Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 137-143
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0048
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
This teaching innovation project aims to increase the participation and satisfaction of students learning Renewable Energies. The experience was implemented in Renewable Energies, a 4th-year elective course of the Bachelor in Industrial Technologies Engineering of UC3M. The innovative process, proposed to the students of Renewable Energies of academic years 2018/19 and 2019/20, consisted in developing an Academic Research Project regarding a selected renewable technology. The Academic Research Projects were performed in groups of 4 students, enhancing group work, and the topic of the project was randomly assigned to each group. The structure of all Academic Research Projects was the same independently of the renewable technology analyzed.

During the first stage of the process, the students wrote a draft of their report in a time period of 1 month. These drafts were submitted by each group to Aula Global, an online application available at UC3M, from which the teaching team downloaded the drafts. The draft of each Project was assigned by the teaching team to 2 different groups for its evaluation. These two groups acted similarly to reviewers in a blind peer review process followed by JCR journals, whereas the Editor’s functions were assumed by the teaching team. Each of these two reviewing groups read and wrote an evaluation report of the drafts assigned to them, proposing improvements to increase the quality of the original report wrote by their classmates. Since each draft was assigned to 2 reviewing groups, each group of students reviewed the work of two other groups, increasing the number of topics studied by each student. After the reviewing process, lasting 2 weeks, the evaluation reports were sent by the groups to the teaching team, who forwarded them to the authors of each Academic Research Project. Thus, each group received two evaluation reports of their original work, containing proposals of improvement made by their classmates. Once these reports were received by the groups, their original drafts could be improved considering the suggestions of the other students, during a time period of one month, after which the final report was submitted to Aula Global.

The activities carried out by the students during writing and reviewing the Academic Research Projects were considered in their marks. In fact, the continuous assessment of the course on Renewable Energies consisted in these Projects and laboratory sessions. The continuous assessment contributed by 50 % of the final mark, from which 40 % corresponded to the mark of the Academic Research Project. The mark of the Project was based on an evaluation, by the teaching team, of the final report and the two reviewing reports of different projects submitted by each group. In addition to these group mark, each member of the group also evaluated the contribution of all the other members of the team. This evaluation was pondered to the group mark assigned by the teaching team so that an individual mark for each student was obtained.

The process described to develop the Academic Research Projects was followed by all the students. The marks reached by the students for their Projects were high, ranging from 5.6 to 9.6 out of 10. The general satisfaction of the students with the procedure and their perception of learning during the process was high. This was confirmed by the high scored attained in the satisfaction survey filled up by the students at the end of the course.
Academic Research Projects, Group work, Blind-review process.