P. Mayoral, C. Magaña, E. Flores

University of Colima (MEXICO)
The trend in our university context, at the University of Colima, Mexico, marks a definite path towards curricular flexibility, as a means to train better professionals, with social responsibility. The objective was to describe in depth the level of satisfaction of students of the flexible PE (Educational Program in Spanish) in the Foreign Languages Department at the University of Colima. The research is part of a project carried out with founds from the Teacher Professional Development Program, for the superior type (PRODEP in Spanish). It was conducted under the Qualitative Approach and with the Case Study method. The present article explores the perception of the student body in a case integrated by four groups of students of the career BA in Languages Teaching. The study is relevant, because it provides arguments (from the voice of the actors) that can be the basis for future improvements to the PE. Data were collected by means of a Field Diary record, Semi-Structured Interviews and Non-Participant Observation and through focus groups, the opinions were recorded in video. The analysis of the findings was made based on the Grounded Theory and with the use of ATLAS.ti®.

This document is the second of a series of four that aim to publicize the different visions of the actors mentioned above. In the first document, Transition to a flexible educational program: a school of languages case study in Colima, Mexico, the vision of the university authorities was announced (Mayoral, P., Flores E., & Magaña C., 2017). In this report, the vision of the students is given from the perspective of their level of satisfaction. In these transitions, the concept of "flexibility" is the key word for success, one that, although not new, is newly adopted in this institution. The reasons that justify the present study are related to the direct impact that can have on the objective evaluation of the new program to train Bachelors in the Teaching of Languages. Other relevant concepts are related to the most important indicators of the level: 1. Income, 2. Retention, 3. Egress and 4. Graduation.

The final product provides an overview of what it means the transition to a flexible educational plan and the development of recommendations for the improvement of teaching practice from this perception of students currently attending the second and fourth semesters.As already mentioned, flexibility in university training programs is distinguished by the search for the best options for developing new curricular models, based on competencies and focused on the integral formation of students. It is evident that the policy can not be left out of the educational scenario. This treatment made it possible to conceptualize a series of actions related to student satisfaction and a holistic vision of flexibility about the program. Regarding the low level of satisfaction, it seems that it is due to the particular teachers' styles and the way they teach their classes, followed by the "obligatory nature" of some elective subjects. Additionally, a list of recommendations that the same actors contribute is presented for the improvement of their own teacher training. Higher education in Mexico is constantly changing. The analysis of the findings shows that there are different meanings of flexibility, but students agree on opinions when considering that the program lacks an authentic sense of flexibility. An in vivo code identified as "compulsory electives" will be discussed.