COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO EVALUATION METHODS FOR THE SUBJECT FOOD CHEMISTRY
The Human Nutrition and Dietetics Degree students at the Alicante University have very different backgrounds and interests and so sometimes it is very difficult to design the teaching materials which can help them to reach the competences in a specific subject. Moreover, in order to make an approach to the new European teaching trend based in competences, some modifications have to be introduced in the present University system. Among all the changes to design a competence evaluation is a very important part. The classical evaluation way in our Universities was based in a unique and final exam. This evaluation system is based in only one opportunity of showing the competences acquired by students. An alternative evaluation method has been assayed with Food Chemistry students of the Human Nutrition and Dietetics degree during two consecutive courses. The aim of this methodological assayed was to compare the results obtained by students depending on the way they were evaluated. On one hand the group of students (itinerary A) who chose the traditional evaluation method based in a final theoretical. In this itinerary, the final mark is obtained by adding the theoretical exam mark and the practical mark. On the other hand, an alternative evaluation method to the classical one (itinerary B) was proposed in which apart from the final exam, additional works were proposed along the fourth-month period in order to reinforce the knowledge acquired. The alternative evaluation method consisted in a final theoretical exam but also in the reading of 5 manuscripts related to the subject. With these homeworks it was possible to evaluate not only the theoretical competences acquired at the end of the fourth-month period but also the abilities and skills. In this case the weight of the final exam in the final qualification was diminished from 70 % to 50 % because the work done along the period was evaluated over 20 % of the final qualification.
The conclusions of this comparative study shows that itinerary A was chosen by those student who were working at the same time that they were studding and so they did not usually assist to classes. The number of students who passed the subject was higher for those who chose itinerary B and the marks were also higher in general. These results support the idea that to reach a valid competence evaluation it is necessary to employed different strategies for reaching an adequate knowledge of a subject.