FIRST EXPERIENCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS IN CIVIL ENGINEER COURSES
This academic year 2010-11, the Bologna Process has begun to be applied in the Civil Engineering Career at the Technical University of Valencia. In Water Resources Analysis course, taught in 5th course of civil engineer, we have wanted to experiment with an adaptation to the Bologna system. This implies a new teaching methodology, very different from the one applied until now.
Our experiment is based on giving to the student to choose between two evaluation approaches: the classical one or a Bologna system. The Classical Approach (CA) consists on a final exam and a large homework. The Bologna System Evaluation (BSE) consist on more practical classes, a great number of simple homework and many short exams, moreover class participation have been took into account in the final grade.
We gave them the possibility of changing from one system to another until the final grade. Results show that, perhaps, the students are not prepared always to this system. Fifty percent of students left the continuous evaluation process at the very beginning and at the end only 20% completed the BSE.
Final student impressions were that the perception of a continuous work is higher than the CA. On the other hand they comment that if they would have this way of studying they would learn more than with the CA.
Other issue studied was comparing grades of students that finish the BSE and students of previous years (representing CA approach) there is a less variance of the grades with the BSE approach. We think that this is due to continuous evaluation tends to homogenize the efforts of students. However, and surprisingly, the average grade of the class was higher in the CA (7.3 over 6.7).
Many students are not get used to do a continuous effort throughout the year, mainly because the system background of the student from previous years even from school. Maybe this will be a cause of failure if the new system is adopted drastically. Perhaps evolution to Bologna should be done in an adaptive and evolutionary process in Spanish students.