“In 1st year there are already physical and chemical practices and basic techniques. 30% or 40% of teaching is in the laboratory, with tissues, cells … And, in addition, in the case of biologists, our classrooms are the field. We go out to see plants, animals, the soil… ” The speaker is Antonio Segura, president of the deans of Biology, who is looking now readjust the classes to the Network after the in-person visits were suspended to stop the coronavirus pandemic. “I think the right thing to do would be to extend the calendar. If you have to work days in August, you work. From the Bologna Plan, students must demonstrate competencies -that they know things through results- not mere knowledge, “says the also dean of the University of Santiago.
Upon enrolling for the first time in a career, the bachelor discovers that there are large differences in fees depending on the chosen degree. It is not the whim of the regional government on duty, but rather attends to its degree of experimentalism that requires the University to have more or less its own resources. These more expensive titles – which include many hours in the laboratory, practices in healthcare centers or outdoor activities – are now the most affected by the pandemic. The theoretical contents can be followed on the Internet but can practices be migrated to cyberspace? It seems like an almost impossible task. Degree 1 of experimentality -which does not coincide in all communities- includes careers in Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Optics and Veterinary), Sports Sciences and experimental degrees (Biology with its different technological and medical branches , Chemistry and Geology).
“There are many teachers who are asking for practices to be postponed, but there are not so many classrooms and laboratories and classes could overlap,” argues Pedro Cadenato, president of the Spanish Association of Biology Students of Spain (AEBE). This 3rd year student at the University of Salamanca, who praises the classes of the Genetics teacher on-line, He had to have made field trips these days to take species for botany and biochemistry practices.
“Almost 60% of the Sports Science curriculum is practical”, calculates José Manuel García, president of the deans of that faculty. With their 53 counterparts, they have agreed, for the moment, to concentrate in these weeks the remaining theoretical agenda -which can be taught electronically- while awaiting events. “There is not only exercise, but laboratory practices in many subjects: anatomy, physiology, biomechanics,” recalls the dean of the University of Castilla-La Mancha and judo professor. “If you go back to class at the end of April, reorganizing schedules can end.” Paradoxically, face-to-face campuses have struggled for years for universities on-line do not offer the degree arguing that your online teaching is not feasible at a distance. Until now, the ANECA evaluation agency has proven them right.
In Health Sciences the suspension came in two phases. In the first, practices in health centers were canceled for the safety of the students and for being these coronavirus spread vector. And in a second phase the classrooms were closed. “When the practices were suspended we thought of reinforcing the training in the simulation centers with actors or el role-playing [interpretación de un papel], but it could not be either, ”says Pablo Lara, president of the deans of Medicine. “We look for initiatives on-line that may be equivalent: methodological seminars, video, demonstrations, case studies… They are not practical, but allow the learning of related competences ”.
The almost 7,000 students in 6th Medicine and 10,300 in 4th Nursing only lack 30% of clinical practices and the final degree project to finish their degree. Now these can be hired – if they wish– for three months by regional governments. “We are in communication with all the faculties. For example, in Malaga there is a pilot experience for 6th year students, thanks to the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine, on critical reasoning solving interactive cases ”, continues Lara, dean of Medicine in this city. “We estimate that it is equivalent to two weeks of rotation [el paso de los alumnos por las distintas especialidades de un hospital] “
Antonio Pujol, President of the State Council of Medical Students (CEEM), is in 5th year at Complutense and this year only practices remained. “In the lower grades there are students who are not receiving their telematic classes because their teachers are also doctors and are overcome working on essential needs, which right now are others,” Pujol explains, putting himself in the shoes of the professionals. This student is concerned about what will happen with the next MIR exam because, if the academic calendar is finely delayed, recent graduates will have less time to prepare a screen than leaves half the applicants without a place.
“Almost half of the Nursing curriculum is clinical practice. Between 1st and 3rd we will see how we will recover it and in 4th that they had their final part, between 8 and 10 weeks of practice, we do not know what measures we can take ”, worries Cristina Monforte, president of the National Conference of Dean of Nursing. In the summers many future health professionals do voluntary practices and Lara maintains that this time they could be more.
The rectors ten days ago they launched a portal, Contactad @ s: the University at home, with materials, methodologies and conferences for teachers and students. A website that definitely falls short for grade 1 experimentality studies.
Information about the coronavirus
– Here you can follow the last hour on the evolution of the pandemic
– If you have symptoms, these are the phones that have been enabled in each community