ADVANTAGES OF COOPERATION IN ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:In our experience, we have found that students have some difficulty when they try to integrate interdisciplinary knowledge to analyze an economic phenomena. In order to encourage students to have the ability to interpret and evaluate the results obtained from the analysis of the information in a critical way, we have tried to promote their capacity to combine statistical knowledge acquired in the field of sociology. We carried out a classroom activity to achieve this objective. The innovative activity has been aimed to first year students in Labor Science Degree in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Extremadura (Spain). This teaching experience is part of a financed project contextualized in the process of adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that involes the subjects "Introduction to Statistics" and "Sociology." The objective of the activity has been to analyze the problem of disparities in the Spanish labor market from a joint point of view. Thus, we tried to involve the class group, promoting not only the interaction but also the learning of both subjects. In this sense, we developed a classroom technique based on Cooperative Learning, so we have called the experience "Interdisciplinary Cooperative Learning" (ICL). At the end of the activity in the classroom we conducted a students' satisfaction survey that has shown that the experience of this activity based on ICL has increased their interest for Statistics, which is considered as a subject with a "high difficulty" for them, projecting a more positive attitude towards it. We have also detected an increase of the perceived usefulness by students of the knowledge acquired in both subjects (Statistics and Sociology). We concluded about the advantages that cooperation between subjects have on the academic performance of students taking into account that that this innovative teaching experience can be extrapolated to other degrees involving other different subjects in order to improve the teaching in Higher Education.
Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, Cooperative Learning, Statistics, Sociology, Academic Performance.