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P. Monte, J.C. Fandos, V. Gallart

Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
The methodologies that we present in this project have been put into practice throughout the academic year 2013/2014 in the subject Market Research, as part of the 3rd year of the Business Administration and Management Degree. It has been established as an Educational Innovation Project within the Novice Teachers Training Programme, at Jaume I Univesity, Castellón (Spain).

From previous experiences teaching theory in the in the market research field, it has been showed that involving the students in the development of the sessions improves the learning process and generates a better understanding of the contents, which increments both the students’ attention during the lessons and the motivation towards the contents given. Due to this reason and with the purpose of facilitating the student’s learning process, it is suggested the possibility of introducing ‘decongestion’ elements in the Market Research theoretical lessons in order to relieve them from their academic nature, providing them with more dynamism. This is carried out by dealing with the theoretical concepts in a more practical way, always involving the students in the development of the sessions.

The purposes of this project are to make the students make the most of the theoretical lessons and to assimilate the contents studied more easily. In order to achieve this, several teaching methodologies have been used in each unit. These methodologies are alternative to the professor’s explanations and they are used to create more dynamic and motivating lessons.

Our didactic proposal is based on active participation techniques. Particularly, we work on two Role-playing cases and one Problem-based learning (PBL) case. This has implied working cooperatively in each of these techniques, which has helped the students assume their role in a work team, assess their behaviour, be conscious of the areas that should be improved, and take a professional perspective both working on their own and with the group.

Role-playing technique allows us to bring real-world problems into the classroom learning in an environment of controlled risk. This method allows students to make decisions in complex cases, watch its consequences and reflect on the results.

Regarding the Problem-based learning (PBL), it is an active process that works with real problems. This didactic method increases the student’s motivation and the tolerance of uncertainty, and encourages experience and intuition. Students in PBL courses also have a hands-on opportunity to grasp the benefits of working cooperatively and engaging in their own learning processes.

As a conclusion, the students’ motivation has been increased due to the contents and a better empathy and collaboration will has been developed among the students. The combination of the given techniques has not only provided a better development of the specific competences the subject deals with, but has also stimulated a wide range of transversal competences. In an individual level, we point out the ability to develop a critical thinking, self-motivation, or an improvement of the communication skills. Furthermore, other competences such as the ability to work in group or the ability to delegate and collaborate with the rest of the group members have been also taken into account.