Universidad de Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 2900-2907
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
This paper presents the teaching methodology we have developed and applied along the last two academic courses in the subject “Spanish economy” for undergraduates in Business Administration at Universidad de Murcia (Spain). These experiences are part of an educational innovative program to explore the value and interest of different alternatives for developing and applying the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE) guidelines.

In accordance with the ESHE aims, our methodology combines lectures with tasks such as developing short economic analyses, seminars, debates, etc. in order to increase students’ motivation as well as to promote their individual and group work. The final aim is to get a full development of the subject’s competences and to obtain a continuous evaluation of the learning process.

Lectures are given to provide a global perspective of the topics of the area, paying special attention to the most difficult points and the newest events of the Spanish economy. Lectures also provide guidelines to develop autonomous and comprehensive learning of the theoretical elements that will be evaluated through the exams.

Students must give some seminars where they present non-core topics as well as additional readings provided by the teacher. These presentations allow the evaluation not only of the knowledge of the contents but also of the analytic capabilities and the presentation skills of the students.

Theoretical learning also includes a debate where all the students participate. It is focused in some actuality topic that easily admits different perspectives, each of them defended by different working groups.

Practical learning is developed by solving exercises, as it is usually done in this knowledge area. There are three different classes of exercises: Firstly, a set of exercises that are solved and discussed by the teacher in the classroom; secondly, there is a set of exercises that the student can solve as homework (and ask for help in out-of-class hours), and thirdly, there are some exercises that the teacher raises in the classroom to be solved, fully or partially, in working groups under his/her monitoring.

Finally, students must present some reports on specific questions about the Spanish economy, using the statistical sources, databases, etc. that the teacher introduces in a specific class.

The teacher has a closer relationship than usual with the students. The teacher arranges some meetings with small groups of students in order to control and monitor the evolution of all the described activities. Besides, individual appointments with students provide them the needed guidance to get the course objectives.

We think that the development of all those activities along two academic years has become a useful and valuable experience for the design of the teaching program of this subject in a more participative environment. Besides, they can be easily applied in the forthcoming programs that incorporate Bologna aims and extended to many related subjects in the field of economics.