About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 724-732
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain


J.R. Villar

University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
The subject of Computer Basis (CB) is taught the first term within the first year in all the engineering degrees offered by the University of Oviedo. In the engineering degrees, all the subjects in the first term must have the same content for allowing the students to leap from one degree to other automatically. In some cases, the students from different degrees are merged in the same group. Due to the different focuses of each degree, in many cases there is a gap between the students’ computer skills, while in many others the affinity of the average students with the computer basis is at least questionable.

Besides, the teaching of this subject includes lectures –up to 100 students per group- and lab sessions –up to 15 students per group-. The CB’s teaching guide also includes a Group Work (GW) as mandatory, which is included within the lectures. This GW must solve –autonomously- a problem related with programming or databases design, etc. The workflow of the GW is as follows. Firstly, the groups should arrange in teams of 3-4 students. Then, the teachers hand out the problem description and a description of the hand in. Also, the evaluation criteria are published.

And here comes the problem. With some logical exceptions –those engineering degrees highly related with computers, like computer science or electronic engineering-, the students don’t pay special attention to the work to be done. They use to wait until the dead line and then make a GW fast and without care. Their main premise is to scrape together some mark to allow them pass the subject. Furthermore, the originality of the hand in is, in some cases, arguable. As a consequence, evaluating the GW is cumbersome, painful, tedious and lengthy.

This study summarises the solution to tackle these problems that has been deployed during the year 2013-2014 when teaching this subject. The idea was to focus the students in the work but not in the mark, while at the same time taking advantage of the GW to make them learn some concepts of what does GW means. By the way, the GW must reinforce some of the abilities and skills the students need acquiring during the subject.

The solution was totally experimental for this course, and it was clear that some polish is needed for future releases. Basically, the GW was to be in-person: the students must read a document with the knowledge basis and the problem description before attending the session. During the session, the professor explained the concepts and how to solve the problem. Afterwards, the students should solve the problem in groups. Those students that successfully finished the GW will automatically obtain the full mark for this task.

In this document, the whole experience is related; also, the results for the GW and for the subject are depicted. The main results of the final ballot that the students fulfilled are also included. A last discussion on the results and the drawn conclusions are finally presented.
author = {Villar, J.R.},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {724-732}}
AU - J.R. Villar
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 724
EP - 732
ER -
J.R. Villar (2014) FACE-TO-FACE GROUP WORKING, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 724-732.