G. Silvero, I. López-Coca, M.J. Arévalo

Universidad de Extremadura (SPAIN)
In customary teacher-centred education, based on direct instruction, rote learning plays a fundamental role and marking is based on the amount of information retained by the students and their ability to apply the acquired theoretical concepts to problems resolution. [1]
With the arrival of the European Higher Education Area, advantage must be taken in order to enhance the quality of the whole teaching-learning process, not just the teaching side. In such context, evaluation processes become a key step for improving the quality of the system. Thus, suitable evaluation strategies are designed in order to appraise specific objectives. Not only teachers, but also students are responsible for the evaluation process. Educators design the evaluation methodology as a tool to understand what and how students are learning. Students are encouraged to prove what their acquired abilities are. [2] Results are usually registered by using a proper group of criteria. This way, the teacher gets a feedback of the learning progress and s/he is able to promptly address issues and, and to orchestrate the teaching-learning process accordingly. [3]
With all these considerations in mind, we have carried out a didactic experience in the course of Materials Chemistry of the Civil Engineering Degree at the Polytechnic School of the University of Extremadura. We have put forward an evaluation methodology that may be useful for the supervision of the collaborative task adapted to a problem based learning activity. This experience has been designed to help the students to acquire the proper competences and concepts associate to both the subject and to their professional interests.
The evaluation methodology applied withdraws information from three sources: (a) Team work: questionnaires, interviews, and other tools used to assess students interdependence, social skills development and individual commitment. (b) Quality of the materials elaborated by groups of students. (c) Overall appraisal of students’ activity.
The analysis of the data obtained from this experience showed the usefulness of this collaborative activity for the students’ better understanding of theoretical concepts of the subject and for the development of related skills and learning capabilities.

[1] Porlán, R. (2000) Constructivismo y escuela. Hacia un modelo de enseñanza-aprendizaje basado en la investigación. Díada Editora S.L. Spain
[2] Johnson, D.W.; Johnson, R.T.; Holubec, E. J. (1999) El aprendizaje cooperativo en el aula. Paidós Educador, Buenos Aires.
[3] C. de Cudmani, L.; P. de Danon, M.; S. de Sandoval, J; F. de lewin; A. M., Cudmani, C. Física básica Universitaria: ¿Cómo evaluar eficientemente el aprendizaje en cursos numerosos? Publicación del Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán.; Sánchez, M.A.; Gil Pérez, D.; Torregosa, J.M. (1995) Concepciones docentes sobre la evaluación en la enseñanza de las Ciencias. Alambique, 4, 6.