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USING A COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT IN THE TEACHING OF ELECTRIC CIRCUITS THEORY

The new challenges of the European university education recommend a teaching methodology focus on learning. In this context, the use of current methodologies based on disconnected work scenarios between teachers and students should disappear. The use of certain methodologies focus on the autonomous work of the students can lead to an increase of their academic performance in higher levels subjects because they already have the fundamental knowledge about the topics covered by these subjects. However, the utilization of these techniques in basic subjects is not as obvious because students do not have any knowledge about the topics covered by the subjects. Therefore, the use of the same self-work techniques of higher levels can cause a decrease in the performance of the students. This problem is even bigger since students have to reuse these basic concepts in the following years.

On the other hand, knowledge and information society have produced a lot of tools that can be employed in different areas. In particular, in education, a platform like MOODLE can collaborate to increase the academic performance of students by using different methodologies and resources from those of the classic teaching models.

At the University of Valladolid, an internal project is being carried out to study how to introduce the new methodologies not only in the higher levels subjects but also in the basic ones. In particular, the work showed in this paper is being carried out in the subject entitled Electric Circuit Theory. The idea of this project is to create a collaborative environment in which students can interact between them as well as with the teachers in order to increase the number of resources that let them learn the course concepts. The proposed methodologies include the collaborative resolutions of problems and also the proposal of problems between students with its subsequent resolution and correction. Furthermore, a set of activities are proposed to make a continuous evaluation of the students´ knowledge. The methodologies proposed in this paper are based on the use of the set of tools from MOODLE like forums, wikis or questionnaires, and therefore, they can be used by other University as it is an open-source platform.

Results show that, by using these methodologies, the set of resources that students can use to study the subject increases and so does the student academic performance. Moreover, the work load of the teacher has been also measured to estimate the new work load that teachers will have when using these techniques. The results of a survey sharing the satisfaction grade of the students will also be presented. Finally, it will be presented a comparison between the academic results obtained by the students when using these techniques versus their performance when the classical methodology is applied.