University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 2981-2988
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0786
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
The globalization and informatization of the society is demanding engineers which can work in heterogeneous groups. Specially, IT (Information Technology) companies are integrating in their teams people from all over the world and using “virtual work teams”, merging different cultures and education backgrounds and expertise. This labour economics is making universities to adapt their models of education in the way that students become more familiar with these environments and not only do focus on the matter of study but to work in heterogeneous teams. The European Union promoted and finally stablished in the Bologna Declaration a common plan of education which created the so called European Higher Education Area, unifying part of the matters in the education plans of universities and, hence, encouraging the mobility of the students around Europe. This mobility intrinsically involves the use of a common language and the ability to work with different people which clearly meets the needs that were aforementioned.

The University of Alicante, particularly the degree in computer engineering, includes since 2011/2012 a High Performance Group (ARA, after its name in Spanish Alto Rendimiento Académico), characterized by having English as language in some courses and hosting international students (European and non-European). These groups represent an ideal context to promote and improve the integration of students in heterogeneous groups. In this work we study the academic rates and performance of these groups against normal groups in a core matter in computer engineering, Computer Architecture, in the University of Alicante. The practical assignments are based on projects, and has both individual and team parts.

From the analysis we concluded that in average, the ARA group has a higher rate of success. However, in the practical assignment the average marks are slightly lower with respect to the normal groups. This could happen due to higher rigorousness in the evaluation, as this group is more demanding in terms of assignments and workload. Moreover, ARA groups are commonly smaller and, hence, in case few students have lower marks it will affect the average results. The use of English in the classes of Computer Architecture makes it more difficult for the students to write the reports and oral presentations. Despite all of this, the final average is higher and the honour marks are in percentage more in the ARA group, everything coupled with the personal advantages of working in a more real situation with projects and heterogeneous teams.
High Performance Group, Heterogeneous groups, Computer Architecture, High Academic Performance.