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Appears in:
Pages: 444-450
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

OPTIMIZATION OF LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM CONTENTS TO SKILLS

S. Calvet, M. Cambra-López, F. Estellés, A.G. Torres

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
Higher education in Spain is currently undergoing a series of changes in the framework of the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE). Although the origin of these changes is the need for improved education and learning technologies, there is a general perception that the main challenge of this process will be the distribution of subjects and the time corresponding to each one, in relation to the actual situation. In Spain, engineering degrees (five years) will be equivalent to grades (four years), and considering that competences will be almost equivalent, a reduction in the time of each subject is necessary. Therefore, many educators are facing up to the problem of teaching the same contents in less time. Perhaps this approach may be incorrect to overcome the changes we are dealing with, considering the following reasons: firstly, we must consider that new technologies allow the information to be more readily available, thus contents can be easily found; secondly, nowadays students have grown up in the context of new technologies of information and communication. Therefore, it seems reasonable that the education-learning techniques should be adapted to the new situation in order to optimize learning. Maybe a useful change could be the reduction of the subjects’ contents, and prioritizing the development of skills. This task should not be based just in reducing the amount of contents, which would undoubtedly lead to a worse education. This task must involve a careful selection of the necessary contents to educate the students, paying more attention to those skills and abilities the students will not able to find elsewhere. In this work, the experiences in the last two years in three subjects related with Animal Production in the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia are presented. In those subjects the new technologies are the base of a change in the learning strategy, using the Sakai virtual platform of the UPV Poliformat. A selection of contents was performed in order to reduce the proportion of expositive classes, and different activities were developed. The evaluation process was changed accordingly, giving more emphasis to the formative assessment. Educational videos dealing with very basic contents were created in order to optimize the time spent in the class. Essential specific skills of an agricultural engineer, related to the animal production field, were also considered in these subjects: interpretation of cartographic information, redaction of technical reports, searching and interpreting legal regulations, using computer assisted design software, developing the environmental conscience in the professional activity or searching and interpreting information from scientific reports, among others. Apart from those specific skills, transversal competences were also considered. As a result, these subjects are now prepared for the changes required by the adaptation to the ESHE, we have the impression that students learn more intensively and learning results are satisfactory. Furthermore, students have a positive perception of these changes, according external and internal surveys. In conclusion, we consider that selecting the contents given in these subjects and spending more time developing certain skills in the students have lead to an improved learning.
@InProceedings{CALVET2010OPT,
author = {Calvet, S. and Cambra-L{\'{o}}pez, M. and Estell{\'{e}}s, F. and Torres, A.G.},
title = {OPTIMIZATION OF LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM CONTENTS TO SKILLS},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {444-450}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Calvet AU - M. Cambra-López AU - F. Estellés AU - A.G. Torres
TI - OPTIMIZATION OF LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM CONTENTS TO SKILLS
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 444
EP - 450
ER -
S. Calvet, M. Cambra-López, F. Estellés, A.G. Torres (2010) OPTIMIZATION OF LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM CONTENTS TO SKILLS, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 444-450.
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