Complutense University of Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5764-5772
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
In recent years university teachers face an educational challenge with the need of promoting in our students a different type of learning: meaningful, interdisciplinary and linked with competencies that they will have to apply in their future professional practices. This ambitious goal demands innovative teaching and learning strategies, far away from traditional teaching methodologies such as lectures, practice case studies or lab work. Cross-curricular competencies included in most of the university studies include varied skills such as critical thinking, aptitudes for teamwork, creativity or the application of an ethical sense in the daily professional practice.

Trying to help our students to develop these skills as part of their learning experience, several teachers participated in an cross-curricular project with students from different degrees at the University Complutense of Madrid. Specifically, our students have elaborated PechaKucha presentations about a common topic which can be easily analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective: Human Rights. Participants in the study were students of degrees in very diverse areas of knowledge such as Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences and Humanities.

One of the biggest challenges teachers address when they design innovative learning practices is related to the evaluation of the benefits of this experience. Very often, innovative experiences in the educational settings are assessed using informal evaluations or, at best, asking the participants how involved and motivated they felt while taking part in the activity. All these information can be necessary and useful for students and teachers, but optimally they should be completed with additional information about the real gain for student´s learning. Deeper and systematic evaluations of the experience will allow teachers to determine the effectiveness of the innovative practice and to identify possible areas of improvement.

With this aim, we designed and applied two types of evaluations. Firstly, our students evaluated their perception of improvement in the cross-curricular competencies after their participation in the project. Also, they completed a complementary survey to analyze additional data such as their satisfaction with this learning tool, with their teachers´ support, perceived benefits in general, problems and possible aspects to improve. Additionally, our own teaching experience was also analyzed asking teachers participants in the innovative project to quantify their perceptions about their student´s improvements, as well as benefits and problems faced during the project.

Data from the different degrees and courses was analyzed and discussed in relation to some previous experiences using Pecha Kucha in University settings.

The evaluation of this innovative experience will help us improve the design and development of similar teaching strategies in the future, allowing us to reflect about our teaching practice and our student´s learning experiences while participating in an innovative educational practice.
Evaluation, innovation, PechaKucha, interdisciplinarity, cross-curricular competencies.