ANALYSIS OF THE BASIC COMPETENCES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF A COURSE ON FUNDAMENTAL CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA
Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The achievement of a suitable level in any University studies requires the acquisition of basic competences, together with the knowledge associated with these University studies. These basic competences may include comprehension, reasoning and critical thinking, among others.
With the aim of improving the academic results of the University students, an investigation about their strength and weakness in these basic competences has been carried out. The results presented here correspond to data collected along the Fundamental Chemistry 1 (FC1) course, a first semester course belonging to the BSc in Chemistry at the University of Barcelona, in the framework of a teaching innovation project. All the analyzed data correspond to the students that enrolled this course in the academic year 2014-2015.
The analysis is based on a series of exercises that the students have performed along the FC1 course, specially designed in order to assess some dimensions related to the learning process. The capacity of comprehension of a scientific text, including concepts and theories, is analyzed by giving the students a fragment of the textbook and asking them basic questions related to it. A set of exercises corresponding to different subjects of the FC1 course were used to analyze the capacity of the students for performing inference, and logical, numerical and spatial reasoning. In most exercises students were asked to justify their answers, with the goal of evaluate their communication abilities, and their ability of arguing. Finally, we have analyzed the discussions about the veracity or accuracy of pseudo-scientific texts in order to highlight the critical thinking skills.
Keywords: Comprehension, reasoning, critical thinking, inference, rational arguing, communication.