CONTRIBUTION OF PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES TO THE ASSESSMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES SUBJECTS
University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In the new educational framework developed in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the teaching models are changing in order to focus the educational process on student learning. Consequently, the evaluation process should not be based on a unique final exam, but on a continuous assessment during the semester. In this sense, the use of a learning management system (LMS), such as Moodle, is valuable in order to assist in the administration of the different assessment activities and improving teacher-student communication.
In our department, as part of a teaching research network, we have been interested in the continuous assessment activities and their influence overall process of evaluation. As starting point for the study, the relationship that existed between the subject final grade and the score on the final exam (40% to 50% on the final grade) has been considered. The final grade was almost systematically superior to the mark obtained in the final test, so the activities during the semester turned to be important in the course evaluation. The scores for the ongoing evaluation activities and their impact in the final grade has been analyzed for subjects of different degrees. The subjects have been selected with the aim of covering a more diverse range of professional backgrounds and with different students: “Chemistry” (Optics and Optometry Degree), “Chemistry” (Biology Degree and Marine Science Degree), “Applied Organic Chemistry” (Chemical Engineering Degree) and “Structural Determination of Organic Compounds” (Chemistry Degree).
There are different activities in the continuous assessment process in each of the subjects considered in this study, albeit three groups can be set.
(a) Moodle Tests, which are made by students on the contents of the subject throughout the semester.
(b) Exercises done in class, similar to the final exam performed in class throughout the semester problems.
(c) Laboratory Practices, which involves carrying out experiments/problems in the laboratory and making the reports.
The study revealed that the more practical is the activity, the better results for the students. Therefore, the participation of students in the different activities improves the learning process, although other aspects of the practical activities may also influence positively. A complete analysis of how each of the continuous evaluation activities contribute to the result obtained by the students will be discussed in our communication.
Keywords: Chemistry, Moodle, degree, continuous assessment, final note.