PILOT EXPERIENCES TO IMPLEMENT ECTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE BALEARIC ISLANDS
Universitat de Illes Balears (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is a system for measuring and comparing learning achievements between institutions. ECTS was developed by the Commission of the European Communities in order to provide common procedures to guarantee academic recognition of studies between different institutions. It provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements, and transferring these from one institution to another.
Within this context, this study reports the main results and conclusions obtained from pilot experiences to implement ECTS in the degree of Chemistry at the University of the Balearic Islands. These experiences were carried out during the academic years of 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 for the first year students of Chemistry.
The new teaching methodology aimed to achieve a high quality standard of education was based on the following aspects: (1) improve/promote the contact between professor and student, (2) stimulate the cooperation among students, (3) promote active learning processes, (4) promote time optimization practices, (5) respect to individual talent and personal learning practices.
The attitude maintained either by students and professors towards the implementation of the new ECTS system was very positive during the two experiences, as it was clearly stated from the questionnaires filled by the students during and, also, at the end of the programme.
One of the main conclusions, from the professors group involved in this project, was that the coordination among the different professors might probably be one of the key aspects in order to succeed in the implementation of the ECTS system at Universities and Institutions.
This coordination included organization aspects such as the timetable, exam dates, classrooms, etc. It should be pointed out that the agenda (a detailed programme given to all the students at the beginning of the experience) was an excellent tool in order to achieve this type of coordination.
From the student’s point of view, two different types of coordination could be differentiated (in fact, some drawbacks were pointed out by the students concerning this aspect). On the one hand, the coordination among professors of a given group was essential; thus, for instance, the adequate distribution of the student’s workload was required in order to avoid possible saturations during certain periods of the academic course. On the other hand, coordination among professors of different courses was also needed in order to avoid subject duplicities, inadequate subject sequences, etc.
Several problems were detected during the first experience (2006-2007) concerning to a non accurate calculation of the student’s workload needed to achieve different set learning outcomes. These problems were corrected during the second experience (2007-2008), thus, the measurement of the student’s workload was more accurate and credits were allocated accordingly.
In overall, the results obtained after applying this pilot experience during two successive academic years were rated as very positive. There is no doubt that all the outcomes from these experiences will be of great support to the implementation of the ECTS system which will take place for the 2009-2010 academic year at the University of the Balearic Islands .
 Montaño J, Pinya, C. “Orientacions I criteris de la UIB per adaptar la docència a l’EEES”. Universitat de les Illes Balears, 2009
Keywords: european higher education area, ects implementation, pilot experiences, student.