NEW METHODS FOR IMPROVING THE STUDENTS’ LEARNING PROCESS

C. Casqueiro, A. Suarez, R. Maceiras, C. Ulloa

Centro Universitario de la Defensa (SPAIN)
Traditionally, teaching at Universities has been taken place by lectures. With the implementation of Bologna process it has been necessary a change in the structure and in the way that the teachers give their lessons. Nevertheless, in most of the cases the changes carried out by the Universities have been limited to a restructuration in the time distribution and not in a change about teaching methods.
Defense University Center located in Spanish Naval Colleague has began its teaching simultaneously with the implementation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in Spain. However, the teachers of this center came from other Universities and they have to adapt their subjects to the new model in a short time. This has provoked that the use of new learning techniques have been carried out progressively and not in the beginning. This situation allows to analyze if the progressive use of sets of methods improves the students’ learning process in the subject of Materials Resistance.
The subject is divided in three kind of lessons: lectures, where the teacher explains the theory; seminars, where the teacher solves more practical problems; and laboratory, where the students put in practice the contents taught in the lessons. During the first months of the course, in the subject of Materials Resistance the classes were developed following that model. In the first partial exam, it was observed that the 65% of students passed the exam. With the aim of improving these results, in the following months the teaching model was changed as follows: lectures explained a more concise and practical theory focused on the resolution of problems; in the seminars, the students had to solve different problems; and in laboratory session, activities were carried out in parallel with the theory. Moreover, knowledge pills were prepared by the teachers and used to support the resolution of exercises. After that, a second partial was done by the students and the obtained results allow to conclude that the implemented changes improve the students’ learning process.