The new undergraduate Degree of Natural Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) began in the last academic year. Therefore, the second year has now started. Students who have failed to pass some subjects in the course have to repeat them in the following year. This fact creates several problems in the normal development of the lessons, as new students and secondly registered ones are together in the same classroom. Sometimes, specific courses devoted to repeaters are organized, but this is not always possible in the Spanish University. The percentage of students who passed each subject is variable, the mean value being 57%.
It is interesting to know whether the efficiency of retaking students increases or decreases at the second time they take the subjects, and to study possible correlations between the academic results of these students and other variables, such as pre-university qualifications or absenteeism.
We present herein the study carried out by a group of lecturers of the UPM belonging to the same Educational Innovation Group. Within this work, we have tried to understand the behaviour of retaking students and their academic efficiency as they are secondly registered, in order to improve applied academic methodologies.
Although information on only two years is available, our aim is to establish a preliminary hypothesis, select variables, and even model students behaviour related to subject retaking, which will allow us to infer their efficiency. Both, the hypothesis and the model will be confirmed and validated in future years.