APPLICATION OF A PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL TO SUPERVISING BACHELOR THESES AND MASTER THESES IN SCIENCES
Experience in the use of Trello for supervising Bachelor Theses (BTs) and Master Theses (MTs) in the two Bachelor’s Degrees and in two of the Master’s Degrees offered in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Burgos is shown in this presentation, together with its assessment by both teachers and students. BTs and MTs are particular courses where students have to demonstrate the received formative contents and integrate and apply the skills acquired throughout the Bachelor and/or the Master studies in addition to acquire the competences contained in the syllabuses of such courses. The students have to show initiative, autonomy and skills to reach the proposed goals during the development of the work; they are active actors of the teaching-learning process. The role of the supervisors consists of assessing the students’ research and guiding them through the preparation of the thesis and the slideshow for their oral defence before the examining committee. In this way, each student and supervisor/s make up a team where every team member has a well-defined role and which works together. Open-source tools recently developed for group project management as Trello can be used to make this task easy [1,2].
Trello is a Web-based collaboration tool for managing projects which is based on the Kanban method, which provides basic project management features designed to handle multiple projects and multiple users. This tool consists of a visual board or cards system which is used to generate a tasks board which facilitates the workflow in the BTs and MTs development and establishes fast and efficient communication channel between the supervisor/s and the student. The cards of the board may contain listings of tasks, pictures, web addresses, attached files, etc., with simultaneous commentaries of the members of the board. Cards are like little sticky notes which can be easily reordered or moved to another list, but in a digital format in such a way that users can make searches, share or add a reminder, which gives this tool very powerful and flexible characteristics.
This on-line tool allows that each team member, everyone involved in the project, can obtain information about what task is to be carried out, as well as about its degree of completion and the achievements reached. Through subscriptions, every team member can be notified when another one makes a change to an element of the board. Therefore, it speeds up the progress of the project at the different stages and facilitates the organization of the tasks and the point to be studied and developed at each time. It makes possible to see the progress of the project at a glance and makes clear where and when a feedback is needed, which is very interesting in this kind of works in the field of science. In addition, it is a very easy-to-use interface, which motivates both students and supervisors to using it.
The authors thank the financial support provided by EU (Erasmus+ project No. 2016-1-ES01-KA201-024948).
 K. Schwalbe, Information technology project management, 8th ed., Cengage Learning, Boston (MA), 2016.
 Trello. Trello Inc. 2014 (https://trello.com).