TEACHER-STUDENT MENTORING PROGRAM FOR CHEMISTRY COURSES IN THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN PHARMACY
Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In recent years, most of the teachers of Experimental Sciences have noticed a decline in the students' abilities to solve abstract problems, whether numerical problems or logic and reasoning exercises. On many occasions students are not able to propose a logical approach to solve the problem despite knowing perfectly well the numerical algorithm that allows them to reach the solution. They know how to apply the most complex equations, but they are not able to propose the sequence of steps necessary to reach the correct solution. They apply tools to solve the exercise without fully understanding the problem.
In this context, we present a specific intervention carried out in some Chemistry subjects within the Degree in Pharmacy at the Francisco de Vitoria University (UFV). This intervention consists of a series of seminars in small groups, where students work in pairs on exercises proposed by the teacher. During these seminars, the teacher accompanies the students in their own learning process, solving the doubts proposed by each student or pair. It is a personal work of the student always supervised by the teacher.
The teacher's supervision consists of being present when the students face a specific problem, the teacher observes how the students propose the resolution of the exercise and intervenes if necessary to guide and show the most appropriate way. The teacher is only able to understand the difficulties faced by the students when he can observe how they reason, how they explain to a partner or how they propose answers. The teacher, observing live the mistakes made by the student, can intervene, and propose appropriate strategies for the student to solve his difficulties. It is only from the personal encounter when it is possible to act on those basic concepts that support the rest of the complex knowledge acquired during the course.
This work also presents the impact generated in two of the subjects where the teaching team has implemented this methodology (Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry). The results obtained have been very positive and highly satisfactory for both students and teachers. The latter are particularly pleased with the results of the intervention, in these subjects, the pass rate has increased by more than 20 percentage points since the implementation of this methodology began.
The students encounter difficulties when performing exercises with complex abstract concepts, part of these difficulties come from the basic technical deficiencies that are assumed to university students, only when the teacher works directly with the student can understand the real difficulties that the student has and only from that meeting may know where to act and can solve the individual doubts raised by the student.
Keywords: Chemistry, mentoring, methodology, enhancing learning.