University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 1124-1130
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
"Learning by teaching" is a methodological strategy for developing key skills qualifications of the students, while improving their academic results in the subjects involved by rising the motivation of the alumni.

In some technical grades, mostly engineering grades, there are very poor academic results in some basic subjects, like mathematics, physics, and computer science. This low performance is highly noticeable in the case of students enrolling in the university through professional schools. On the other hand, key skills qualifications, which develop the so called “cross competences” are currently highly considered in the curriculum as they are related to the personal and professional success.

Due to the concern of the academic staff of the Forestry and Environmental Engineering grade at the University of Extremadura about the low performance of the students, and the necessity of improving the university’s Student Guiding Program, it was designed a new methodological teaching strategy for developing the curriculum of some subjects.

The aims of this strategy are:
• Improve the academic results of the subjects considered more difficult by the students.
• Develop the Key Skills Qualifications that the students must acquire towards a better professional performance.
• Improve the Student Guiding Program.
• Show the society a part of the academic activity developed at the university.

Such strategy consisted on the design a thematic exposition called “FOREXPO: Forestales Expone” (“Forestry engineering shows...”). This exposition was done by the students of the Forestry and Environmental engineering at the University of Extremadura and was attended by a non- specialized public (mainly Primary school children from the city of Plasencia). Also, it was designed a grading system in order to determine the results of this new teaching experience.

Firstly, in 2013, the exposition was about Physics and Environmental Sciences, but during 2014 the theme was expanded to Forest Pests. The exposition together with its calendar was announced and about 450 Primary School children, from grade 3 to grade 6, attended it. Children were guided by the university students and a rotating protocol was stablished so both, children and university students were attending each one of the exposition stands and experiments. Therefore, in this environment, the university students are capable of learning by teaching the children the experiments of the exposition.

The preliminary results have been qualitatively and quantitatively very promising. The motivation and attendance of the students to the course classes have raised and the academic results have improved.
Learning by teaching, key skill qualifications, cross competences.