PEDAGOGICAL INNOVATION APPLIED TO COMMERCIAL LAW
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
In the European Space of Superior Education, teaching and learning are combined into a practical - theoretical methodology, aimed at achieving professional and scientific qualification.
In order to carry out this model, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) permeate all the processes of teaching and learning of Law, changing the theoretical and only in-presence method of the traditional University. ICT are a driving force than enables progress to the XXI Century University.
The computer applications form the key elements of any course now available on the University’s virtual campus (or on the website). They are connecting points of all the elements, resources and activities of the courses.
Tools like blogs, forums, e-mail, data bases images, glossaries, websites of companies and public or private institutions, have high potential on the management and processing of the amount of knowledge that flows through the course net. The applications available at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid Virtual Campus, allow the interaction of all the course elements, with tools and external programs. All these resources work as multidirectional and in a simultaneous or successive sequence. The more or less interaction between the virtual campus platforms and other programs and external platforms depends on technological compatibility between them.
The use of this new “technological scientific university model” in the area of legal sciences has been accomplished in Commercial Law, by the development of the course within the Virtual Campus of the UCM. This system is used in the Faculty Law of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The first course was held in 2003-2004, as a UCM pilot program. Having said course a flexible and open method, allowed it to be successfully adapted to all the subjects of the program: Concept and sources of Commercial Law, Company, Businessman, Publicity, Companies’ Registry, Competition, Contracts, Security-Assets, “Creditors Concurrence”.
The development of the subject (or Course) in the Virtual Campus rationalize and simplifies the traditional process within the university education, since the computer system allows to organize all the course elements in a unitary way and ordered to the transmission and understanding of legal knowledge. On one hand, the subject developed in the Virtual Campus: i) multiply the pedagogical scenes of Commercial Law, ii) The course materials become a kind of big multimedia handbook of unknown dimensions today (books, articles, news, Web and videos, among others). iii ) The teacher has new technologies and resources available, to be used in the training of jurists and professionals of law. On the other hand, the combination of tools and computer applications, calendar, working groups, forum, blog, data bases, mail, wikis, etc. together with the relation between teacher and students gives a more rationale to the learning model and allows interactive working between them and the course materials in several ways. This better performance in the elements and resources of the course: i) encourages the student participation, ii) encourages the student’s better involvement in the learning process, iii) improves the level of understanding of the law institutions, iv) and resize the abilities and capabilities to put into practice the acquired knowledge to the legal professions.