A. Meléndez Peretó, A. Pedrosa Bou, M. Fuentes Agustí

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
The Autonomous University of Barcelona promotes teaching for learning in Higher Education formation as well as encourages interdisciplinary and exchange among faculties in order to improve the teaching quality according to professional and social evolution and requests. Taking into account these aims, the criminology degree has introduced in some modules new and emerging strategies and innovative tools that lead high Education; such us continuous, formative, self and co-evaluation; team-work; learning for doing research; case-based seminars or role-play activities.

In this presentation we are focusing on a particular team-work activity in Penology, a module belonging to the 3rd year of the Criminology degree. It is a class – 70 students- and group project inspired by a European project -Cost Action IS1106 Offender Supervision in Europe-. It has been developed in small groups– 16 groups- in order to distribute the tasks, but with a common aim: studying the visibility of community sanctions in our criminal system and in the society. In order to develop the project, different perspectives have been taken into account: professionals, academics, criminologists, and associations working with victims, offenders or/and ex-offenders having or being accomplishing a community sanction. The development of the project has required literature review; a research design and its development, by using two innovative methods: photography and a website creation. Both are the innovation strategy introduced in the module. Oral presentations have been prepared by the different groups to the rest of the class and all the presentations have been uploaded to the website. Finally, a group of students, representing the whole class, have shared some early results, using the website as well, with local and students from Texas- who are part of an exchange program- in a session about the criminal justice system in Spain.

The results of the project have been analyzed and qualified, on the one hand, by two external experts: a lecturer in criminology and a professor in educational sciences, in a very positive way. On the other hand, these results have been evaluated very positively by the students; and finally, by the lecturer in charge of the module, who has enhanced that the high and permanent involvement, motivation and dedication of the students have helped to improve their knowledge about community sanctions in our criminal legal system in a more satisfactory way than in previous years, where the project was not developed.