APPLICATION OF THE PROJECT-BASED LEARNING (PBL) TECHNIQUE TO THE COORDINATION OF DIFFERENT SUBJECTS OF THE BACHELORS DEGREE IN AGRIFOOD AND RURAL ENGINEERING OF UNIVERSITAT JAUME I
The implementation of the new degrees at Universitat Jaume I has brought the opportunity to integrate the learning of different subjects within the same semester into a joint coordinated project. In the case of the second semester of the second year of the Bachelors Degree in Agrifood and Rural Engineering a guided project (Project Based Learning: PBL) was designed with the aims of integrating some general competences of three different subjects: Ecology and Environmental Impact, Crop Protection and Topography. These common general competences were Self-learning, Written and Oral Communication in Native Language, Knowledge of a Foreign Language, Environmental Awareness, Information Management, and Critical Reasoning. A few additional specific competences of each subject were also included. The project was centered in one crop and had as a starting point a visit to a facility directly related to the selected crop. This visit allowed students: (1) to take measurements that were later on used for the part of the study related to Topography, (2) to ask questions about residues produced at the facility that were later on used for the part of the study related to Ecology and Environmental Impact, and (3) to ask questions about crop protection practices that were later on used for the part of the study related to Crop Protection. Subsequently, students had to produce a written report and an oral presentation on the activities developed. Tutorial sessions between professors and students were organized to guide the activities and receive feed-back information. Both reports and oral presentations fulfilled the formal requirements. Students also performed a peer-review of the project. This revision was not anonymous but confidential. The positive feedback received from the students will make us continue with the use of the PBL approach in coming years with some modifications as suggested by students (improved guidelines; temporal organization of work including objectives and deliverables that should be accomplished at each date; groups of up to 4 students maximum).