1 Universidade Nova de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidad de la Republica (URUGUAY)
3 University of Cadiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 1339-1346
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Engineering or technical degrees are difficult to teach and, consequently, have always been characterized by a large number of academic failures (Kahan et al., 2008). Therefore, continuous assessment has been applied to classes of similar content, related to Port and Coastal Engineering (Navarro-Pons et al., 2014) during these last years in three different Universities worldwide: University of La Republica (Montevideo, Uruguay), Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and Cadiz (Spain).

This paper presents different methodologies used to teach and evaluate these courses at each University, together with the results of the evaluations of the students who were enrolled during the current and previous stages. Generally, a decrease in the number of students who abandon the classes has been noticed together with an increase in the percentage of students who pass and an improvement of their grades, except at the University of Lisboa were the results have remained stable. In addition, changes experienced in the courses are discussed herein by comparing the percentage of success in the different locations. Moreover, influence of the different methodologies and the possible reasons for these changes are also presented and analysed.

As a conclusion, the improvement in educational outcomes has been achieved through the concurrence of different factors: the existence of more frequent written and/or oral exams, practical examples of case studies as well as access to specific tools of new technology and to documentation specifically prepared for the classes and available online (Lopez et al., 2014).
Evidently, the above mentioned tasks require a strong commitment and great effort by the teaching staff. If human resources diminish, as it is happening in Spain and Portugal due to the budget reduction in education (Negro et al., 2014), two difficult questions arise: For how long will teachers’ current effort be maintained? What impact will have their complete devotion to teaching in their research performance?

[1] Kahan, S., Blanco, E., Curione, K., & Miguez, M. (2008). Investigating conceptual misunderstandings of junior students at the School of Engineering. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 30(4), 4401-1.
[2] Negro V., J.M. del Campo and J.J. Muñoz (2014). Educational innovation and research at the crossroads for clippings in Spanish Universities. SAICE’14, 58-63
[3] Navarro M., J.J. Muñoz, G. Anfuso, J. Roman and L. Moreno (2014). Success on increasing number of students that pass the coastal engineering subject. EDULEARN14, 4443-4448
[4] Lopez P., M. Navarro, J.J. Muñoz, G. Anfuso (2014). Audiovisual resources as a useful tool to improve the teaching of coastal engineering. EDULEARN14, 6117-6124
Engineering teaching, learning feedback, coursework, continuous assessment.