The Social Council of the Pompeu Fabra University gives Gema Revuelta and Carolina Llorente a Teaching Quality award, in the “teaching activity within a master’s degree” event.
The Social Council of the UPF has called a contest since 2006 to recognize and encourage excellence in the role of teachers and promote innovation as a determining factor in quality assessment. Within this area of Teaching Quality, teaching and research staff who teach at UPF degrees and masters can present their activities as deserving of this merit.
The award-winning proposal – presented by the director, Gema Revuelta, and coordinator, Carolina Llorente, of the CCS-UPF – has been the teaching activity called “Practice of Science Communication and Public Engagement”. It consists in the planning, dissemination, execution and evaluation of a real and innovative practice of scientific communication and public engagement in groups of about 5 students, with the main objective of using the tools of scientific communication to offer a real service to the community. The students carry out the practice autonomously, making decisions in collaboration with the rest of classmates and the entities to which they adress the activities, in this way the role of the tutors is only as a guide and help to identify resources.
The student increases reflection on the role of research and innovation in society, as well as the need for informed and participatory citizenship in the face of scientific questions or dilemmas. It also increases the ability to speak to diverse audiences and to listen to their concerns, while familiarizing themselves with complex issues associated with working with a “real” audience. The student stimulates creativity and innovation, increasing the technical and instrumental skills to prepare an innovative activity. Another aspect that the student acquires with the realization of this practice is the improvement of the ability to organize in groups and the writing of project reports.
During the last 3 years, students have designed 14 activities with various formats: theater performances, role-playing games, contests, participatory debates, gymkhana, videos, among others. Here are some examples of the activities with more participation that students did. In online type, the activity Why is there still no cure for cancer? It was very successful. The topic – chemotherapy – was chosen through a Twitter survey. The activity was carried out in video and a web page, with a target audience of teenagers and social network users. Another activity with a lot of participation was a theatre micro-performance in a train, for an audience over 25 years old and user of this transport. The representation was entitled: Self-medication: do not be your own doctor. A final example of an initiative that featured many participants was an interactive game, with question and answer cards, for high school students aged 16 to 18, about eating habits and the development of ailments.
“Communication practice and citizen participation” is an activity within the subject of “Science Communication” offered to the masters’ degrees in “Biomedical Research”, “Clinical Analysis Laboratory” and “Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry” of the Faculty of Science of Health and Life of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). The differential aspect of this activity is that it has not only contributed knowledge and technical skills to students who are essential for their professional practice, but has helped them to have more critical spirit and sense of responsibility regarding the role of science towards society and the environment.
The methods used in this activity are innovative and based on accessible and sustainable methodologies that encourage active learning and student responsibility for their learning, working transversal skills and with the possible application of the activity to other studies and fields of knowledge intensive in investigation and development.
The professors who presented this candidacy have previously participated in teaching innovation projects with recognized results and also coordinate several subjects within university studies. For these reasons, the proposal presented is an innovative practice and excellent candidate to apply for the Teaching Quality Award for an activity within a Master, we can affirm that the activity has contributed significantly to the improvement of the quality of teaching of the masters in which it is offered, and to the extent that it is possible given its small size, the activity has had a social impact and contributed to the institutional improvement.
Este blog cuenta con la colaboración de la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología – Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación