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IMPLEMENTING EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA PRINCIPLES THROUGH INTERACTIVE TEACHING: EXPERIENCES IN COMMERCIAL LAW AND ETHICS OF VOLUNTARY WORK

F. Diez, M. De la Peña

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (SPAIN)
The Bologna Process is a European initiative to bring about transparency and compatibility of higher education across Europe. It formally involves the establishment of a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010 in which all degrees offered share a number of common features – with the aim of enhancing the mobility and employability of students, and the transparency and competitiveness of European higher education.

Within the context of this International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, and given the importance of educational innovation and the changes -and the challenges- posed by the EHEA, we present a paper that deals with one of the aspects of teaching that is bound to play a fundamental role in the discussions and reforms being considered in relation to the process of adapting our universities to the new Bologna framework and which, in our opinion, undoubtedly represents one of the key elements in the continuous enhancing of the quality of university education: interactive teaching. By this we understand (and as such we show in the paper) a teaching methodology aimed at placing the student at the centre of his/her learning process. A certain number of relatively “new techniques” (at least in Spanish college studies tradition) and pedagogical materials and procedures are therefore required to attain this goal. This also fully complies with the new teaching – learning scheme based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), in which classical lectures in room only amount to a minimum percentage of what the student is supposed to do in order to get his/her marks.

In addition to some theoretical work and research-driven results, we basically show how an appropriate interactive teaching can achieve astonishing outcomes in terms of student implication, comprehension of the topics discussed, motivation, developing of social and ethical skills, improving behavioural competences and deeper and further understanding of not only the fundamentals of a given subject, but also its practical consequences. The paper deals with the ten-year experience acquired in the University Antonio of Nebrija (Spain) teaching in such way two specific (although non-related) subjects: commercial law and ethics of voluntary work.