About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5037-5046
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain


J. R. Hernández, F. Uriondo, G. Aguirre, M. Agrasar

University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
In this paper are presented the tactics developed by a group of Electrical Engineering instructors aimed at reducing the academic failure level of their students.
The initial scenario was very alarming: one out of three of our students in a second year compulsory subject repeated the course and, further, one third of these repeating students failed the course again.
In the beginning, we suspected that behind those extraordinary bad results was either the low dedication to study or the interference of other extra academic activities, or both. To check this hypothesis we decided to ask them directly all along the course, week by week, to what they dedicated the whole of their time. Among the different choices they could consider were the following: the time dedicated to study, to attend to extra scholar classes, to learn languages, to sports, to lucrative activities and spare time.
The analysis of the results shows that the students who fail dedicate the first months of the course to idleness. As the other activities considered showed no impact we concluded that the only way to improve their results was to increase their motivation to study, especially in the first months of the course.
From the results of the survey we deduced that, on the one hand, there was a loss of motivation caused by the intrinsic difficulty of the subjects that made the students establish short term objectives (to pass the next exam). The medium term objective (graduation) was not considered and, as a matter of fact, students considered that passing the exams one after another was their only aim. As a result, they do not enjoy learning at all.
On the other hand, the motivation tactics applied by the instructors were widely well accepted (very well actually). The only exception were the students who got very good marks, because these considered that the application of those strategies was just a loss of time. It is remarkable that the students who were repeating the course were the ones who showed the highest interest in the motivational strategies applied by the professors. They showed special interest in their everyday work being examined and followed by the teachers because that encouraged them to study but, paradoxically, these are the students that do not attend to classes.
In the situation showed in the previous paragraph, we concluded that the use of a e-learning tool as MOODLE could help to attain the objective of following the everyday work of the students that usually do not attend to classes. With this aim in mind, we have put all the course didactic materials in the MOODLE page, developed questionnaires with and without punctuation, made surveys, published advises for the students and offered them different teamwork to do.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the e-learning we are going to make a new survey and compare their dedication to study with the results of our previous studies. We are also going to do a “customer satisfaction survey” about the use of e-learning tools and compare the academic results.
We have to emphasize that a selected group of students have taken part in the design and analysis of the different surveys. This approach has been a very valuable tool and has also had a positive impact in the implication, participation and acceptation of the surveys by the students.
To end we must say that these works have had a very good feedback in the teachers involved in them.
author = {Hern{\'{a}}ndez, J. R. and Uriondo, F. and Aguirre, G. and Agrasar, M.},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5037-5046}}
AU - J. R. Hernández AU - F. Uriondo AU - G. Aguirre AU - M. Agrasar
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 5037
EP - 5046
ER -
J. R. Hernández, F. Uriondo, G. Aguirre, M. Agrasar (2009) IS IT POSSIBLE TO REDUCE OUR STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC FAILURE LEVEL?, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 5037-5046.