PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES WITH A TRANSVERSAL CHARACTER FOR THE SUBJETS PLANT TECHNOLOGY AND AGRO-ALIMENTARY INDUSTRIES

Spain, as a member of the EU, is immersed in the process of adaptation of university education to the European Space of Superior Education, previous step towards the anticipated European Convergence for the 2012.
In this context, the curricular coordination as well as the reorganization of practical activities is proposed as the key of the success. The objective of the present work was the curricular coordination and redesign of the practical activities in two subjects of the Agricultural Engineering Degree: Plant Technology (2nd year) and Agro-alimentary Industries (3rd year).
This project is included within a philosophy in which horizontal coordination (among subjects in the same year) and vertical coordination (among subjects of different years) is considered highly recommended. That implies, in the first step, coordination among professors of the same subject; in the second, coordination among professors of the same year and, in a superior level, coordination among professors of the same degree (among different years). This coordination avoids duplications and facilitates the timing of the contents enormously, favouring the efficiency of the educational interaction, saving the time of professors and students that can be invested in improving theoretical classes.
In the traditional educational system, methodologies and habits of work acquired by students can be forgotten from one year to other. The proposed change entails a greater advantage for students due to the vertical coordination.
It is fundamental to fix the objectives to reach, in each one of the subjects in an independent way. Taken into account that the matter of classes is practical, the use of methods of active learning plays a very important role.

The most important aspects of the coordination are: 1) To define the generic competences to work. In this point it is important to distribute the competences between both subjects, to avoid redundancies or gaps between competences. In this sense, it will be beneficial to establish a chronogram. 2) Professors responsible of both subjects have to analyze the volume of work to be done by the student as well as timing. 3) Elaborate a chronogram of the evaluations (when and of what students are going to be evaluated). 4) To design shared activities. 5) To use similar or complementary methodologies in both subjects, with the purpose of giving coherence to the project.

It is also important, to emphasize the connection between the matters. There are numerous common points between the contents of the two subjects, so with the coordination of the practical classes, the student easily will find the interrelation between the matters. It will contribute to a better understanding of the existing cohesion in the program that the student follows, which will influence positively in its formation.