Universidad de Zaragoza (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 6481-6486
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.1698
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
Monitoring student progress benefits lecturers and learners similarly. Students know their performance, and lecturers can evaluate their approach for improvement opportunities. Student progress tracking enables collecting learning data and evaluating academic progress for individuals, groups, and the whole class. Everything from daily quizzes to end-of-year cumulative assessments can be used to monitor student accomplishment, providing valuable insights into the efficacy of assignments, lesson plans, teaching methods, students' portfolios, and the curriculum. Despite the excellent features, this tool has commonly been used to assess performance over relatively wide periods, i.e., ranging from only one topic to the whole content of the syllabus. Besides, tracking academic performance is commonly limited to theoretical aspects of a subject. However, knowing students' performance can be even more critical in practical subjects like laboratory-based or computer-based problem-solving activities. In such practical sessions, students must complete different tasks, making monitoring students' progress paramount for the lecturer to identify students having problems during the session and resolve them as soon as they face difficulties. Similarly, it is also vital for students, as they could know if they are progressing well and would have the chance to detect and correct possible mistakes progressively.

Driven by the excellent features, this work explores using this real-time continuous student monitoring to track student progress in a computer-based subject of the Chemical Engineering Degree at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. It includes 8 practical computer-based sessions of 3 h each to simulate different chemical processes using commercial simulation software. Previous experience has indicated that students usually have different calculation-related issues and develop difficulties operating the software. These translate into students not completing the session on time and/or making mistakes during the simulation. Considering these negative aspects, real-time student monitoring has been included in half (4) of the sessions to address how and to what extent including progress monitoring impacts students' performance. For this purpose, an open-ended SOCRATIVE quiz was developed for each session. This quiz included different questions (10-15 per session) that students had to respond to progressively. The students' responses were projected on a screen so all participants knew their peers' answers. This promoted critical thinking between them, as the correct answer was not provided, and they all had to revise their work to reach a unanimous response. Likewise, this also helped the lecturer monitor the whole class's progress and detect and solve students' difficulties more easily and quickly. After the sessions, the students completed an anonymous questionnaire about the experience. Students stated that progress monitoring did not disrupt the correct development of the session and welcomed the initiative, highlighting the importance of being aware of their progress during the session. They also indicated that this methodology allowed them to know that all their calculations were correct throughout the practice. Thus, this initiative opens the door for real-time student performance in practical subjects, creating new avenues to improve the student-learning experience and student-lecturer interaction during practical sessions in higher education.
Student monitoring, student performance, computer-based activities, critical thinking, student-lecturer interactions.