DO STUDENTS APPRECIATE THE USEFULNESS OF GUIDANCE DOCUMENTATION TO IMPROVE THEIR TRANSVERSAL SKILLS?
Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:At Universitat Politècnica de València special attention has been placed in the development of transversal skills that enrich student’s education. With the aim of enhancing these transversal skills, student’s activities are regularly scheduled throughout the planning of the different courses. In the course Electricity of the first year of Electronics degree at the School of Design Engineering, solving problems strategies, communication skills and team work are part of the educational program. It has been observed that students need a special academic support to reach a high level of performance in these skills. Thus, guidance documentation related with the abovementioned transversal skills has been elaborated by a group of experienced instructors. In a previous work, it was analyzed the use of the guidance documentation that students did in the academic year 2015/2016. The results showed that the guidance documentation was unknown by most students. It was checked that there was not a problem about the content of the documents as the general opinion of the students that accessed to it was good.
To improve this situation the documents have been presented to students in a more organized way. The documentation includes: “how to work as a team”, “how to write a laboratory report”, “how to write the resolution of a problem”, “how to prepare an oral exposition of a problem”, and two rubrics: “resolution problems rubric” that is used for peer assessment, and “laboratory report rubric”, used by the teachers to evaluate the laboratory reports.
In the academic year 2016/2017, a total of 150 students have been interviewed in groups of 5/6 and they have been asked about the usage of the different documents. It has been obtained an uneven usage, ranging from a 77% of students that accessed to the “resolution problems rubric” to only a few students that accessed the document “how to work as a team”. In all cases, the rubrics were more consulted that the corresponding guidance documents. When comparing the results of the two consecutive academic years it was obtained a more frequent access to the guidance documentation in the second year for all documents except for “how to work as a team” that maintains a similar result. It was concluded that students consult the guidance documentation when they are “forced” to do it. This was the case of the rubrics, as they were worried by the score, they tried to do it the best.
Keywords: Transversal skills, academic performance, teacher support.