Twenty years have passed since the implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which entailed a huge paradigm shift for European education. With it, universities introduced not only structural changes, fundamentally championed by the political framework responsible for providing the basic guidelines to organize lessons within the education system, but also on the focus of educational models. The EHEA brought with it the methodological renewal for the development of skills and achieving learning outcomes for students, and the mobilization of teachers to “innovate” in their teaching.
Project-based learning, flipped classroom, gamification, challenge-based learning, design thinking, among others, are now common terms in pedagogical circles, and they have replaced traditional classroom practices. This has also occurred with the application of new technology in teaching and learning processes, such as virtual and augmented reality. And more recently, the challenge of personalized learning and neuroeducation. Neuroscience, which is increasingly more essential, provides us with a better understanding of the brain and the mechanisms that influence learning: i.e., how we learn.
The university cannot remain on the sidelines, rather it must join the revolution and support educational innovation in order to apply emergent ideas, methodological strategies, and resources to continuously improve learning. Even more so today, it is undeniable that innovation drives transformation and continuous improvement in education compared to other traditional teaching systems or other less conventional forms of teaching.
The faculty is one of the fundamental pillars for the education of students and to facilitate their learning. Their passion for teaching and their valuable commitment enable our students to receive a quality education.
The university uses several mechanisms to support and recognize their teaching. These include teacher training and development plans at universities in order to provide quality continuous training and to provide them with the tools and resources to develop the educational model and innovate. Innovative educational events such as University Innovation Seminars fulfill two objectives: on the one hand, they attract education experts to a collaborative learning space in order to reflect on teaching; and on the other, they allow the best practices that teachers apply in their classrooms to be shared.
For yet another year, in 2018, Universidad Europea held the University Innovation Seminars under the motto “Educate with mind and heart,” focused on educational innovation, assessing competencies, and collaboration. Neuroeducation was one of the leading issues, along with best practices presented by teachers who also participated in the Universidad Europea Teaching Innovation Awards.
Their importance lies in the educational and inspirational effect they have on the faculty, leading them to consider their own teaching practices and learn how to continuously improve and be more innovative in their teaching. These kinds of seminars aim to connect and foster the sharing of innovative educational experiences between the faculty and the education community. They also demonstrate that education today is not complacent, that it is committed to educational innovation in order to achieve the best learning outcomes in our students.
Training teachers in educational innovation and sharing research to demonstrate its contribution to our students’ learning, will contribute to advancing the university’s mission and vision. In 20 years, university education will continue to be focused on the holistic development of the individual, allowing them to be able to make the most of their own resources and those of their surroundings, as well as increasingly sustainable technology, aimed at responding to society’s needs and contributing to the comprehensive development of people in order to adapt to increasingly dramatic changes. We therefore continue to support teacher training and development.