology innovation and re-development, and
people who have innovative sense, innovative spirit and inno-
vative ability [2].
Connotations of Prac ti c al and Innovative Talents
Practical and innovative talents are different from academic
research talents who are trained under the elite educational
philosophy, as well as skilled practical talents who are trained
in vocational school. They are between those two kinds of tal-
ents, and not purely academic or skilled. In other words, they
have to taking into a ccount both sides. This kind of talents must
focus on cultivation of practical ability and innovative spirit at
the same time. The greatest feature of them is that they have
strong ability of technical thought and they are good at applica-
tion of technology. They can convert knowledge into produc-
tivity, re-develop products and solve specific problems in the
production. In conclusion, they are people who convert, im-
plement, achieve and innovate in knowledge and technology
Capacity Characteristics of Practical and Innovative
Practical and innovative talent s mainly serve in the forefront
of production and management, so that they are highly de-
manded in abilities and qualities, which include [4]:
1) Possessing foundation of theory: The knowledge for
practical and innovative talents should be application-based,
and be focused on usefulness. The principle of basic theory is
just sufficiency, while the requirements for practical knowledge
and skills should attract more attention.
2) Practical operating ability: One of the differences be-
tween practical and innovative talents and other kinds of talents
is that: they have strong abilities of practice and operating, and
they can rapidly meet requirements of job, solve practical
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
problems, sensitively discover potential problems in the front
line of production, management and service, and solves these
problems in the scene by using all kind of knowledge and skills
3) Ability of continual innovation: The target for innovative
talents in high education stage should be focused on cultivation
and improvement of innovative spirit and innovative ability.
Because innovative spirit is a strong and enduring motion for
people undertake creative works, and it helps individual to
solve all kinds of problems in work.
4) Ability of teamwork and cooperation: Practical and in-
novative talents are mostly in the forefront of production. They
are facing design, planning, decision-making and application in
the work all the time. And none of those can be done by indi-
vidual's ability, so creation and cooperation of team are needed.
Therefore, spirit of teamwork such as trust, credit, cooperation,
and the understanding is an essential quality for practical and
innovative talents. And that requires students in college to
master a wide range of practical management capabilities, such
as communication, association, coordination, organization
and leadership.
5) Ability of self-study : A lot of practice ca n certificat e that,
knowledge we learned in colleges and universities only ac-
counted for 10% of knowledge we need in work, while 90%
comes from self-study. Especially to practical and innovative
talents, they mostly contact comprehensive field with more
complex factors instead of single problem in work, and may be
involved in all kinds of aspects. Therefore, practical and inno-
vative talents should focus on coordinated development of
KAQ (knowledge, ability, quality), and possess stronger ability
of self-study and job adaptability than skilled practical talents,
so that they can meet the requirement for generalist by modern
The Problems of t he Existing Syst em of Practice
In current practice teaching system, the proportion of prac-
tice for cognition verification is quite large. Most practice
teaching is finished step by step in laboratory in accordance
with procedure of experiment or curriculum design instructions,
which is seriously out of line with actual production. Students
are in a passive state when in the link of practice teaching, and
lack of integrated design, professional experimental courses and
practicum for innovation study, and innovative experiment. The
problems of the existing system of practice teaching are embo-
died in the following aspects:
1) Experimental teaching subordinate to theory classes,
which leads to insufficient attention paid by teachers and stu-
dents: Now experimental classes basically belong to corres-
ponding course, and operating methods of experiments are not
very theoretical. Normally, operating methods in the guiding
books are detailed, so students absolutely have the ability to
complete the required experiments by themselves under the
guidance of their teachers. Even if students have no preparation
in advance, the experiment will still proceed smoothly, and the
data processing and report arranging will be quite well. How-
ever, students seldom raise questions and analyze the results of
the experiment. Even some students have an incorrect idea that
experiment classes are unimportant and easy to pass, which
leads to unsatisfactory effects of experiment classes and failure
to cultivating ability of independent thinking and innovation.
2) The link of practice teaching is out of touch with the en-
gineering and becomes formality:Because of the constraints of
time, space and funding, cognition practice and production
practice, which have close contact with the engineering, also
become a hurry glance over things. As a result, cognition prac-
tice and production practice can hardly achieve their effect, and
become formality.
3) The links of practice teaching are separated, so the conti-
nuity of students' knowledge is poor: Now experiment, practice
and graduation design are separated, and they are basically a
combination of courses. Even if for graduation design and the-
sis, there are only a few practice courses. This kind of system
can not efficiently cultivate students’ comprehensive ability via
practice, let alone innovation ability.
4) More attention are paid on theory than practice, and in-
vestment is too less, so practice teaching is depressed:
Long-term inertial thinking and relative scarcity of school funds
lead to relative lack of investment in education funds, especial-
ly in practice teaching funds, and equipment update too slowly.
Internship funding hasn’t grown for many years, and teachers
for experiment practice teaching and management are not very
enthusiastic, so practice teaching is always in low levels. All of
these have effected the cultivation of innovation ability and
practice ability, and finally generate many students who has
high scores but low abilities, who are poor at or lazy in practice,
and who can not meet the requirement of job after graduation.
Practice Teachi ng System Reform with
Cultivation of Application and Innovation
Ability as the Center
The link of practice teaching is quite important to promote
the combination of structure of knowledge, structure of ability
and scientific thinking, and it has a special place in cultivation
of innovation ability. As an engineering oriented university,
cultivating students is to serve territorial social and economy
development. Cultivation of advanced technology and engi-
neering ability should be strengthened, and the key of the
building of the curriculum should be solving engineering prob-
lems. Therefore, we must give prominence to practice teaching,
be strict to engineer practice, and emphasize cultivation of ma-
nipulative ability. And cultivation of knowledge and ability
should be promoted through practice teaching in different stag-
According to the ability requirements of the current society
and economy development for practical and innovative talents,
the Faculty of Materials and Energy of Guangdong University
of Technology has reformed practice teaching, and the setting
of system is shown in Figure 1. In accordance with the pro-
gressive regularity of ability cultivation, the system of practice
teaching is divided into four levels: basic practice, basic expe-
riment, advanced practice and comprehensive innovation. In the
whole system of practice teaching, research projects for stu-
dents, innovation projects for students, subject contests and
experiments of comprehensive innovation are throughout the
process of practice teaching.
Level of Basic Practic e
The level of basic practice includes engineering practice, in-
ternship of computer application software, basic course expe-
riment, cognition practice and society survey. It focuses on
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
cultivation of basic skill and experiment skill, and improvement
of basic capacity. Through society survey students can under-
stand the requirement for talentsability in the industry.
Through internship of software students can understand the
software used frequently in profession courses and work, for
example, AutoCAD, UG, PRO/Engineer, Protel DXP and so on,
and master the basic application of such software. In fact, many
enterprises require applicants to master computer language and
operating skills for many platforms. At the same time, students
can learn advanced methods for experiments, which can be a
foundation of professional courses.
Level of Basic Experiment
The level of basic experiment focuses on improving the abil-
ity of combining theory and practice. Except the neces sary
experiments set for simply verify ing the theory, most experi-
ment classes are separated from theory classes to break the
boundaries between different subjects. Experiment class is in-
dependently set in accordance with subject type. And it is also
treated and arranged as an independent subject to broaden the
field of practical teaching. The connection and combination of
logic and structure in experiment class of different subjects are
improved, so the target of entirety optimization can be achieved.
By all of these, the curriculum can maintain a connection from
beginning to ending, and proceed step by step. Thus experiment
class can be an intrins ically linked organized whole, which goes
from the easy to the difficult and complicated and spires.
Course experiment of some related subjects, such as metal ma-
terial engineering, materials processing engineering and elec-
tronic information materials and components, are integrated and
optimized, and is set together.
Level of basic practice:
Engineering pra ctice,
Internship on PC,
Cognition practice,
Society survey
Level of advanced
Curriculum design,
Curriculum practice,
Level of b asic
Course experiment,
independently set in
accordance with
subject type
Level of comprehensive
Graduation internship,
Graduation design,
Student s’ research,
Subject contes t,
Innovative practice
Cultivate basic skill
Cultivate ability of
engineering practice,
Ability of innov at ion
Science research projects and innovation projects for students
Subject contest experiment of comprehensive innovation
Figure 1.
System of practice teaching
Level of Advanced Practice
The level of advanced practice includes professional training,
engineering practice project, curriculum design, comprehensive
and innovative experiment, production practice and cultivation
project of colle ge s and enterprises. It is the main part of engi-
neering ability cultivation for students, which focuses on culti-
vation of specialized characteristic for students. And it mainly
cultivates ability of comprehensive design, ability of teamwork
and preliminary ability of innovation practice, so that students
can establish a sense of innovation and engineering awareness
in early time, and feel a sense of achievement.
An example is the semiconductor device manufacturing
process experiment of Microelectronics. First, silicon samples
will be manufactured by material preparation technology and
tested in sheet resistance experiment. Then, oxidation experi-
ment, lithographic experiment and boron diffusion experiment
will be conducted and through these the PN junction diode will
be manufactured. At last, the I-V characteristics and breakdown
voltage of PN junction will be tested. All of these can develop
students' interest in learning, strengthen the student's responsi-
bility, enhance of integrity and synthesis of the experiment, and
make the learning coherent and connecting.
Another example is mold experiment of material forming and
controlling specia lty . Every student will join in the whole pro-
cedure including product design, mold design, mold manufac-
ture, mold assembly, mold debugging and purchasing material,
standard parts, cutting tools, measuring tools and instrument for
mold manufacture. Therefore, students can understand and
master the whole process for mold parts including purchase,
mechanical workout, assembly and mold t est.
Figure 2 shows parts of studentswork from comprehensive
and innovative experiments.
(a) diode lithographed on silicon
(b) experiment work of injection molding
Figure 2.
Display of studentswork.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Level of Comprehens ive I nn ovation
The level of comprehensive innovation includes all kinds of
research training, graduation internship, graduation design,
students’ research project and technological innovation activi-
ties. And it can further cultivate students’ ability of research,
ability of engineering practice and ability of innovation. The
research projects are of practical value, or from the front line of
research and production, or related to enterprise or research
projects of teachers. So students can fulfill the whole training
process from product design, process development, product
molding to product quality test. Some graduation designs use
training mode of order form according to enterprises’ require-
ments: students will practice directly in enterprise since the
production practice in the seventh term, and make their quests
of graduation design (finish in enterprise) according to enter-
prises’ requirements in the eighth term.
As for the cultivation of innovation ability, students are en-
couraged to participate in the various competitions for national
college students, such as mathematical modeling competition,
electronic design competition, computer simulation competition,
structural design competition, the business plan competition,
robotics competition, learning competition, Challenge Cup and
so on.
Figure 3 shows parts of students’ design from electronic
competition and science and technology innovative activities.
The characteristics of practice teaching system above-men-
tioned are:
More attention is paid on combining practice teaching
with actual production, research, extracurricular science and
technology innovation and social practice.
The choice of practice contends reflects comprehensive-
ness, characteristic of design and research, and it helps to culti-
vate students’ knowledge proficiency and ability of innovation.
The autonomy of the students is prominent, while teach-
ers are changed from counselors of practice teaching activity to
guides of students’ practice activity. It helps to cultivate stu-
dents’ ability of practice, ability of solving practical problems
and spirit of teamwork.
Practice is the foundation of innovation, so that practice
teaching of undergraduate is an important part of cultivation of
practical and innovative talents. Now the research and explora-
tion of practice teaching mode in the Faculty of Materials and
Energy of Guangdong University of Technology has achieved
initial success. However, continuous exploration and reform of
practice are needed to improve the quality of practice teaching,
and to cultivate more practical and innovative talents who can
meet the requirements of socio-economic development in the
new era. In the next step, an important mission is to build up a
(a) IC card intelligent charging system
(b) determinator for ground thermal conductivity
Figure 3.
Students’ work from electronic competition
and science and technology innovative.
practice environment with more comprehensiveness, characte-
ristic of design and creativity for as more students as we can, so
that every college student can cultivation in different links of
practic e at the undergraduate. And as for the content of practice
teaching, links of practice with more characteristic of explora-
tion and research should be added, on order to mobilize stu-
dents' enthusiasm and initiative, stimulate students' creative
thinking, and further improve students' ability of engineering
practice, innovation ability and comprehensive ability.
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