Based on interdisciplinary, on the integrational project and on the PBL - Problem-Based Learning – methodology, the Debate and Learning knowledge workshops try to promote a set of activities guided on the scientific initiation to develop inside the student a bigger written and oratory ability and the interest and capacity to make academic researches connection to the addition of Law specific concepts, like abilities, attitudes and student life values.
- GENERAL OBJECTIVES: The Debates and Knowledge Production workshops have the objective of linking the content from several semester classes giving the students, the interdisciplinary through structured and integrated activities. It has the function of following the curriculum crosswise. With that, it gives them different learning moments that consolidate and integrate the knowledge acquired in the several classes, which utilize the practical experience of problem situations.
The course curriculum demands the balance maintenance and the integration between all disciplines to graduate professionals with an interdisciplinary view and able to perform their occupation in full. In this sense, stands out the freshman’s profile who aims at graduating needs to have a general view and the workshops that strongly give them enough contribution for the reflective, practical and theoretical in-depth activities, always in form an interdisciplinary perspective. Additionally, the utilized methodology (the academic research accomplishment and panel presentation using the PBL dynamics) had the function of improving the written capacity, oratory, articulation, and also the instigation of scientific research.
According to Campos (2012), the actual student from the digital era, can be identified using some peculiar characteristics:
• Do not have patience to study/work;
• Have difficulty for linear learning;
• Hyperactivity syndrome: do multiple tasks simultaneously;
• Have a selective mind for excess of information;
• Uses several media platforms with a great resourcefulness: TV; Mobile phone; Computer; internet; Facebook; Twitter, etc;
• Have difficulty on oral, written and general knowledge communication.
Within this reality, the education faces a challenge of captivate the student, offering dynamics that provides a permanent and efficient learning. Therefore, the using of Problem-Based Learning – PBL during the Debates Workshop classes beyond the interdisciplinary. The subject connects the Law course classes’ contents from each semester to provide a complete and wide view.
- SPECIFIC GOALS: the worked contents related themselves to each Law Course phase. Being an integrated class, it was sought to link two or more classes from the Thematic axis with a problem situation. Thus, for each course semester, the collegiate established a Thematic Axis that pursued the integration of each classes phase with an interdisciplinary optics. In the Thematic Axis, it is defined one problem situation, a practical case, which the students are going to solve. For example, on 2015, for the 1st course phase, the classes linked to Law Theory and Sociology the thematic axis was “Ethnic groups and the recognition of their uses and habits facing the Brazilian legal planning” and the solving situation was: “Apuã Araripe, a Brazilian Indian man, who belongs to the Guarani-Nãndeva tribe, is married to three Brazilian Indian women. Hypothetically, they should consider that Apuã had documents and could make official towards the Brazilian civil law, all three marriages and that the Public Ministry knowing about the facts promotes a prosecution for crime of polygamy. Taking the Indian Statute as a basis, the use and habits, the doctrinal, jurisprudential and legal fundaments from the Indians communities, if you were the Judge, how would you decide this?
- DEVELOPED ABILITIES: It was intended to promote the interdisciplinary and academic integration, essential to the actual legal professionals. Also, the development of written and oral abilities, the interest and the capacity of performing academic research were developed.
Therefore, the student needed to:
• Know the initial concepts of the course.
• Execute the activities connected to the project methodology.
• Develop knowledge, critical sense, creativity and motivation to face the course.
• Apply the concepts and theories acquired during the phase in an integrated way through the execution of a problem/project.
• Develop the self-knowledge and know how to work as a team
Curriculum Guidelines set out in the Pedagogical Project from the UniSociesc’s Law Course stablished abilities and skills defined as essential to the formation of the future bachelor professionals. During the Debate Workshop and Knowledge Production subject program it was intended that the student developed some of these abilities and previous skills.
Among the skills that are intended to expand, were:
• Reading comprehension, elaboration of texts, acts and legal documents or normative, with the right use of the legal -techniques norms;
• Law interpretation and application;
• Correct use of legal and Law Science terminology or;
• Use of legal reasoning, discussion, persuasion and critical reflection.
Among the skills that were planned to develop, it was highlighted:
• Organization, expression and thinking communication;
• Assimilation, articulation, and professional exercise knowledge systematization;
• Law Productive creativity;
• Contextualized analyses capacity of the legal phenomenon.
Thus, the freshman who wants to graduate should have a global view, and the Workshop subject helps the student strongly with that using the reflective activity adoption and the practical and theoretical deepening, always from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Furthermore, the methodology used (Scientific Research and Workshop Panels Presentation achievement) had the function of improving the written and oratory capacity, and in addition instigate the scientific research.
The undergraduate students developed the perception ability from different sources whereby the contents cross each other and influence themselves. Additionally, they could have a full comprehension and a global view that sometimes could not be explicit separately during individual content in the curriculum subject during the semester.
- LEARNING METHOD: Problem-based learning because the students performed scientific researches, exposing the theoretical/conceptual basis from their own hypothesis and conclusions, searching the solution of indicated practical situations and problems.
- REQUIREMENTS: In relation to the students, the preparation consisted in learning group meetings, composed from 2 to 4 students, for discussion of presented problem-based learning situations. They performed a scientific research to make the necessary knowledge to problem’s solution, elaborated a project to drive the research, wrote the achieved results in a scientific article and in the end of the semester, presented their conclusions.
In relation to the professors, the Workshop Methodology presupposes the Faculty involvement, with the creation of Problem Situation that will be a study object for each phase. In addition, the class’ professors acted directly with the students in the activities orientation proposals. The class’ professors elaborated a material that was released by the students; taught the methodologic orientation classes for the production of the Research Project and Scientific Article; managed the grades and class attendance; followed and helped the students in their difficulties; corrected the delivered paper, attributing grades with a rate of 10,0; realized the paper’s grading process together with the Course Faculty, then chose the papers which would be presented and finally organized the Panels for the presentation and content discussion.
- DEVELOPMENT PF THE DYNAMICS: The development of the activity occurred in stages:
1st stage) the beginning of the process of interaction between professors and students happened on the presentation of the Syllabus (Syllabus and PBL Methodology) and presentation of the situations-problem. It is important to reinforce that, at this point, the professors taught an expositive/participative/dialogued class. The goal was to present the subject to the students, especially to the methodological and grading methods system, and also to present the situations-problem of each Law Course Phase to them, which would be solved during the semester.
2nd stage) The Methodological Orientation about the Research Project. The goal was to methodologically guide the students about the Research Project teaching an expositive/participative/dialogued class.
3rd stage) Individualized Student Care: As a first step of the PBL methodology, the support to the Research Project preparation. The goal was to provide the opportunity to clarify some doubts about the Research Project preparation: hypothesis and situation-problems solution.
4th stage) Individualized support to work groups composed by the students. The orientation was given by the workshop professors and the faculty connected to the Thematic Topic. The support took place in the classroom on specific and previously scheduled dates combined between the groups and professors.
5th stage) Methodological Orientation about the Scientific Article. The goal was to guide methodologically the students on how they should elaborate the Scientific Article teaching an expositive/participative/dialogued class.
6th stage) Individualized Student Care: Scientific Article help elaboration, as a final step of the PBL methodology with the results indication. The goal was to provide the opportunity to clarify some doubts about the Research Project preparation. The orientation was given by the workshop professors and the Faculty connected to the Thematic Topic. The support took place in the classroom on specific and previously scheduled dates combined between the groups and professors .
7th stage) Individualized support to the students who would present their works in the Workshop Panels. The goal was to provide the opportunity to clarify some doubts about the Seminar presentation.
8th stage) Workshop Panels: presentation of the selected Scientific Articles and debates guided by course professors. The Workshop Panels were performed to the Scientific Articles presentation selected by the classes’ professors, which attended to the suggested methodology, the necessary situation-problem solution and to the other classes’ rules. The best articles were presented in a panel format, with the presence of group members and one or two professors from the Thematic Topic area, followed by the rest of the class (listeners). Class panels and debates inside the classroom guided by semester professors and organized by the subject’s professors.
In addition to the classroom activities, the students made a group meeting using the schedule suggested by the Syllabus.
During the 1st work GROUP meeting it was intended that the members from each work group got together to start the discussion about the situation-problem indicated for each Law Course phase.
The objective of each student from the group was the active participation during the discussion, contributing with their new acquired knowledge, justifying them with the studied bibliography.
The work group should:
1) Identify the problem: after the contextualized problem delivery in their experiences, the students should make a complete reading and after that discuss it between them.
2) Explore the preexisting knowledge: once understanding the problem, the next step was to clarify the meaning of the used terms and explore their previous knowledge. During this, all students from the group would participate with their own problem knowledge and with the conceptual basis that they would have to expand this information.
During the 2nd work GROUP meeting it was intended that the members from each work group got together to continue the discussion about the situation-problem and to make the Research Project.
The work group should:
1) Generate hypotheses: based on discussions realized before, the students would generate hypotheses about the problem environment, including possible mechanisms of solution. According to Severino (2007), a hypothesis could be a provisional explanatory proposition of relations among phenomenon to be proven or informed through experimentation.
2) Identify the learning objectives: Then, the learning objectives would be identified and used for a solution, and the strategies to make the investigation, so the knowing spaces that appear when it was tried to solve a problem. The preexisting knowledge and the conceptual basis, the hypotheses and the learning objectives should be registered in a Research Project.
In the 3rd work GROUP meeting it was pretended that the members from each work group engaged a self-study for the acquisition of new knowledge. Each student would go for a self-study, researching for contribute the problem solving. In their research, students should guide themselves on references raised by the group about the concepts linked to the problem situation and the Thematic Topic.
The 4th work GROUP meeting had as an objective, taking the work groups to reevaluate and apply the new knowledge to the problem-situation. After the self-study, the students got back to the group and exposed their new knowledge, solving the problem, and with that, developing a Scientific Article exposing the concepts and the doctrinal learning researched, the ideas raised by the group, and the discovered new knowledge to the problem-situation solution.
Lastly, the 5th work GROUP meeting had the conclusion of the Scientific Article by the work group as an objective, exposing the concepts and the doctrinal learning researched, the ideas raised by the group, and the discovered new knowledge to the problem-situation solution.
- ATTENTION IN THE CLASSROOM:
1) the motivation and involvement of the students with the proposed activities were essential during the semesters when the workshop took place. It was sought to encourage the students, reinforcing in each meeting, the importance of academic research, continuous learning, integrated graduation and of the Law legal knowledge for the graduation. As a way to encourage the Panels work presentation, what was a difficulty during the semesters, the presentation days were elevated as a Course event realized at the Institution Amphitheater because the students perceived it as a burden and did not accept to expose and debate their ideas. Additionally, the students who presented their work received an extra point in grading score in classes related to the Thematic Topic.
2) Another huge difficulty found was the own scientific research methodology used, especially to the plagiarism in their academic work. It seems to be a paradigms break, but a lot of students were surprised when they received the grade 0, with a plagiarism proof (partial, total, etc.) In a lot of cases, it was perceived that the student had a good purpose during the research, but also after he received the plagiarism rules, ended up doing it. The digital information along with the “copy and paste” culture proved as the easiest way to accomplish it.
- GRADE EVALUATION: being a mandatory subject that integrates the curriculum of the respective year, the subject required from the student the minimal final average of (7,0) and minimal attendance of (75%) during the activities from the semester.
The assessments happen in two different moments: one grade was attributed to the research project and another one to the scientific article. Together, these grades composed the Partial Grade (1st partial) that would be replicated in the semester grade (2nd partial). In the end, if the student did not achieve the minimal medium (7,0), he could make an Exam for the subject, according to institutional methodology.
The research project should be elaborated according to the indicated methodology sent by e-mail to the class professor. The scientific article should have at minimum 10 and at maximum 15 pages.
The work grading took into account the methodological rules observed, the respect to the class orientation, textual and grammatical cohesion, the quality from the realized research and the involvement of the group in the activities that were proposed.
Finally, there is no participation grade at the presentations. Only the students who had their work selected and exposed had the right of an extra 1,0 (one point) at the partial average of the Thematic Topic linked classes, indicated in the beginning of the semester by the Course Faculty.