University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 5455-5460
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1288
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Project-based learning (PBL) is a suitable methodology at master level because students, in small groups, must develop original projects that can readily be linked to their future professional life. This methodology requires active participation, commitment, team work and deep learning. Unfortunately, PBL is often hampered by time and resource limitations. In this study we describe a conjoint PBL experience carried out in subjects from two masters at the University of Valencia (UV), Spain: M.Sc. in Biodiversity: conservation and evolution and M.Sc. in Aquaculture. Three projects were developed in one semester involving students and lecturers from both masters. Each project dealt with transversal issues to the two masters concerning parasites of fish, which had both basic and applied implications. For instance, one of the projects analysed the parasite fauna of an invasive species, the black-bass, Micropterus salmoides, at L’Albufera de Valencia.

The aim was to assess the role of this species as a reservoir for native and alien parasites that can affect fish species of commercial interest. Each project was developed by mixed teams of students from the two masters co-supervised by faculty of both masters. Data were obtained and processed at research facilities of the UV. Each team had to deliver oral presentations for discussion in three joint meetings at the beginning, midterm, and end of the project.

The outcome of the PBL experience was extremely positive. First, students were very engaged and very good grades were awarded to their respective projects. Second, the subjects to which the projects were linked obtained excellent official evaluations by students. Third, two of the projects led to two master theses, one of which obtained the highest mark. Finally, the results of the third project were presented in an international congress on marine biology. In summary, building bridges between different masters, or degrees, opens unique opportunities to share and expand knowledge, to promote meaningful learning, as well as to optimize resources.

This study was supported by the project UV-SFPIE-RMD15-314989: “Renovación de Metodologías Docentes” from the University of Valencia.
Project-based learning, master, aquaculture, biodiversity.