M. Fuentes Agustí1, M.E. Suarez Ojeda1, J. Rodríguez Lara2, P.P. Mojica2, P.S. Conrado González2

1Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
2Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) (NICARAGUA)
This paper summarizes the third phase of an international cooperation project between the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). The project focused its efforts on a pilot test to improve teaching quality at the Multidisciplinary Faculty of Carazo (FAREM-Carazo) in the framework of the UNAN-Managua training program for professors. Ultimately the project aims to extend this study to the rest of the faculties at UNAN-Managua. In particular, this contribution presents the methodologies and tools that have been developed to improve the monitoring and the evaluation of the teaching quality during the period 2012-2016 by triggering the self-assessment and reflection of the professors during their day-to-day activities. Exchange of professors of both institutions was performed and then, the rest of professors from FAREM-Carazo participated in cascade training, organized in form of workshops and learning communities in which experiences and discussion spaces were created and shared. In essence, seventy-seven professors from FAREM-Carazo develop their own teaching portfolio reflecting about their teaching philosophies and including evidences of their teaching and learning process. This, allowed them to establish the aspects to be improved in the near future.
Besides, during the public presentation of the teaching portfolios, interesting debates were generated and focus groups were initiated for contrasting each part of their teaching portfolios. Moreover, during the development of the project a deep analysis of the data allowed creating a map of teaching practices and new training needs were identified, mainly related to the way students were evaluated and the criteria that had to be used for that purpose. Therefore, a specific workshop in this subject was designed and delivered during the academic course 2016-17. A questionnaire was passed before the training (diagnostic test) and another one at the end that was centred on the way and evaluation criteria used to evaluate the students. Training was conducted using discussion spaces. Besides, interviews and direct observation were conducted. The results obtained show a lack of theoretical knowledge about the concept and evaluation processes and a lack of follow-up of the new general guidelines of the University. Overall, professors’ practice tended to focus on a finalist evaluation, without connecting it to the learning processes and based only on numerical feedback. The changes proposed by each teacher have been very diverse, from the most innovative to the ones that little by little were introducing minor modifications.
From the Methodological Unit of the Faculty, some guidelines have been elaborated on how the knowledge and the learning results of the students of the FAREM-Carazo can be evaluated. At the moment, the preparation of a first repository of good teaching practices is being completed. This repository contains teacher portfolios prepared by professors from the different knowledge areas of FAREM-Carazo and a compilation of new assessment tools. Finally, it is worth to mention that a group of professors has begun to elaborate evaluation rubrics as a guide for other professors in other faculties.