EFQM-BASED PDCA CYCLE APPLIED ON SELF-LEARNING MATERIAL FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS
Institutional policies encourage cooperation between those involved in teaching, in a climate of confidence and dynamism through the promotion of educational material. Self-learning, in particular, is taking in information, processing it, and retaining it without the need of another individual to be teaching it. Simply stated, self-learning requires the ability for a student to work independently. Self-taught students are motivated by the sense of a well-done job. They are self-motivated because they have the confidence that if they don’t know an answer to a question, they know how to use the resources available to find out the answer. Self-taught students often can complete course work in a fraction of the time it would take to finish in a teacher-directed setting. Self-teaching should be ingraining in the student a concept of continual success, gradual and steady success that results from diligence and the pursuit of excellence.
Taking into account the above mentioned aspects, the design of new tools promoting the self-learning process is crucial, in order to enhance the acquisition of both specific and transversal competences, as long as to assimilate and use the body of knowledge of a particular subject. The work herein presented is linked to the Inorganic Chemistry field. In fact, the scope is the subject "Crystalline Solids", where some of the major difficulties are related to the fact that not only a knowledge background is required but also adequate spatial vision and a firm base on mathematical and geometric concepts, since symmetry concepts are involved.
In order to promote the later skills, the whole teaching team involved in the subject at the Pharmacy Faculty has prepared a guide for students where the use of several web pages is recommended and analysed. The guide leads the student through the concepts of ionic radius, prediction of crystalline structures, and lattice energy to encourage the self-learning.
Self-teaching is comprised of six steps: (a) climate setting, (b) diagnosing learning needs, (c) formulating learning goals, (d) identifying resources for learning, (e) choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and (f) evaluating learning outcomes. In fact, the work herein presented corresponds to the final step of an innovation project in education granted by the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU, Spain). After the design and implementation of specific self-learning materials for the topic Crystalline Solids (Inorganic Chemistry), the evaluation of the results has lead to the proposal of some improvement actions that conform an EFQM-based PDCA cycle.