Experiential context.- The teaching staff concentrates on helping Master’s students to construct knowledge by combining the logical structure of each subject area with students´ psychological and social perspective. Thus, this first step intends to introduce students to the topic to be developed, motivating them through their own experience and context: analysis of preconceived ideas, different experiences, connection with other contexts, future expectations, common perceptions and disagreements.
Reflective Observation.- This process consists of opening students´ eyes to perceive the surrounding reality and question, through reflection, the considerations of what this observation really means. In this phase students learn to ask themselves questions, also favouring the independent search for answers. Examples of questions are: How do I react to this observation? What aspects of it interest me? What contradictions does it awaken? How does it affect my convictions? What type of reflection does it push me towards? What could I do? These reflections are shared among students, preparing them for the team work they will be required to do in each subject area.
Defining the concepts.- The next step is to help students to gain insight into the theoretical approaches to the topics under study. However, the focus is not on learning by memorising but learning based on the use and application of cognitive skills such as understanding, analytical and synthetic thinking, critical judgement and divergent thinking, which will provide students with comprehensive and significant understanding and training. They will therefore be equipped to situate the concept, fact, information, principle and scientific theory in the intellectual structure itself.
Active experimentation.- The fourth learning stage focuses on the link between theory and practice. It includes any activity (exercises, internships, research works, programme design, projects...) that fosters the development of students´ competences in problem-solving concepts, theories and models or with the purpose of designing or implementing a model or strategy.
Assessment.- Three levels are distinguished in this last stage of the learning process:
- Personal level: This level prompts students´ assessment and reflection on what they have learnt: What have you learnt from the subject area? How have you benefited from this learning?
- Academic level: It is based on feedback as an element for student progress, to find out how students work and their main difficulties. It forms the base for improvement and optimum use.
- Summative level: Its aim is accountability of students´ work and study. The focus is on judging each student’s attainment of knowledge, which is expressed as a grade and shows the level of competence achieved.
This methodology is carried out specifically by the Master´s teaching staff in all subjects and through their course syllabus, which is a public document that reflects subject planning, published in a free access format on the University´s webpage. It comprises the following sections:
- Subject title
- Language of instruction
- Degree programme
- Number of ECTS credits
- Subject type
- Learning outcomes in terms of generic and specific competences
- Teaching-Learning strategy
- Assessment system