ENGINEERING STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS ABOUT ACTIVE TEACHING METHODOLOGIES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY
In recent years there have been many studies analyzing the impact of the use of active teaching methodologies in students’ learning. Some of these studies analyze the perception they have on these methodologies, their satisfaction and attitude, and the skills they develop. In some cases it has been found that although students say they learn more with active methodologies than with traditional ones, some of them still prefer the traditional teaching methodology.
The University of the Basque Country has conducted in the last six years a program of teacher training in active methodologies (Case Method, Problem Based Learning and Project Based Learning). As an indicator of evaluation of the training program, trained teachers spend between its students a survey that reflects their perception of active teaching methodology received. In a Likert scale of 1 to 5 (1: strongly disagree; 5: strongly agree) issues such as satisfaction with the teaching received, or the degree of development of various skills were valued (teamwork, problem solving...). The students also gave their opinion about which of the teaching methods (active or traditional) they consider contribute to learn more, and which one they would choose in the future.
The present study is limited to the area of engineering of the University of the Basque Country. We have analyzed and compared the results between students who received active teaching by instructors who have been trained in the program (N=869), and results obtained with the same questions but referred to traditional teaching received, filled by students from Polytechnic School in Donostia -San Sebastian (N=304).
Comparing the two samples, no significant differences in the item on understanding of theoretical contents (declarative content) is observed. However, in items related to the use of skills, the differences range from 30% -60%, being higher in all cases for the teaching received with active methodologies.
The study also analyzes qualitatively the students’ arguments for supporting active or traditional teaching.