TRANSFERABLE SKILLS AND HOURS OF LEARNING. HOW DO STUDENTS MANAGE THEM?

M. De Juan Vigaray1, E. Gonzalez-Gascón2, E. Subiza Martínez1, C. Martínez Mora1, M.L. Vallés Amores1, J.A. Posadas García1, J.J. López García1, V. Hernández Ricarte3, J.E. Peris Ferrando1, J. Cuevas Casaña4

1University of Alicante (SPAIN)
2University Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
3IES La Torreta de Elche (SPAIN)
4University of Valencia (SPAIN)
The present study examines how, within the context of the modules of Red EUCE: I+Do+I (Spanish for Network of the Programme in Business Studies: Research + Teaching + Innovation), different social sciences modules help students to acquire several transferable skills. The modules involved are: Mathematics, Statistics, Commercial Distribution and Health Economics. We designed a survey based on previous models to analyse skills acquisition, and used an online questionnaire that students answered voluntarily and anonymously. The questionnaire included a question about the time, apart from the contact hours, that students devote weekly to study. Our aim was to explore if the amount of independent study required by each module is in keeping with the number of credits assigned to it.
Our findings reflect the students’ perception, and show that they believe to have acquired a good level of the transferable skills here analysed: teamwork, independent learning, decision-making based on the application of knowledge to practice, problem analysis using unprejudiced critical reasoning rigorously and accurately, oral communication, written communication, active participation in class, and the use of computer tools. Regarding the number of hours of independent study, one of the main points of the new learning philosophy promoted by the Bologna Process, we found that students devote an average of 2.78 hours per week to each module. This means (in a programme with five modules per semester) about 14 hours a week of independent study. If we bear in mind that students in new programmes have 20 compulsory contact hours per week, this workload is compatible with the number of credits and the weekly hours available to the students.