09 SES 03 B, Assessment in Higher Education (II)
Parallel Paper Session
This paper is part of a larger project carried out within the training Network “Equilibrium” (Cadiz University) with the aim of analyzing the competences of new students who take degree courses in Chemical Sciences. The interest lies in adopting and implementing educational support and guidance instruments for those students with training deficiencies and learning difficulties. It turns out to be necessary to develop appropriate diagnostic tests that provide a wide range of information about our students so as to assess their multiple training needs. Therefore, we highlight the idea that assessment is not independent from the teaching process, but it is closely linked to the educational decision-making process (Linn, 1987).
The theoretical framework adopted revolves within the field of teaching-learning around competences for three reasons: firstly, because this field is an emerging, promising paradigm that is nowadays making it possible to elucidate changes in the different educational levels, particularly within the university scope (Alsina, 2011); secondly, because the notion of competence focuses our attention on the student and comprises different kinds of knowledge, strategies, abilities, skills, attitudes and values, which provides us with a comprehensive vision of education corresponding to those suggested for scientific education (Harlen, 1989; Millar, 1996; Nieda, Cañas y Martín-Días, 2004; Vázquez-Alonso, Acevedo-Díaz y Manassero, 2005); thirdly, because the fact of achieving competences is capturing an increasing interest in the way of teaching sciences (Blanco, España y Rodríguez-Mora, 2012), which has become a framework within which to channel a great deal of the current publications on this matter (Pro, 2012).
The study of this paper aims to analyze the preliminary tests used at a college giving a particular degree, in order to assess how useful they may prove to be as well as make possible improvements in their structure and implementation; more particularly, the study aims to find out:
- To what extent these tests are useful to assess the wide range of competences in question for the scientific education at previous educational stages.
- To what extent the ensuing assessment is accurate and distinguishing; that is, whether it yields reliable results, going far beyond the idiosyncrasy of the questions and particular situations at hand; and whether it is useful to make individual differences between students themselves.
- Whether the resulting information is of multidimensional nature, or it simply limits itself to a comprehensive assessment. In this sense, if as expected separate parts of these tests correspond to different aspects or dimensions of the student’s knowledge (different competences), then the results obtained would probably reflect such a diversity of aspects, thus providing data matrices rather than only global marks.
Alsina, J. (2011). Evaluación por competencias en la universidad: las competencias transversales. ICE-Octaedro. Barcelona Blanco, A.; España, E. y Rodríguez-Mora, F. (2012). Contexto y enseñanza de la competencia científica. Alambique, 70, 9-18. Harlen, W. (1989). Enseñanza y Aprendizaje de las ciencias. Morata-MEC, Madrid. Linn, M.C. (1987). Establishing a research base for science education: challenges, trends and recommendations. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 24(3), 191-216. Millar, R. (1996). Towards a curriculum for public understanding. School Science Review, 77, 7-18. Pro, A. (2012). Hacia la competencia científica. Alambique, 70, 5-8. Vázquez Alonso, A.; Acevedo-Díaz, J.A. y Manassero, M.A. (2005). Más allá de la enseñanza de las ciencias para científicos: hacia una educación científica humanística. Revista Electrónica de Enseñanza de las Ciencias, 4(2).
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