‘REALITY BATHS’ AS A PEDAGOGICAL STRATEGY IN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
1 Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
2 Conselleria d´Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport. Generalitat Valenciana (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The Faculty of Fine Arts has devised a programme of teaching and learning outside the lecture rooms known as ‘reality baths’. This integrated teaching strategy is based on multiple methodologies and built on an immersive experience that helps students obtain a realistic vision of their job prospects from multiple perspectives.
Many students are anxious about their job prospects after graduation, and this anxiety is heightened in times of economic crisis. Such anxiety may be eased if students are helped to strengthen their work experience and learn about different aspects of their future career. Our teaching innovation is called ‘reality baths’ and arises from the need we detected in students during classroom study for real contact with the activities involved in their future employment. This has been achieved by studying cases in places outside the university that are linked with cultural heritage (such as public organisations, museums, and businesses).
These activities are held outside the lecture-room, but within the normal timetable. The aim is to enhance teamwork and immerse students in the procedures and actions they will encounter after graduation. The lecturer always attends the activities and co-directs with an employee of the organisation or company. The objective is to generate a joint strategy between the university and the organisation that places students outside the university, but accompanied by the lecturer and within the normal university timetable. In this way, a link is generated between what is learnt in the classroom, and the reality students will soon encounter.
The ‘reality baths’ project has followed a sequence of programmed activities that has enriched the teaching-learning process with active methodologies adapted to each subject. The main objectives have been to expand the number of teaching hours spent on activities outside the classroom, and facilitate active participation and contact with potential future work situations, encourage the development of communication skills, creativity, and therefore, the acquisition of 21st century skills. Group work and problem-solving is mostly used to acquire these skills during class, while the non-contact time is spent on tutored projects (which in most cases, require students to visit companies, museums, etc.). Contact with the business world is a motivating element in the process of student learning and more attention is needed for these activities during teaching hours. We believe it is beneficial to establish a joint strategy to encourage the implementation of new training spaces, and that the activities currently realised outside the classroom as non-contact work, should form part of classroom training. The aim is for lecturers to teach outside the classroom, and so enhance student immersion in the professional world.
In this article, we propose an analysis of the results obtained in the subjects in which various methodologies have been applied. We also reflect on the need for such a project, and the benefits of ‘reality baths’ as a strategy for the integration of content. The project also aims to provide students with an analytical view of the contents, so that they can develop critical thinking skills outside the classroom.
In INTED 2018, the conclusions are presented in the same way as the project work phases: a heuristic phase; an analytical phase; and a phase of synthesis.
Keywords: Reality Baths, Pedagogy, Teaching innovation, Pedagogical Strategy, University Education, Immerse.