A STUDY OF HOW PRE-UNIVERSITY TRAINING, STUDY HABITS AND CONTINUOUS EVALUATION HAVE REPERCUSSIONS ON THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING COMPETENCES
Pablo de Olavide University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The aim of this work is to study the relationship between students’ previous personal and academic characteristics and their qualifications in a quantitative subject. To do so, it was indispensable to know thoroughly the students who study the subject chosen to carry out this study. Specifically, we have selected a subject which is taught in two different degrees (in the 2nd. year of the Degree in Political Science and Public Administration and in the 3rd. year of the Double Degree in Law and Political Science and Public Administration) at the Pablo de Olavide University (Seville, Spain). This is therefore a quantitative subject that is taught in the area of Social Sciences and this means that from the start the students in general reject a priori this subject. To avoid to the students dropping out or not passing the subject, we put into practice a teaching model based on the students’ continuous evaluation.
The teaching model of this subject means that 50% of the time is dedicated to theoretical classes (with 50 students) and 50% to practical classes which take place in smaller-sized classrooms (20 students ) or in computer labs.
In the context of the European Higher Education Area, the evaluation system is designed to know the students’ acquirement of knowledge and competences. In the case of the theoretical classes, the students are evaluated at the end of the semester by a written examination. The practical classes are valued using three individual tests during the semester, a group work and a weekly individual follow-up work of each student.
As well as recording the evolution of the qualifications in the previous tests, when the semester is over, we handed out a wide-ranging questionnaire to the students of the two degrees to know more about the students’ personal and academic characteristics. Our aim was to obtain information about different aspects: personal data (age, place where they live usually and during the course, if they are students with grants or not, if they are repeaters, and so forth), educational data prior to joining the University (pre-university training, access to the University, the form of high school completion, the mark in Mathematics in Upper Secondary School, etc.), study habits (hours of study per week, the way in which they carry out the study of the practical part of the subject, the use of the WebCT virtual platform, the frequency of use of this virtual platform, and so on) and their valuation of the subject (teaching guide or programme, criteria and evaluation system, work of the teaching staff, professional future, etc.).
Once we have studied the results attained, it can be said that there is not a direct relationship between the qualifications obtained by the students and their degree of satisfaction with the group work carried out. In this way, although the students who follow the Double Degree in Law and Political Science and Public Administration get higher qualifications, they are less satisfied with their experience of group work than the students of the Degree in Political Science and Public Administration.
Keywords: Teamwork, satisfaction of students, continuous evaluation.