IMPROVING TEAMWORK REPORTS QUALITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION USING ICT TOOLS
1 University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
2 Instituto de Carboquímica (ICB). National Spanish Research Council (CSIC) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Teamwork is a fundamental soft skill in educational practice at any level. The complexity of many daily tasks in companies and public organisations constantly challenges employees. These activities comprise working coordinatively, with the inherent decision-making process involving not only different but also overlapping teams. In higher education, group work is present in all university undergraduate degrees. It is one of the primary methodologies applied in the teaching-learning process to study and understand concepts and develop students' capabilities. In fact, among the skills to be acquired in all university curricula, teamwork appears clearly prominent.
One of the fundamental issues of teamwork in written tasks is the structuring and final writing of the report. In higher education, there are some deficits in the way that students write academic reports describing work conducted in pairs or groups. Even in the last years of a degree, almost all students are not used to writing and formatting reports with sufficient solvency and quality. It has been observed that there are excessive internet references, which are incorrectly reflected in the bibliography. This latter accounts for many students not being used to include bibliographic references within the text. In addition, they have doubts about how to structure and organise scientific and academic written work.
New technologies offer good opportunities for teaching and learning. Teamwork can be considered as a project. In this regard, different software applications allow project monitoring. Specifically, a project management program called Trello has been implemented in this pedagogical experience to carry out teamwork. Trello is a simple, free application with a fast-learning curve that allows the lecturer to constantly monitor students' work. Firstly, an initial task of reviewing and compiling the errors and deficits made by students over the past academic years has been carried out. Subsequently, a similar template was created in the Trello application for different groups of students, incorporating a series of checklists so that students were clear about the essential points that their reports should meet, emphasising the deficits detected in reports of previous cohorts. With all this information and guidance given to students, the present study focused on how to use Trello could improve the writing structure presentation and bibliography of the report.
Experimental results revealed that the adoption of Trello by the students resulted in a significant improvement in the writing, structuring and bibliographic parts of their document. Such an improvement was accounted for by the fact that Trello efficiently guided the groups of students participating in following the checklists when writing and structuring their academic reports.
Keywords: Teamwork, report, Trello, project, ICT.