University of Jaén (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6393-6401
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
There is some unanimity on the competences that are required of university graduates, insofar as companies have begun to demand that future professionals acquire new skills, as important as the contents included in the curriculum themselves. Along these lines, in the new scenario created by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism have formulated educational objectives in terms of the so-called “competences”, which includes a set of behaviours regarded as necessary to the successful performance of an occupation.

Traditional methods of university teaching, in which professors determine the information to be provided, turn students into mere recipients of information. This has shown that these education systems prepare students to pass an exam, but do not train them to deal with a real situation, since they have not developed competences related to innovation, oral communication, teamwork and capacity for analysis.

This paper presents the experience of using case studies as a university teaching method. Specifically, on a pilot basis, case study methodology has been used in the entire graduating class (4 academic years) of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism from the University of Jaén, which has made it possible to determine whether, by means of this teaching methodology, the learning process can be improved, with respect to previous graduating classes −which are based on the traditional teaching methods− regarding the acquisition of the so-called key or cross-curricular competences.

The participation of students in the proposed case study has favoured the development of new skills, thereby improving the student learning process, encouraging human capital training and increasing their competitive advantage in view of their integration into the labour market. Moreover, by comparing these results with those obtained prior to the development of this experience, it has been proven, through various, that the innovative teaching method applied to the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism has led to better academic results, and to the higher valuation of the so-called cross-curricular competences among the companies and institutions where students have completed their internships.

Furthermore, in view of these results, the experience described here confirms that the application of case study methodology to the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism methodology has ensured compliance with one of the main objectives set for the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism: turning students into tourism destination analysis, planning and management experts, through a teaching methodology based on the acquisition of competences, which allows them to tailor their curriculum, to a greater extent, to the new professional profiles required by the tourism sector.
Case study, teaching methodology, tourism, competencies, abilities, labour market.