Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4428-4433
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
In this contribution we present the results of a program of dynamization, recently started in the course 2007/08, in the subject “Genética y Mejora Vegetal (GyMV)” (Genetics and Plant Breeding). This subject belongs to the “Ingeniero Técnico Agrícola” (Technical Engineer in Agriculture) degree, at the ETSMRE college (Escuela Técnica Superior del Medio Rural y Enología, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia), and traditionally has showed a high percentage of failing students. Our dynamization protocol includes:
A) At the beginning of the course: i) to provide the students with a booklet of paper notes with the topics which will be followed in GyMV and ii) to sign a continuous evaluation learning contract for which they will commit to assist to the lectures and to do some established learning activities. As a consequence, they will have the opportunity of dividing the examination of GyMV into two tests (instead of the final test at the end of the semester) and, additionally, the activities will account for 20% of the total score.
B) The proposed activities consist of a tutorial programme which involves: i) to answer individually 2-3 “one-minute questions” every 30 min. at the lessons, and ii) to revise individually at home the lecture of the day and to answer a list of related questions. Both kind of questions are focused on essential points of GyMV and are similar to those included in the tests. The one-minute questions are revised by the lecturers, while the second ones are revised in 10 minutes at the beginning of each lesson by themselves. Thus, each student is asked not only to make the questions but also to correct the questions of others. In this way we attempt to focus the attention of the students towards the most important basis of genetics and plant breeding.
As a result, students have accomplished the contract and all of them have presented both one-minute questions and their homework questions. Students have showed a satisfactory level of comprehension not only in answering the questions, but also in their role as reviewers, which is very important for their learning in GyMV.
We include a comparative analysis of the results available for courses 2007/08 and the early 2008/09 against course 2006/07, in which our learning protocol was still not established. The most remarkable results have been: i) the attendance in the lessons and tests has increased considerably after two years (up to 70% total students in 2008/09: 45 students) and ii) the number of passing marks as well as the average marks have increased gradually each course.
These results indicate that our learning protocol is working properly and is being quite successful. The efficiency of the protocol is discussed and future measures to enhance some detected weak points are presented.
learning contract, one-minute-question, homework, attitudes, competences.