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EXPERIENCES IN THE UNIVERSITY TEACHING PRAXIS OF PACKAGING DESIGN: DEFINING COMPETENCES, ADAPTING SYLLABI AND ANALYSING THE IMPROVEMENT OF ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Nowadays, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is a reality in practically all European universities. Its implementation will homogenise higher education in Europe as never known before as it will provide a framework to facilitate better international mobility among teachers, students and researchers that will directly affect the quality and competitiveness of university teaching.

These advantages are particularly relevant in studies related to engineering and industrial design where completion of technological training will benefit from the experiences gained in other centres. The links formed between different universities will strengthen and complete the praxis of these disciplines as they will provide students with the resources available at specialised centres abroad, while promoting the technology transfer at the same time.

Designing and applying syllabi within the new European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) schemes will enable students to develop and acquire previously defined competences. Nonetheless, transforming a syllabus and a teaching methodology which have been consolidated over years of practice always causes difficulties in the adaptation process to the new European area. Therefore, it is necessary to periodically analyse the new syllabi and methodologies set out in the teaching practice, particularly in the first years in which they apply, for the purpose of validating their correct operation or correcting specific aspects.

This document intends to quantify the improved quality of the theoretical-practical teaching in disciplines related to the structural and graphic design of packaging with a pilot experiment carried out at the Universitat Jaume I in the framework of the Degree in Industrial Design and Product Development Engineering. For this purpose, a comparative analysis was done between the teaching methodologies used in previous years and those employed in the current academic year by analysing the competences, the students’ autonomous work and the learning results defined with the new ECTS credits. The intention of analysing students’ academic performance is to disclose the strong points of certain aspects of the new teaching methodology and, at the same time, to detect its shortcomings and difficulties to rectify them. And all this within a continuing improvement process of the university teaching praxis in the new European area.