POSSIBILITIES FOR COLLABORATIVE WORK: SEVERAL TEACHERS SHARING CLASSROOM SESSIONS

A. Vidaurre, J. Molina-Mateo, I. Tort Ausina, J. Riera, J.M. Meseguer-Dueñas

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Departamento de Física Aplicada (SPAIN)
Collaborative work between teachers is a common methodology in the preparation of contents, teaching methods, evaluation, etc. at all educational levels. However, this way of working is less common in educational activities with the students in the classroom, in the laboratory or tutorial sessions,… This communication is focused on two spaces where interaction between students and teachers occurs: laboratory and classroom. The experience has been performed at a School of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), where different degrees are taught.

The building of this School (ETSID) has big classrooms and laboratories where 90 students can be together, which are used by different courses. Basic equipment is available (computer, os-cilloscope, DC generators, function generators and multimeters) as well as other specific equipment needed for a particular practical session which is installed ad hoc.

Several teachers (typically three of them in the courses analyzed in this paper) are teaching together in these big spaces. Usually, one of them is the one in charge of the introduction to the practice to be performed by the students, and once this is done, all the teachers are supervising the students work and solving questions.

The concept of “classroom practical sessions” is widely understood at the UPV as sessions in which the students work in groups solving problems, under the teachers’ supervision. This applies also to the courses analyzed here (Physics and Electricity) where two teachers are together in the practical sessions, where the typical group is formed by 60 students. Self-assessment is performed by students by using the Sakai/PoliformaT platform on a laptop or mobile device. The role of the two teachers is the same: to supervise students’ work and to solve methodological questions, stopping the session if it is necessary to explain something to the whole class.

We believe that the fact of sharing the teaching activity in the same space, based on collabora-tive work, can be an opportunity for teachers to improve students’ learning process. The aim of this work is to know if the work of several teachers at the laboratory or practical sessions is efficient, and if the possibilities of collaborative work are exploited enough. To do that, a survey where students were asked about their perception has been performed.
Results show that most of the students participating in this type of teaching prefer more than one teacher at the classroom/laboratory (83%), and they believe that the coordination between teachers is good (70%), but only the 30% of them agrees on the possibility of export this experience to other courses.

On the other hand, another survey has been sent to expertise teachers asking about strengthen, weaknesses, and possibilities to improve the experiences.
As a final conclusion, this research shows the possibilities of the collaborative work of teachers sharing a class or laboratory, which can be beneficious both for the students learning and for the professional development of teachers. Students obtain a richer and more diverse feedback and teachers have the opportunity to enrich their abilities by learning from their colleagues. From the point of view of the university, resources are optimized, both material and human. It’s interesting to point out that to obtain the maximum benefit from this experience a specific working methodology adapted to the situation is needed.