ACTIVITIES IN LECTURES: A WAY TO GET STUDENTS MORE INVOLVED IN THEIR LEARNING
Universidad de Málaga (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The introduction of the student-centred system based on the student workload, the so-called European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), has made University teachers to change somehow their educational methodology and evaluation process. Now, practical training and student work throughout the course are becoming essential pieces of teaching and learning process.
At the School of Telecommunications Engineering, in Universidad de Malaga, there have not been ECTS experiences, but throughout the last years, there have been different educational innovation initiatives that follow to study the impact of new didactic strategies and evaluation methods in student progress and learning.
Our current curriculum distinguishes between practical classes, attended in laboratories, and theoretical classes. The former are more dynamic, students work together and they use instruments or software. The latter are usually lectures, where the teacher explains the subject and students have to take notes. Although these ones are seen by students as less appealing classes, they prefer them rather to classes where the teacher just explains the basic ideas and there is time left to put into practice other didactic strategies. The reason why students are not interested in this, leans on the fact that they would have to prepare their own notes at home using bibliography. So the goal would be to achieve more active lectures, where students could become more involved in their learning.
In this work, we report the experience of a team of teachers who, throughout this course, are using different activities to complement lectures in several Telecommunication subjects. The activities have been developed to reinforce subject learning, but also to increase student motivation and to strengthen fundamental transverse competences, such as teamwork skills, oral expression, technical document understanding or time management.
The set of activities can be summed up in:
- To do several tests throughout the course.
- To prepare technical short documents and present them to other students.
- To visit company facilities related to the subjects explained.
- To solve practical exercises.
- To carry out software practice.
- To work with articles and technical documentation.
Some of them are to work as a team and others individually. These activities are not mandatory, because based on previous experiences, not all the students can attend them. But for those who want to take part, the activities scores will affect on final subject mark. Besides, during the course, students have to answer different surveys related to each activity in order to know their impressions such as usefulness, time involved, problems detected, etc.
At the end of this experience, several aspects want to be studied in order to draw conclusions that can help to improve the teaching and learning process. These aspects are related to the impact of activities on student learning and satisfaction surveys, student and teacher time consuming due to activities, the best activities depending on the subject or the right score for each activity.
Keywords: Activities, lectures, student motivation.