About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4686-4691
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

SOME TEACHING INNOVATION ATTEMPTS IN THE SUBJECT “PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY”

D. Guijarro, I.M. Pastor, M. Yus

Universidad de Alicante, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Ciencias and Instituto de Síntesis Orgánica (ISO) (SPAIN)
“Principles of Chemistry” is a compulsory subject that belongs to the first course of the Degree in Optics and Optometry of the University of Alicante. The main objective of this subject is that the student acquires the basic principles of general chemistry necessary to understand the chemical behaviour of optical materials. Despite the fact that a high percentage of the matter taught in this subject should be known by the students, since they have studied it at the high school, traditionally the number of students that failed the exams has been very high. This number had gradually increased from the course 2002-03 till the course 2006-07, reaching for the latter a value of 81%. Parallel to this, the average mark of the students that passed the exams gradually decreased from 6.0 in the course 2002-03 till 5.1 in the course 2006-07 (in the 0-10 scale). Moreover, between 40 and 50% of the registered students did not do the exams during that period. These data alarmed us and, when we started teaching this subject in the course 2007-08, we decided to do some changes in the way it was taught before with the aim of trying to improve the academic results. Our innovation attempts were as follows.

Course 2007-08: having in mind the new trends in the European Higher Education Area, we tried to reduce the theoretical classes and increase the problem seminars. We proposed the students the realization of some tests at the VC (Virtual Campus, teaching web environment of the University of Alicante). The students should solve the problems of each chapter and give their solutions in a web test before attending the classes in which the problems were solved by us. They could get extra points for these tests. The aim was to stimulate them to try to solve the problems on their own. We were pleased to see that only 36% of the students did not pass and the average mark increased to 6.0. However, the number of students that did not show up at the exam did not decrease.

Course 2008-09: encouraged by the better results obtained in the previous course, we introduced some new changes. In order to stimulate the students to read the theory of every chapter before the classes, they did a test with some questions about that theoretical part right after finishing our explanation of it. Apart from this, after finishing one chapter, we proposed them a few problems that they should solve at home and hand them to us in the next class. They could get extra points for both the tests and the problems. Disappointingly, these proposals reverted us to the bad results (82% did not pass and the average mark fell down to 5.5).

Course 2009-10: we were sure that the low attendance of the students to the classes had been one of the causes of the bad results obtained in the previous course. So, in this course we tried to improve the figures of attendants by giving the students, on unexpected dates, some problems that they should solve in the classroom. They could get extra points for them. On the other hand, we published some materials at the VC in which the students could revise the theory and do some auto evaluation questions. They told us that they have found these virtual materials to be very useful. We hope that this introduction of the new information technologies improves the academic results.

All the results of our innovation attempts will be discussed in our poster. The experience acquired with them helped us to design the subject for the new Degree.
@InProceedings{GUIJARRO2010SOM,
author = {Guijarro, D. and Pastor, I.M. and Yus, M.},
title = {SOME TEACHING INNOVATION ATTEMPTS IN THE SUBJECT “PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY”},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4686-4691}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Guijarro AU - I.M. Pastor AU - M. Yus
TI - SOME TEACHING INNOVATION ATTEMPTS IN THE SUBJECT “PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY”
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 4686
EP - 4691
ER -
D. Guijarro, I.M. Pastor, M. Yus (2010) SOME TEACHING INNOVATION ATTEMPTS IN THE SUBJECT “PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY”, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 4686-4691.
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