VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS TO IMPROVE THE TEACHING-LEARNING PROCESS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SUBJECTS
As was explained in another communication presented also at this conference, important teaching-learning advantages can be obtained from the use of the Workshop and other communication tools of the MOODLE platform. This has been explored during several years following approximately the same general approach: We use the Workshops as an interactive tool to follow the learning process during the homework performance. The students upload their work within a scheduled timeframe. Afterwards, the students will have to perform a peer-reviewing of the work presented by their colleagues. With this process, the students can understand that there are some different approaches to get the same solution; besides, the students can realize the importance of the clearness while presenting their own ideas. The main target is to achieve a better quality of their own performance in presenting the solution to the problems that they receive in different subjects. This communication is presenting the results of some subjects studied within the same Innovative Education Project as some other communications presented also at this conference.
The Innovative Education Project has been carried out during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. In this project we have studied the students’ satisfaction in different subjects of different Bachelor degrees (in Environmental Science, in Chemical Engineering and in Chemical Science). As part of the Project an internal evaluation was performed mainly through polls. As was pointed out in the other communications, in previous years we have observed that the students do not appreciate their peer-reviewing work. We have postulated that this perception could be improved if additional Workshops are performed in the classroom, with the supervision of the teacher during the peer-reviewing work.
The students have answered anonymous polls, which have 13 questions, and the first 7 questions are related to the general features of the 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 publication, we present the results of these polls for four subjects: Structural Determination (Chemical Science degree), Chemical Reaction Engineering I (Chemical Eng. degree), Soil and Water Contamination and Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering (both of Environmental Sci. degree).
In conclusion, students of Chemical Eng. and Chemical Sci. degrees give high marks to the utility of each subject for the future professional, and they are very satisfied with the peer-review activities. However, students of Grade in Environmental Science consider that subjects will not be very useful for their professional life and they are not satisfied with the peer-reviewing of the workshops. An important issue is that students of Environmental Science dedicate an average of 3.9-3.6 hours per week to study the subjects while Chemical Eng. and Chemical Sci. students dedicate an average about 7.2-7.8 hours per week.