EFFECT OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT ON THE RETENTION OF FRESHMEN IN APPLIED PHYSICS IN ENGINEERING

J.M. Cámara-Zapata

Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
University studies in engineering can engage students without a clear technological vocation. These degrees offer considerable expectations of employment. Thus, freshman in engineering degrees may have little prior training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These subjects constitute the contents of most of the asignatures of first year. Consequently, new students can present a strong disagreement in this type of asignatures. Universities recommend using continuous assessment systems. The groups of students enrolled in the first year courses are usually large. In practice, continuous assessment consists of the completion of some eliminatory examination. The effect of these partial exams involves a separation of groups in the classroom. Most students who fail the exam usually drop out. With the objective of studying the effect on student retention of the degree in electronic and automatic industrial engineering, a special system of continuous evaluation in the subject of Applied Physics of the first semester has been realized. The result has been an increase in student retention when compared to a group in which conventional continuous assessment is performed. The proposed continuous assessment system has made it possible to detect and correct methodological errors in students with little prior training.