ANALYSIS OF THE BASIC COMPETENCES IN THE COURSE ON FUNDAMENTAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE ENGINEERING GRADUATE STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA

S. Esplugas, I. Angurell, M. Corbella, R. Gargallo, J. Garcia Zayas, J.A. Farrera, E. Nicolás

University of Barcelona, Faculty of Chemistry (SPAIN)
The achievement of a suitable level in any University studies requires a deep knowledge in the subjects of these studies and the acquisition of basic competences at the same time. Comprehension, numerical and logical reasoning and understanding concepts and theories are some of the basic competences to reach.

With the objective of improving the academic results for the University students, an investigation looking for the strengths and the weaknesses in these above mentioned basic competences was performed. Here, we present the results corresponding to the data collected along the Fundamental Chemistry (FC) course, a first semester course belonging to the Engineering degrees on Materials and Chemical in the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Barcelona, inside the framework of a teaching innovation project. The analyzed data correspond to the students enrolled in the academic year 2014-2015.

The analysis of basic competences is based on a series of exercises that the students have solved along the FC course. These exercises were specially designed to assess some dimensions related to the learning process. By example, the capacity of comprehension of a scientific text, including concepts and theories, was analyzed by giving the students a fragment of the textbook and asking them about some related basic questions. A set of exercises corresponding to different subjects of the FC course were used to analyze the capacity of the students for performing inference, and logical and numerical reasoning. In some exercises students were asked to justify their answers, with the goal of evaluating their communication skills, and their capacities of arguing.