HETEROGENEITY OF KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THE ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS NEEDED IN A MASTER DEGREE: PROPOSAL FOR IMPROVEMENT AND ANALYSIS OF ITS IMPLEMENTATION
1 Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Pontificia de Comillas ICAI de Madrid (SPAIN)
3 Universitat de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:An increase in the heterogeneity of the students, with respect to both their curricula and knowledge acquired in previous degrees, constitutes a challenge additional to already existing ones in many teaching-learning processes, especially at the level of master degrees. This will, as a consequence, affect the correct development of activities in the classroom related the program these students access to, as soon as this heterogeneity impacts their competences regarding necessary knowledge in any subject.
In this sense, some of the deficiencies detected are related to a lack of experience in the management of spreadsheets, the result of the great variability in the capability to make use of this tools on the students’ side. This has, in many cases, a negative impact on the learning and application of concepts in various subjects in which this tool is necessary.
Thus, in order to solve this problem, in a master's degree offered by the University of Valencia, the addition into the curriculum of an eight-hour long workshop of voluntary assistance, divided into two sessions, was proposed and implemented. Additionally, a compulsory activity was requested to all students who accessed the master for the first time, in order to evaluate it. This course addressed the use of several tools for their use in some subjects later on, in which spreadsheets were used, such as: modification of sheet format, data management, data analysis, and elaboration of graphics.
In order to validate the usefulness of this workshop and, if needed, propose changes in future editions, an ad-hoc questionnaire was prepared and completed by the students at the end of the second session. Thus, a high degree of satisfaction was observed by the students (over 70% of them would recommend it to other students), as well as the need to extend the time dedicated to some of the tools taught (according to almost 80% of the students). On the other hand, the heterogeneity in the level of the students was reflected in the fact that a small percentage of them indicated otherwise.
Additionally, a reduction of around 10% was observed in the percentage of students whose level in the use of spreadsheets was lower than that required for quantitative subjects of the master's curriculum, with respect to the previous promotion (in which said workshop was not offered).
Thus, in the present work the results are detailed in terms of the improvement observed as a result of the implementation of this workshop, as well as the difference in perception regarding the usefulness of the course depending on the gender and curricula of the students.
Keywords: Course, leveling, postgraduate degree, spreadsheet, student profiles.