Engaging Students in an Undergraduate Computer Technology Course: An Active-Learning Approach

Autores UPV


Research carried out in recent years suggests that students in Higher Education are not always motivated and lack the learning skills and work habits to overcome first-year difficulties at the university. As a consequence, the approach to teaching the subject was to blame for allowing a significant number of dropouts and underachievement. Starting from several educational experiences carried out since 2005, this paper presents an overall model with the emphasis on student-centered learning and formative feedback. The teaching approach is based on good practices that are supported by commonly available technology resources so as to maintain a manageable faculty workload. Technical resources are a very helpful resource to face large groups of students without losing learning feedback quality, but it is not a solution per se. Thus, on-line activities have been designed to support individual formative feedback with asynchronous teacher interaction, while face-to-face learning is still very important and oriented to promote peer interaction and collaboration. The presented model has produced successful results during several consecutive academic years with samples of more than 500 students per year and the participation of 11 lecturers. This work analyses quantitative indicators to demonstrate that teachers are able to carry out a reliable representation of their student progress, despite the use of different student-centered activities. Generally speaking, student active participation has grown significantly, achieving 65% success. The model and its starting conclusions can be extrapolated to many high education courses.