TOWARDS INTEGRATING MECHANISMS TO ASSESS STUDENTS¿ OFF-SITE WORK WITHIN THE REGULAR TEACHING-LEARNING PROCESS

Autores UPV
Año
CONGRESO TOWARDS INTEGRATING MECHANISMS TO ASSESS STUDENTS¿ OFF-SITE WORK WITHIN THE REGULAR TEACHING-LEARNING PROCESS

Abstract

The deployment of the Bologna process has caused a shift in the education paradigm of university studies. In this new education model, personal study is a crucial part of the learning process. However, in most cases, the personal (off-site) work performed by students is just evaluated by means of assignments, in the form of reports or deliverables. They could surely provide evidences of the degree of achievement of certain learning outcomes, but can hardly provide insights on how students have organised and coordinated (especially in a group work) to hand over the assignment, on the time devoted to perform the task, on the perception of the students about the usefulness of the task, etc. Accordingly, the ¿Tools and Strategies for Competences Assessment¿ (TASCA) ¿Innovation and Quality Education Team¿ (EICE) from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has focused its initial efforts on gathering and analysing different information related to the personal study/off-site work carried out by students. Preliminary results show that there is not a clear relationship between the time devoted to each task and the obtained results, but there exist a number of students that devote a large amount of time to the task and get poor marks. If this feedback is obtained early during the course, the teacher can tutor those students to determine their specific problems and propose corrective actions. Another important aspect in the student¿s learning process is that, in general, the ratio between the number of on-site work (lectures, seminars, and labs) hours and off-site work (personal study, assignments, etc.) hours must be well balanced. At UPV, for instance, this ratio should be of 1.5 offsite work hours per each on-site work hour. However, the lack of adequate supervision of off-site work leads to situations where such time is underestimated or overestimated. While overestimation leads to a waste of time, underestimation of off-site work leads to overload, which may burn-out the student. Supervision of student¿s off-site work is thus an essential asset for the adequate tune of courses. Coordination among different courses and departments could also be of prime importance to distribute exams and assignments along the course, avoiding workload peaks in specific periods of time. Finally, an estimation of the degree of usefulness and satisfaction from students¿ perspective may help teachers to improve the assignments of their courses to raise students¿ motivation. Hence, the integration of mechanisms within the regular teaching-learning process to measure and assess the offsite work performed by students, not just its quality, but also the time required to fulfil the task, and the perceive usefulness and satisfaction, among other parameters, may provide a very interesting feedback to stimulate reflective and analytic thinking about the work one, increase students¿ motivation, and improve the organisation and planning of course in general.