A SPECIALIZED TUTORIAL PROGRAM AS A METHOD FOR ASSESSING STUDENTS´COMPETENCIES
The complex environment of the European Convergence demands from the Higher Education Institutions an enormous effort which implies a commitment of renewal in the use of teaching methodologies and a change of paradigm in the teaching-learning process.
The philosophy underlying the European Space for Higher Education promotes a new approach for the academic programs of the different disciplines, focused on the acquisition of generic and specific competencies. This change of paradigm includes the consideration not only of the results but also the process itself, with the consequent need of considering new qualitative and personalized evaluation procedures, letting individual self-evaluation and encouraging self-directed learning with a real significant contends of tutorials with an active participation of the student.
Within this framework, the specialized tutorial is presented as a key tool to guide and direct students on their own teaching-learning process, in an individualized way and as an attempt of fulfilling their personal expectations and needs.
The main objectives of the specialized tutorial programs are: to promote an active student participation, to use the tutorial as a methodological resource focused on a guidance performance and to facilitate the development of study strategies and individual and collective collaborative reflections, to be able to achieve attitudes, knowledge and skills.
This project has been carried out within the Higher Education settings, as part of an Official Master program in Nursing Sciences in the Universities of Alicante and Huelva, with a total of 100 students and as a complement of the continuous student evaluation on a semi- presential mode. This methodology consists in the implementation of a specialized tutorial program through personalized interviews which aims to assist in the student self-evaluation and the teacher evaluation of the student learning process.
The project development implied the creation of an organizational flowchart with the tutorial structure to facilitate students and teachers´ performance and to develop a new process evaluation system.
This experience has showed the numerous benefits in the utilization of the specialized tutorials for students and teachers. The main advantages for teachers are the possibility of establishing an individualized program according to the student needs and more direct contact. From the students´ perspective, this program offers a “tailor made” learning methodology and a similar way of evaluation compared with students who regularly assist to the lessons.
Conclusions and implications for practice
The introduction of new systems for evaluating academic competencies is a big challenge for our current educative framework and requires a new vision from teachers and students. Searching and implementing these new methodologies affect positively to the teaching-learning process and facilitates the development of semi-presential mode of learning and the individualized students´assessment, reaching therefore, the European Directives.