Concern for how and what to teach and learn at University is a feature of all forums with an interest in university teaching and innovation. We are no exception.
At this IVth CIDUI we would like to contribute to the promotion of good practices in teaching innovation, looking in depth at what is the general slogan of the Congress: “Teaching Competence”
We would like to reflect upon the demands on teaching staff that are raised by their dedication to quality teaching. We are proposing the three following central themes for debate of the professional competence of teaching staff.
1) Learning context: strategies, resources and technologies.
The most appropriate learning context must be created for the students, from the climate in the centre and class work, to the university structures and services that help with the development of a new way of teaching and learning in higher education. Along with this, it is essential, among other factors, to employ the most appropriate teaching strategies, to provide and make use of resources, especially technological ones, and to provide the most appropriate physical spaces, to help improve performance in classroom activities.
Many such experiences have occurred in these fields in our universities. We hope that the IVth CIDUI can be an opportunity to exchange and discuss the ways in which we have made progress in recent years.
2) Planning of teaching. Profiles of competence, objectives, contents and activities.
Teaching teams must master the tools and techniques for the design, planning and management of the university curriculum. Stressing not just teaching, but also learning, is an important change for universities, for teachers and for students. It involves a new orientation for the basis of the development of student competence: reformulating objectives, revising contents and foreseeing new activities, depending on different cases, with regards to qualifications, study plans and subject teaching plans.
The new concept of teaching – learning that begins in the classroom and in the teaching plans of the most innovative departments and university centres, can become the starting point for a process of change in teaching culture, which we suspect will be long and slow.
We hope that this can be done by means of persuading and convincing teaching staff, through shared experience and reflective practices.
3) Alternative systems for learning evaluation
University teaching staffs are making increasingly greater use of alternative evaluation methods, depending on the needs of different contexts and situations, and using a wide range of plural options and methods.
A form of teaching that is increasingly more focussed on student learning obliges us to discover, exchange and incorporate alternative evaluation methods to traditional ones, which enable direct observation of the students’ work, skills and knowledge – in other words, their competence.
In analysing the abridged reports, the scientific committee will be considering, among other evaluation criteria, their relevance to the main subjects of the congress.