TEACHING METHODS: STUDY AND RESULTS IN SEVERAL MODULES OF BUSINESS STUDIES
University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This work was carried out throughout three academic years (2006/07, 2007/08, and 2008/09) within the context of assessment of teaching methods, following the implementation of new Module Guides in several modules representative of the programme in Business Studies of the University of Alicante. The aim of this study was to analyse the results obtained after the implementation, and later amendments of these Guides. The results were contrasting: they were highly promising, with high and growing success rates in some modules, whereas other modules showed the opposite tendency. Instructors applied a range of teaching methods. We draw attention to the fact that methods focused on the students seem to help them to learn better, they bring about a higher level of significant learning, and are more adequate to encourage memorisation and transfer of knowledge than teaching methods focused on the instructors.
The transfer of experience of several modules (core, compulsory, and optional) in the three years of the programme in Business Studies gained through this study has proved that the level of students’ commitment to their own learning process has increased significantly, which has allowed their conceptual, procedural, and attitudinal skills to improve.
With respect to the results, firstly, we found a group of modules in the first and second year (we called this group G1), which students must take to obtain their degree, where classes were large, there were several, and it was not possible to apply the methodology equally in all of them. The results showed a certain improvement regarding the previous academic year. Secondly, it is worth mentioning a year 3 module (group G2) that, although it was compulsory, had a small class, and obtained considerably better results: 100% of the students that sat the examination in the January exams period passed the module. Thirdly, another group of modules (group G3) included optional year 3 modules, whose results are not easily interpreted. Particularly, the adaptation of the modules to the number of registered students, and the workload, consequence of the varied teaching methods applied during the academic year 2007/08, brought about worse-than-expected results.
Finally, we observed that teaching in the field of Business Studies is based on a combination of activities that use diverse typologies of methods appropriate to each type of module. The core teaching method is lecturing (lectures, directed reading, practical classes, keynote speeches, and seminars) complemented with case studies, problem-solving exercises, and individual or group independent research.
Keywords: Assessment, teaching methods, module guide, Business Studies.