THE END OF DEGREE PROJECT IS NOT THE END… IT IS THE BEGINNING
Universidade de Vigo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:After the Bologna process, the students must develop a mandatory subject called “End of degree project” (EDP) to obtain the bachelor's degree. Normally, The EDP consists of 6 ECTS (150 hours) and it is an individual study carried out under supervision. The student uses the knowledge acquired during the degree for solving any specific problem related with degree contents and professional activities for which he is been qualified. In the frame of the EEES, the EDP must be an original project orientated to the development of an investigation, an intervention or an innovation in the professional field.
In our particular case, our students of EDP belong to the degree in Environmental Science of the University of Vigo and in particular they have chosen the special mention of the degree “Atmospheric processes and climate”. EDP associated to this special mention introduce students into the research world. Most of these students will continue with a master degree orientated to research and to obtain a PhD. Therefore we focus the work on learning the scientific method. The elaboration of the EDP aims to be a first contact of the students with the techniques of scientific research and to achieve the necessary scientific rigor in the EDP.
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. Other important handicap of the students is the language, English is very hard for them, and sometimes hinders the search of information about the state of the art of the scientific problem under study.
Under this scenario we carry out the supervision of EDP as follow. Different topics are proposed to the students. Information to know the problem and tools to solve the scientific question are given and explained. Students carry out the investigation and interpret the results. They must give information of their contribution to the study and describe in clear and concise way all mathematical, physical, chemical and/or biological methods joint with data used in the work. We guide the students in these processes which not always are easy. In a good research, the results must be original, reliable and reproducible, moreover they should be putting them in context with similar works elsewhere.
After the elaboration of the EDP our students should be prepared to make a research master and conclude successfully a PhD.
Keywords: EDP, EEES, research procedure, climate sciences,scientific method