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M. Morant, R. Llorente, J.V. Balbastre

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
In the new European Higher Education Area, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) correct definition has become an important objective for professors in the design of the new Higher Education degrees [1]. Although the first approach was a mathematically calculation from the previous credit system based on the classroom hours, it was observed that a deeper study was needed to include the student work-load and the time spent by the students in the learning tasks.

A multi-dimensional monitoring of the self-work of the students in different task is proposed and evaluated in this paper. The work-load evaluation was done in a multi-dimensional basis comprising:

1) Different surveys were designed in order to evaluate the real amount of time spent by the student in the different learning Engineering tasks. The surveys were designed for evaluating different methodologies comprising both individual and group homework activities

2) Internal observation of the time spent by the students in tasks proposed at the classroom. The professor was measuring the time spent to finish a given activity while supervising the tasks proposed in the classroom. Classroom activities analysed comprise short questions, tests and problems.

3) External observation in e-learning activities. In the case of activities proposed in the virtual platform, the submission time and date of the activity is considered in the multi-dimensional evaluation.

The proposed multi-dimensional analysis was performed on a group of 10 students randomly selected from a second-year subject of a new European Higher Education Telecommunication Engineering degree at the Escuela Politécnica Superior de Gandia of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

In this paper, the results of the first experience obtained in the academic year 2011/2012 are reported. This includes the different calculations and evaluation methodologies proposed from the results obtained from these surveys.

This research provided useful feedback from the students for defining a more accurate assessment and evaluation of the learning process. This research enables monitoring the time spent by the students in the learning activities and the gathered information could be also used, in a long-term investigation, for correcting the ECTS calculation if deviations were observed between the planned students’ work-load and the real time spent by the students.

[1] European Higher Education Area (EHEA) official website.