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Students' Involvement in Continuous Assessment Methodologies: A Case Study for a Distributed Information Systems Course

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1 Author(s)
Maria-Dolores Cano ; Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Technical University of Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain

The creation of the new European Higher Education Area (EHEA), with the corresponding changes in the structure and content of university degrees, offers a great opportunity to review learning methodologies. This paper investigates the effect on students of moving from a traditional learning process, based on lectures and laboratory work, to an approach closer to continuous evaluation. To this end, various types of weekly assessments were included in a Distributed Information Systems course; these assessments and the teacher's feedback were both intended to increase students' participation in the learning process. Data for seven academic years have been compiled, representing a total of more than 750 students. Analysis of the results established that most students preferred to participate in the course following the new methodology. Although both the pass rate and the final students' grades improved, the percentage of students dropping out of the course increased slightly. The impact of carrying out the proposed assessments was the same, regardless of gender and whether the student had taken this course before. In addition, compulsory attendance at office hours did not impact the degree of student participation in the new methodology. Finally, it was found that the greater (more continuous) effort demanded by the new methodology had an effect on the teacher's evaluation, whose scores were slightly lower with the new methodology, even though the students' performed better.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 3 )