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F. Romero-Gavilán, J. García-Cañadas

Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
In science and engineering degrees, teaching labs are a key experience during the learning process for students, since they can prove the different theories taught in the lectures, achieving its better understanding. A common procedure in teaching lab practices is to provide, beforehand, a script to the students which details what each session consist in. Thus, the teaching lab methodology presupposes that students previously read this document, so they are able to properly follow the practice development upon their arrival at the lab. However, we frequently find that students attend teaching labs without having previously read the corresponding script. Therefore, they experience significant problems to follow the session and understand the concepts under study, which impacts on their final elaborated report, which is the element to be evaluated in order to provide the mark of each session.

To improve this scenario, we propose the implementation of a different methodology based on flipped classrooms. The new methodology consists in providing the students beforehand with audio-visual resources that cover the theoretical background and explanations needed to follow the lab session. This replace the usual writing script which is no longer used. At the beginning of each lab session, the previous preparatory work performed by the students using the audio-visual resources is evaluated with an on-line exam, which is performed employing technological learning resources (Kahoot. Moodle). The final result obtained in the test affects the mark of each lab session by means of a correction coefficient. Depending on the mark range obtained in the test, this coefficient can be 0.8, 1 or 1.2, which corresponds to the scores of 0-5, 5-8, and 8-10, respectively.

The use of technological resources allow the teacher obtaining the statistics of the test results immediately, providing an instant feedback which is key to know the concepts or experimental procedures that should be reinforced during the lab session. We have evaluated the use of two different technological learning tools to perform the tests: Kahoot and Moddle. In 50% of the sessions the tests were programmed through our university Moodle environment, and in the other 50% of the sessions Kahoot was employed. Two different tools were used in order to determine which one is the most suitable for this specific methodology, taking into account the versatility to make the tests, the way of displaying the statistics of the results, and the opinion of the students.

In order to quantify the rate of success of the methodology, implemented in materials science teaching labs of different engineering degrees (electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering), different indexes were evaluated in conjunction from inputs coming from a survey performed to the students. In general, the method is successful, showing Moodle exams greater seriousness and more versatility to introduce the test questions. However, the use of Kahoot provides a more direct feedback and creates a more relaxed class atmosphere, which was very useful to increase the participation of some students who were unmotivated.