Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6644-6649
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2560
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Students are the main actors in the learning process because they have to take on an active attitude to achieve the goals of subjects. Professors should be a simple guide that helps them to build a stable knowledge. However, in the changing environment that we are involved, some problems due to the generational differences can appear and produce an inefficient achievement of learning goals.
On one hand, sometimes university students complain the lack of time in their houses to finish the reports/activities that professors order to do. The charge of work that they have should be studied and programed by professors in order to facilitate their work and to improve their efficiency and academic progress. This action belongs to professors and should be analysed in two levels:
i) a perfect programme of activities and
ii) a transversal coordination between subjects at the same level.

On the other hand, another important student’s complaint is the organization of resources in the institutional platforms. Occasionally, professors believe that the organization in their subjects is perfect, but sometimes students do not find the resources (PowerPoints, video lectures, learning articles, exams, etc.). Although the students are involved in a technological environment, it is true that they are not inside the professor’s mind and they prefer to organize the information in another place or way.

In order to solve those problems, the present study has created different learning itineraries in order to improve the constructed knowledge and the critical thinking skill. To achieve these goals we have created different learning itineraries (templates with specific subject content organised by themes) where the students according to their necessities have the resources to build autonomously a solid knowledge about soil science. There was one of the learning itineraries where an activity was developed to work the critical thinking skill. The study was carried out on 514 students during 3 years in three subjects of soil science. The key of the study has been to organise the entire subject in Lessons, a content sequencer that has been programmed to active week per week the resources, activities and exams. In addition, with several questions added inside the templates of Lessons, the students have been directed to supplementary information in the case that they have a lack of information about the concept studied. Final data have been recorded with surveys and with the information of marks that have been treated with ANOVA methodology.

One of the most important outcomes is that the average marks of the students have increased more than 11.31% with respect to the marks registered before the organization of the subject with Lessons. In addition, 94.12% of students believed that the methodology and the activities helped them in the learning process and, more than 87% of students believed that on-line materials represent an important help to achieve the goals of the subject. In relation to critical thinking skill, whereas in the first year (without learning itineraries) 60.34% of students reached a good level of critical thinking skill acquisition, in the last year, more than 72% of students reached the best level. To sum up, the students appreciate the changes introduced with Lessons and learning itineraries because they made easier the way to study the soil science subjects, and the programming of contents helped them to control the charge of the work.
Lessons, learning itinerary, e-learning, soil science, critical thinking.