University of Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4962-4971
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Different studies have concerned the state of the art in any undergraduate’s curriculum: civilization is experiencing the impact of a “regression to the mean”. This paper reports an experience to improve the students’ participation and motivation in a statistics course in technical engineering syllabus. The purpose is to motivate students to participate responsibly and actively in the ECTS teaching strategy of the course in a critical way, while taking decisions. In addition, we wanted to show that this interest group can also make interesting contributions, based on dialogue and consensus. Thus, after talking with the group-class, it was decided to make an approach, somewhat different and innovative: to analyze the strengths and weaknesses from the EFQM viewpoint to define a Plan of Strategic Lines between students and teachers. This article shows the discussion that took place, as well as the results of the implementation of this experience: improvement actions, preventive measures and corrective actions, with a semi-quantitative assessment on the importance, urgency, responsibility and priority of each given proposal. Techniques of improvement teams, leadership and consensus have been considered in order to get the most support among students and teachers involved.

The paper consists in: (1) to describe the learning-teaching process in terms of processes to be afterwards discussed in each of the groups, (2) to state appropriate questions to deal with the defined processes and the EFQM necessary criteria, (3) to describe the teamwork tasks and activities, (4) to analyze the team responses obtained and (5) to analyze how the students have increase their participation, motivations and responsibility in the syllabus term. Finally, results are discussed and the students’ responses and commentaries are considered. However, what really matters in this research is to emphasize the active and significant role that students have shown. As a consequence, each group has analyzed one of the thematic units of the statistics subject, from a global perspective of the learning-teaching process (LTP) (which is made in a constructivist environment based on the Osborne-Wittrock’s model). From the total quality EFQM model the various criteria specified in the subject have been revised, from whose valuation each group had agreed its final analysis, always guided by the teacher, who has acted as facilitator of the process. And in the end the heads of each group have brought their proposals to the big group (the class), where each student individually could raise their personal allegations, whether there has been a problem within each group. To achieve this affinity a teamwork strategy has been pursued in the development of the subject. Consequently, there have been authentic atmosphere of working group, where respect and role distribution (PDCA cycle) have been the main characters. That is, all the characteristics of the teamwork have been deployed, so that the student has deepened the subject from a perspective that is not normally done, and has realized the problems and the benefits of collaborative work, while it is true that requires much more than in an environment where “the teacher is the only leader”. The most interesting result has been the approach the student's academic failure has been given, which deserves to be revisited again, because the evaluation will be approached from the competences (not the rule/task) perspective.
action-based research, assessment, constructivism, competences, ects, educational quality.