R. Elena-Rosselló, S. Merino-de-Miguel, J. Solana-Gutiérrez

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
This was the third year of a new degree in Natural Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). After these three years, almost all the essential subjects in the degree have been taught and it is time to summarize and check for any inconsistencies, gaps and/or overlaps. All the analyses are being carried out within a vertical coordination program that is required according to the rules imposed by the National Agency for Accreditation and Quality Assessment (ANECA) for official studies at University. Besides, in this case, a vertical coordination effort it is needed since this is a new degree never given in Spain before. Ideally, we will be able to detect any malfunctioning and make the required changes in order to solve it.

Up to now, coordination efforts have been done in the frame of all the courses within a semester but never in the frame of the whole degree. The former were mainly horizontal coordination works, which have been carried out by six different commissions (one per semester), with the main objective of temporally coordinate teaching activities (including field trips), exams, and deliveries of essays and practical works. However, few efforts have been done in a thematic or vertical sense.

The main objectives of the vertical coordination program presented in this paper are:
(i) to make a diagnosis of the degree, the thematic and temporal reliability of all the courses as a whole within the Natural Environmental Engineering degree (NEED)
(ii) to withdraw any possible malfunctioning that should be taken into account and implemented as soon as possible
(iii) to monitor during the next two years the way all the proposed changes will be implemented and the expected results.

The present paper shows some results concerning the first of the given objectives.

The first objective was to make a diagnosis of the degree of thematic and temporal reliability of all the courses as a whole within NEED. In this sense, the first step consisted of analyzing any course in relation to all the other courses in the degree. For doing so, any lecturer in charge of a course had to split it into pieces of minimum 1.5 ECTS size and try to find the connections of each part with all the other courses in the degree, defining if each part was behaving as source or sink for any particular course. The information given this way by all the lecturers and courses involved should be analyzed using the Graph Theory, which is the study of graphs or mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between objects. A graph is made up of nodes (the courses) and lines (the relationships between courses) that connect them.