END OF DEGREE PROJECT FOCUSED ON LEARNING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Universidade de Vigo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 2938 (abstract only)
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In order to obtain the bachelor's degree, the students must complete the so called “End of degree project” (EDP). EDP consists of 6 ECTS (150 hours) and it is carried out by students sheltering a deep component of autonomous work and supervised by a director or tutor who is in charge of guiding to the student in the process of production of the EDP. The main objective is the development of the knowledge acquired in the degree (at least related to one of the professional profiles). In the frame of the EEES, the EDP must be a project orientated to the development of an investigation, an intervention or an innovation in the professional field.
The degree in Environmental Science is being taught in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Vigo since the academic year 2010/11. The degree has a multidisciplinary character as it is intended that future graduates achieve full training to enable them to solve environmental problems with different approaches. Students can get several mentions in the degree depending on the optional subjects studied such as “Atmospheric processes and climate”.
EDP associated to this special mention introduce students into the research world. They must apply the recently acquired skills to develop a research project related to atmospheric processes. Moreover, the elaboration of the work aims to be a test where students learn the techniques of scientific research and achieve the necessary scientific rigor in the content.
The different steps to elaborate a scientific research work are complicated for the students. The scientists study how nature works and the scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and experiments. The steps of the scientific method can be summarized as: (i) ask a question, (ii) do background research, (iii) build a hypothesis, (iv) test the hypothesis, (v) analyze the results and write the conclusions and (vi) dissemination of the results.
Different topics are proposed to the students, the choose one and look for information about the state of the art of the scientific problem under study. The main tools to analyze and to solve the scientific question are given. The students must give a clear and concise information of their contribution to the study. In addition, all mathematical, physical, chemical and/or biological methods joint with data used in the work must be described in detail. Results must be original, reliable and reproducible. In the discussion stage, results should be critically discussed putting them in context with similar works elsewhere.
The student after the elaboration of this work should have learnt the research procedure in the atmospheric and climate sciences.
Keywords: EDP, End of degree project, scientific method.