GENERIC SKILLS ASSESSMENT IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEGREE AT UNIVERSITY OF ALMERIA
University of Almeria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays, national curriculums for different university degrees in Spain are designed based on a competency catalogue; being the term competence understood as a cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that describe learning results from a determinate study program and that enable a person to act effectively in a job or situation. In degrees from the University of Almeria (UAL), three types of skills must be contemplated i.e. 1st, Generic skills included in Royal Decree RD1393/2007 of 29 October, approved by the State Central Administration, that establish regulations for Official University Studies; 2nd, Generic skills of the UAL, approved by the Governing Council of the University the 17 June 2008, which are transversal skills appearing in all degrees; and 3rd, Specific skills of each title, in this case the grade in Environmental Studies. Part of specific skills may have been agreed at the level of Andalusia, as happened in this case (RD1393/2007). In this paper, generic skills of the UAL (UAL1 to UAL10) are analyzed in 36 subjects comprising the aforementioned grade: UAL1- Basic knowledge of profession, UAL2- Using Information and Communication Techniques (ICTs), UAL3- Capacity to solve problems successfully, UAL4- Writing and oral expressing with clarity in Spanish language, UAL5- Development of a sense of criticism and self-criticism, UAL6- Ability to work in a group, UAL7- Learning a foreigner language, UAL8- Commitment to Ethical Business, UAL9- Capacity to design, manage and undertake a task by oneself, and UAL10- Social Responsibility of Business. The analysis of UAL skills showed that UAL4, UAL6 and UAL9 skills are the most frequent in the degree. UAL4 and UAL6 are considered in 66% of subjects, while UAL9 appears in 53% of the cases. The rest of the skills are represented in less than 50% of subjects. Skills that are less present are UAL7 and UAL8, appearing only in 5.5% and 13.8% of the subjects respectively. On the other hand, when skills are studied by years, five of ten skills (UAL1, UAL2, UAL7, UAL8 and UAL10) are not represented in any subjects for one or two years of the degree. All skills are only considered at the same time, and in a higher percentage, in the last year of the degree. This study determinates that only three UAL generic skills are considered in a high percentage of subjects, suggesting that the rest of skills should be represented in a higher number of subjects. This advice is easy to carry out due to the fact that only four of thirty six subjects of this degree consider more than five skills in their study plans, and four subjects have a unique competence. Additionally, the current life way and its implication in climatic change do the Ethical Commitment competence indispensable in Environmental Studies. In a similar way, the present business competition and globalized world professionals indicate that knowledge of a second language is necessary. Consequently, both skills, UAL7 and UAL8, must improve noticeably their involvement in subjects of Environmental Science degree.
Keywords: Skills, Environmental Science, University degree.