One of the most relevant novelties introduced by the new Degrees in the framework of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is the emphasis on non face individual student work, which in many cases has implied a decrease of face teaching hours in the classroom. Such a decrease in the face teaching hours makes necessary the design of new generic statement problems with two essential features: (i) they can be resolved by the teacher within the available time in the classroom and (ii) their resolution covers the essential topics that provide the students with the necessary abilities to solve other many different problems on their own.

Following the previous ideas, the main purpose of this manuscript is to design a series of generic statement problems to be resolved within the prescribed teaching hours and with sufficient generality to train the students in the resolution of a much wider variety of problems. In particular, the generic statement problems considered in this paper will focus on the subjects “Optical Systems”, “Physical Optics” and “Instrumental Optics” corresponding to the Degree in Optics and Optometry at University of Alicante.

The first step in the design of generic statement problems will consist of identifying general mathematical relationships that allow unifying the whole theoretical development of each Optics subject. Then we will express such mathematical relationships as the statements of purely algebraic problems accompanied by suitable schematic figures. Finally, the resulting problem statements will be resolved in the classroom in two stages: a first general algebraic resolution in terms of parametric unknowns and a final discussion of particular examples as well as limit cases that arise from the substitution of the unknowns by specific numerical values. A successful application of this methodology will aid the students to recognize any problem or question as a particular case of the algebraic development that has been carried out in the resolution of the generic statement problems, which in turn will help the students to unify the theoretical and practical blocks of each Optics subject.

To conclude this paper, we will extend the scope of our generic statement problems so that they can be also used in other related Optics subjects such as in Optical Engineering. For this purpose, the resolution of the generic statement problems will also be discussed in terms of their general applications to science and engineering, for which a pedagogical duality between photometry and radiometry will be considered.