GROUP POSTER PROJECT IN ENGLISH: ANALYSIS OF AN EXPERIENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES CURRICULUM

Attending to the new context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), we present this work that sums up the results of an innovative project developed in the subject "Environmental Toxicology and Public Health" in the Degree of Environmental Sciences from the University of Cádiz (UCA), Spain, over the academic year 2013-2014.

As a collaborative-learning strategy for students, in this academic course we introduce group poster presentations. Fourth-year students collaborated in groups to research one of four set topics of environmental toxicology which could be made either in Spanish or English. In the last case, they have the possibility to add an extra point to the final grade. Thirteen of fourteen groups chose to make the poster in English. Teachers evaluated the poster with a grading rubric, and students were asked to assess the other members of their group and completed a survey instrument that assessed the overall experience. Furthermore, they have to read and understand the assignments of the other groups so that they study the four topics. Individual knowledge of the four thematic was evaluated by means of a Moodle quiz consisting of multiple-choice questions writing in English, set so that the students were allowed two attempts which were automatically marked and which gave immediate feedback.

The experience has been implemented in the context of the Teaching Improvement Project “Increasing bilingualism (Spanish-English) in titles offered in the Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences (degrees and masters)”, which involved numerous professors from various departments, and that was funded within the Actions Supported by the University of Cádiz for the Teaching Improvement, Training of the Teaching Staff and Diffusion of Results (2013-2014). Prior to the end of the Environmental Sciences degree at the University of Cádiz, students must achieve competence in English, surpassing the minimum B1 level of the common European framework for modern languages.