Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 918-924
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In the framework of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) where success in education should be measured, to a large extent, by the acquisition of skills and expertise, university teachers have to make an effort to use not only their teaching experience, but also their technical and technological skills to transfer this practical knowledge to the society that gives a purpose to their work.
This kind of studies, usually more specific, dynamic, and with a marked target on job training are often difficult to find in official university degrees whose bureaucracy is often too slow to enable adjustments and modifications of contents and educational strategies every year.
Spanish universities have a wide offer of these studies called “own Diplomas” that are specific to each university. These university degrees are not official as they do not have a direct recognition by other universities, but often count with recognition by companies operating in the field related to each diploma.
The participation of university teachers in some of these unofficial university degrees (either Master, Specialist or Expert qualifications) makes even clearer the need for new teaching and learning strategies to ensure a real achievement of knowledge by the student.
Unlike the official University Masters where each subject has its own evaluation, for unofficial masters a single overall evaluation is provided at the end, making it more difficult to teach those subjects that students can consider less interesting or require more effort on their part.
In addition, the score given to students is either “passed” or “failed” which prevents rewarding those students whose effort and achievement are above the average.
With these constraints it is necessary to apply different teaching methodologies that ensure enough knowledge and skills of those students holding any University “own Diploma”.
Universities should not issue Diplomas when they only accredit that the student has paid the registration and attended most of the classes. These University “own Diplomas” must ensure that the student has assimilated a minimum of what has been taught.
We present here different teaching strategies we have applied throughout one academic year to a couple of subjects from a University “own Master” and the results obtained from our experience. We have been able to test different methods such as lectures, delivery problems, methods of self-evaluation, etc. Our experience shows that best results are found planning a Problem Based Learning environment which requires the students to work immediately after the concepts have been explained to them.
Problem Based Learning (PBL), University “own Diplomas”.