Module 6.Studying in the European Higher Education Area.

Part 2: Methodological issues

1. Introduction

Methodological issues in university teaching and learning are one of the key elements within EHEA principles and guidelines. Quality policy is one of the key pillars in the convergence process, leading to an assessment of teachers’ contribution to the attainment of Bologna’s objectives, especially with regard to transferable and specific competences.

In this process, it is assumed that professional and academic profiles vary from one country to the other, as well as teaching methods, which are very differently conceived internationally.

In this section, different national-bound teaching and learning methods will be considered. Nevertheless there are also other variables that should be taken into account when analysing teaching and learning practices. The various disciplines, types of higher education institution, class formats as well as teaching staff preferences are also elements to be considered.

For this reason, our aim here is to show different teaching and learning methods that might be found in Europe in this new framework, where the objective is to promote students’ development of competences. Doing so, module participants would understand the implications of studying in a European institution; mainly regarding students’ active involvement and engagement into the learning process.

This knowledge would enhance participants’ preparation towards different teaching and learning methods, and would allow them to suggest a certain teaching and learning method in case they may eventually feel this would contribute to the completion of a given task. We aim at raising an interesting debate on teacher-student relationship, as it is believed this is an enriching element in the training process. Teachers are supposed to learn from this interaction as well, by self-assessing their own teaching practices, which they are prone to review, adapt and update to meet students’ expectations and needs.

Nevertheless, and due to time restrictions, these issues will be briefly dealt with; the main aim is to make participants aware of different teaching methods, helping them to identify and know how to react accordingly. Moreover, further information and details would be facilitated by way of a set of hyperlinks and bibliography at the end of this section.

Another important issue, highlighted by Biggs (2005), Prieto (2004), Miguel et al. (2006) or Foulkes (2006) (among others) is that assessment is to be included in the former binomial (teaching and learning) as this is a fundamental element if we aim at looking at students’ development. We will go back to assessment issues at the end of this section.

Reflect on the following issues:
Is this scenario very different to the one you are used to in your home country/institutions?
From your above answers, try to summarize which are the main assets of this new approach to your learning/training. In which respect you think this new system might help you in developing your skills and knowledge?

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