Martín Gascueña, Concepción and Guadalupe Garcia, Rafael Eugenio
Study about the Problem of Dropping of Subjects by Students During an Academinc Year at the University..
In: "INTED2012 (6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference), Valencia (España).
In university studies, it is not unusual for students to drop some of the subjects they have enrolled in for the academic year. They start by not attending lectures, sometimes due to neglect or carelessness, or because they find the subject too difficult, this means that they lose the continuity in the topics that the professor follows. If they try to attend again they discover that they hardly understand anything and become discouraged and so decide to give up attending lectures and study on their own. However some fail to turn up to do their final exams and the failure rate of those who actually do the exams is high. The problem is that this is not only the case with one specific subject, but it is often the same with many subjects. The result is that students arent’s productive enough, wasting time and also prolonging their years of study which entails a great cost for families. Degree courses structured to be conducted and completed in three academic courses, it may in fact take up to an average of six or more academic courses.
In this paper, we have studied this problem, which apart from the waste of money and time, produces frustration in the student, who finds that he has not been able to achieve what he had proposed at the beginning of the course. It is quite common, to find students who do not even pass nor 50% of the subjects they had enrolled in for the academic year. If this happens repeatedly to a student, it can be the point when he considers dropping out altogether. This is also a concern for the universities, especially in the early courses.
In our experience as professors, we have found that students, who attend lectures regularly and follow the explanations, approach the final exams with confidence and rarely fail the subject. In this proposal we present some techniques and methods carried out to solve in possible, the problem of lack of attendance to lectures. This involves "rewarding students for their assistance and participation in lectures". Rewarding assistance with a "prize" that counts for the final mark on the subject and involving more participation in the development of lectures. We believe that we have to teach students to use the lectures as part of their learning in a non-passive way. We consider the professor's work as fundamental in terms of how to convey the usefulness of these topics explained and the applications that they will have for their professional life in the future. In this way the student see for himself the use and importance of what he is learning. When his participation is required, he will feel more involved and confident participating in the educational system.
Finally we present statistical results of studies carried out on different degrees and on different subjects over two consecutive years. In the first year we assessed only the final exams without considering the students attendance, or participation. In the second year, we have applied the techniques and methods proposed here. In addition we have compared the two ways of assessing subjects.