AN ASSESSMENT SYSTEM TO IMPROVE STUDENT RESULTS IN A COMPUTING SUBJECT FOR MATHEMATICIANS
University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The goal of this work is to develop a continuous assessment system for a Computing course in both Maths degree and joint degree in Maths and Physics. Computing courses are scheduled on first semester, first year. It is a mandatory course for all of the students; however, it is the course less preferred by students due to their more theoretical profile. Thus, the goal of this proposal is twofold: To improve students results and to prevent them to drop it out.
The achievement of this project was held focusing primarily on a change in methodology. During the practical classes, the teacher supervises the students' work, and makes sure they arrive, if possible, on their own, to the right solution, reviewing and applying the theoretical concepts previously studied. Because of the different student profiles, with Maths degree and joint degree together at class, it was necessary to classify exercises into three categories according to difficulty: mandatory (the easiest ones), recommended (but not mandatory) and additional (the most complex ones, suggested as a challenge for advanced students). At the end of some practical sessions the acquired skills were evaluated with a quiz, representing a percentage of the final grade.
After each practical session and after each quiz, teachers revised the results obtained by students with the aim of reinforce the weakest points in the next sessions.
To assess how effective are the changes, 2014-2015 results were compared to those obtained during the previous year. Results in terms of the number of students who passed the course is considered "very good" in the specified range for indicators (above 80%). It is further noted that in both years the ratio of students who pass is slightly higher for joint degree students. The reason could be the different profile presented by these students (they are supposed to be better students). In addition, the drop out ratio was 0%, reaching one of the main goals of the project.
In addition, we required students to fill a poll, asking questions related to the effect of this methodology. The results were satisfactory in general, showing that the continuous and individualized work is a good option for them.
Keywords: Continuos assessment, computing course.