ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES: IDENTIFICATION OF DETERMINANT FACTORS
The plan of studies of current degrees contemplate the existence of mandatory, optional and basic training. Within this latter type and in the case of the University of Valencia, we find statistics courses in most Social Sciences’ degrees with very different academic results.
Such differences seem to originate, according to the experience of the academic staff, from heterogeneities in the studets' pre-university studies background and from their familiarity with quantitative subjects. In the degree of Tourism the geographical origin of students was found to be an additional and seemingly discriminant factor, given that this is one of the degrees where students’ geographical diversity becomes more noticeable.
Taking all of this into account, the present work carries out an analysis which aims to identify, by using descriptive and inferential techniques, whether any of the previously mentioned factors significantly influences the academic performance of the students in the subject of Statistics, part of the basic training for students in the degree of Tourism.
The data sample employed for the aforementioned analysis was collected thanks to an electronic voting system (EVS) which was used by different lecturers, under a same teaching and evaluation methodology, during the lessons. The marks obtained by the students, in both their continuous evaluation and final exam, are also employed.
The results obtained found an increased performance for students with a background in training courses, as well as a higher performance in the continuous evaluation for students with little to no background on quantitative subjects. These results suggest the necessity to consider heterogeneous teaching methodologies, which take into account the particular needs of different subgroups of students, in detriment of currently employed homogeneous approaches.