EVALUATION OF A LEARNING STRATEGY BASED ON PEDAGOGICAL ROBOTICS IN THE ENGINEERING FACULTY. UNAM
One of the main objectives of the implementation or use of technology in the classroom is to promote an interdisciplinary learning environment where
students acquire the skills to solve problems, structure investigations and form professionals that can solve in an efficient way the current problems
that the world is facing.
The use of pedagogical robotics in the classroom creates a learning environment that promotes the development of the creativity and reasoning in students. Some advantages that students have by participating in such environment are: the applications of novel learning strategies for problem solving, the use of specialized vocabulary, the development of critical thinking and the internalization of many technological concepts. For this reason it has been created in the Engineering Faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico a project that involves this learning environment, with the purpose that students acquire a significant learning.
Given that from the first’s semesters of the Engineering career students start to design and develop projects that unify the theoretical concepts with the practical ones, it is necessary to evaluate this type of activities that involve our educational responsibility.
“In the concept of learning evaluation, we find two terms that are related in a tight way, evaluation and learning”(López Frías, 2001). Even if it seems obvious, not every time that we work study or evaluate, we question what we learn. One of the main objectives of the PE104212 project: “The improvement of the educational quality in the Basic Sciences Department through robotics” is that students relate the topics learn in class with its applications in the engineering field through a Problem Based Learning. This method not only allows students to learn about different engineering topics, but also the learning experience becomes more dynamic and efficient.
As one of the objectives of this academic project is to improve the learning skills in students that are studying a Basic Sciences course, it is necessary to have many evaluations tools that allow measuring the didactic aspects related to it. For this reason, many different ways of measuring the performance in students and teachers involved in this project have been considered, although in some cases it is hard to appreciate its objective results. This is the reason why the constructivist focus is convenient. It is worth mentioning that constructivism is a pedagogical branch based on the constructivist knowledge approach, which postulates that the teacher must give the student tools that allow him to create his own procedures to solve problems, which implies that his ideas can be modified and still learn.Considering this it is necessary to develop different evaluation tools that allow measuring the students learning in an objective way. To evaluate the students and mentors´ participation many rubrics and surveys were designed, also to complement the quantitative cut information obtained through the surveys and academic results of student’s, focal groups with students and counselors were implemented. In this way it is possible to evaluate the performance of students without restricting its learning methods.Based on the opinions given by students, in the design and construction of prototypes related to the robotics, we can think that the motivation to study has increased and that a substantial improvement in teamwork skills has increased as well.