THE USE OF VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS TO IMPROVE THE STUDENTS’ SATISFACTION IN GRADUATED IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
The MOODLE platform presents several complementary tools useful in the teaching-learning process. We use the Workshop tool within the platform, together with some other communication tools, to achieve the maximum benefit from the homework of the students. After a problem is presented, they must upload the solutions in a week. Once this period is finished, the MOODLE platform distributes a fixed number of these solutions among the students and a peer-review takes place. The target is to improve some of the students’ skills:
- The students can see that there are some different approaches to get the solution for a same problem.
- The students can realize the importance of the clearness of the ideas and the use of the correct language to understand what other person meant.
- The students can understand the evaluation process of the teacher.
We have been using this approach for several years, and we have detected that the students do not appreciate the peer-reviewing work as much as all the other tasks. An innovative Education Project was carried out during the 2013-14 and 2014-2015 academic years. In this project the general hypothesis is that, if some of the peer-reviewing work is carried out in the classroom under the teacher supervision, the students could increase the appreciation of the virtual tool. To check this hypothesis we have carried out an internal evaluation of the project, through polls. In these polls, the first 7 questions were related to the general features of specific subject. Whereas that items 8 to 10 ask about the virtual workshops, and the items 11 to 13 are dealing with the classroom workshops. All questions are evaluated between 0 (absolute disagreement) and 10 points (absolute agreement). In this conference we present the results obtained in different subjects, underlining the main conclusions obtained in each subject. Also we have tried to explore if there were other parameters that affect the students’ appreciation of the virtual tools.
If we compare the results of the polls for the subject “Unit Operation II” (Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering) in the two academic years, we can see the increase in students’ perception of the usefulness of this subject in 2014-15. Besides, in the second academic year (2014-15), the students consider less difficult the subject of the “Unit Operation II”. This fact can be related with the average of the number of hours per week that students work in this subject, because of the first year were of 3.7 hours per week, and the second year were of 7.9 hours per week.
Regarding the students’ opinion about virtual workshops, they evaluate them in a better way in the second year and they consider that the peer-review is more useful in the second than in the first year. Similar results are obtained in the items 11 to 13, which are related with the classroom workshops.