ECTS AND METHODOLOGICAL EXPERIENCES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING FOR THE ADJUSTMENT TO EUROPEAN SPACE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AT THE ESCUELA SUPERIOR DE INGENIERÍA OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALMERÍA
Universidad de Almeria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:In this paper we present a summary of the activities in educational innovation carry out in 8 subjects (Metrology and Industrial Quality, Machines, Mechanical Technology, Thermotechnic, Business Administration and Production Management, Agroindustrial Equipment, Technical Office, Machine Design and Industrial Installations) of 3th year of Technical Engineering in Mechanical, as well as the results and conclusions of the study. These actions have been accomplished in the frame of an Educational Innovation Pilot Project at the College of Engineering (ESI) granted by the University of Almería in the process of implementation of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to improve the education quality.
This paper describes an investigation of the impact of a student-centred learning environment and use of Course Management Systems (CMSs) as compared to lecture on undergraduate mechanical engineering students’. We intend to analyse the results obtained working with the ECTS model (2009/10 and 2010/11) and compare them with those which has been obtained with traditional teaching (2007/08 and 2008/09) in the different subjects. Our approach has been carried out on three aspects: the methodology used, criteria and method of assessment and valuation of rate of success of students.
The main activities of our working group have been around the organization and coordination of the subjects, and on the use of methodologies and educational tools centred on the learning, as partial virtualization of the subjects using CMSs (WebCT) and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). E-learning environments used with the partial virtualization of subjects allows a directed independent personal student’s work load and can have potential additional learning benefits and improve students’ self-regulation skills.
We are trying to introduce the ECTS and to involve our engineering students’ in a system of continuous assessment. We have use a combination of different assessment methods, including both traditional and new forms of assessment to measure the acquisition of competencies.
The results of the analysis have been obtained from a survey of 124 students revealed that these changes in learning methodology have affected the student success. We can observe a statistically significant reduction of 7% in the rate of success (percentage of passed over students matriculating), in the subjects included inside the Project of Educational Innovation for the two last courses (2009/10 and 2010/11) compare with the average of the two previous courses (2007/08 and 2008/09). One important factor that affects the rate of success is the increase of the number of student per class. The class size has increased from 22 to 40 students after the beginning of the Innovation Project. A great number of researches suggest that reducing class sizes may improve student achievement.
Keywords: European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), Mechanical Engineering, European Space for Higher Education, student success, continuous assessment.