University of Seville (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 7462-7470
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0705
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
One of the main changes introduced in the European Higher Education Area is a new paradigm of education geared towards professionalising students. In practice, this fact means that teachers not only need to reconsider what we want to educate students in but also how we want to do it. Reflecting on the importance of transversal skill acquisition in students' education requires subjects to be structured differently, both in relation to education programmes and to their practical development.

The importance currently awarded to cooperative work in the workplace is one of the reasons which has prompted the implementation of a teaching strategy which truly promotes this skill among students as part of their education.

Within this context we present the following teaching experience, carried out with second-year students from the Teacher Training Degree of the University of Seville. The main aim is for students to become aware of the fact that group work is not the same as working in cooperative teams, given the great variations in the final results in terms of knowledge and skills acquired during the development phase of the common project. The teaching strategy developed in the classroom over two academic years is that of cooperative teams.

These were organised into five phases:
(i) creation of work teams;
(ii) acquisition of trust and individual commitment;
(iii) team contract and sign of group identity;
(iv) execution of group tasks/activities; and
(v) assessment of the work.

In each of the key phases of the process information was compiled using questionnaires and discussion groups in order to carry out a general assessment on the processes for planning the work and group negotiation, any incidents occurring, and solutions and benefits provided by the strategy both for individuals and for the group.

The results obtained confirm that this type of strategy increases awareness on the benefits of the cooperative activities in problem-solving, with good communication between members a key element. Good cooperative work generates feelings of interdependence, trust and respect, joint construction of ideas, as well as commitment and personal responsibility.
University education, cooperative teams, group work, transversal skills.