Improving the university teaching-learning process with ECO methodology: Teachers' perceptions.
ABSTRACT: This study presents the results of research focused on university teachers' perceptions of the implementation of ECO (Explore, Create, and Offer) methodology. Through teachers´ responses, the objective was to learn about the impact ECO has on both teaching and learning. The sample consists of 22 teachers from four academic fields; they implemented ECO methodology during the 2018-19 academic year with 1,350 undergraduate students and 175 Master's-level students. The participating teachers belong to five universities: Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Universidade de Vigo (Spain), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) and Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina). An exploratory and descriptive study was carried out, and the data were gathered from an online survey filled in by the teachers. Twenty-eight cases were obtained, one for each course that was involved in the project. The mean values were analysed by running a Kruskal-Wallis H test and ER2 for the effect size. In addition, the thematic analysis method was used to analyse the teachers' perceptions while representing their opinions faithfully. The results showed that ECO methodology has a very positive effect on the personal development of the teachers. ECO is a methodology that comes to have revolutionary effects, improving the relationship between teachers and students, who strengthen their commitment to their own learning. It is also an excellent means for connecting students with the social and professional world outside of academia.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite scientific recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and complementary breastfeeding to 2 years of age, breastfeeding abandonment rates increase with time, and one of the main reasons is that women go back to work. AIM:To analyze the perception of support of breastfeeding workers to continue breastfeeding at two Spanish universities, and associated factors. METHODS:A multicenter retrospective cross-sectional comparative study conducted in a population of 777 female workers at the Universidad de Sevilla (US) and the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Spain using an online questionnaire. RESULTS:The response rate was 38.74% (n = 301). Of all the participants, 57.8% continued breastfeeding after returning to work. The factors associated with continuing breastfeeding for longer were the university having a breastfeeding support policy and special accommodation (p < 0.001); participating in breastfeeding support groups (p < 0.001); intending to continue breastfeeding after returning to work (p < 0.001); knowing the occupational legislation in force (p = 0.009); having a female supervisor (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION:Breastfeeding support initiatives and having special accommodation to pump and preserve breast milk after returning to work are associated with a longer duration of female workers' breastfeeding.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Diarrhoea is a major cause of death in neonate pigs and most of the viruses that cause it are RNA viruses. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) deeply characterize the genetic diversity among rapidly mutating virus populations at the interspecific as well as the intraspecific level. The diversity of RNA viruses present in faeces of neonatal piglets suffering from diarrhoea in 47 farms, plus 4 samples from non-diarrhoeic piglets has been evaluated by NGS. Samples were selected among the cases submitted to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories of Infectious Diseases of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) and Universidad de León (León, Spain). RESULTS:The analyses identified the presence of 12 virus species corresponding to 8 genera of RNA viruses. Most samples were co-infected by several viruses. Kobuvirus and Rotavirus were more commonly reported, with Sapovirus, Astrovirus 3, 4 and 5, Enterovirus G, Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus, Pasivirus and Posavirus being less frequently detected. Most sequences showed a low identity with the sequences deposited in GenBank, allowing us to propose several new VP4 and VP7 genotypes for Rotavirus B and Rotavirus C. CONCLUSIONS:Among the cases analysed, Rotaviruses were the main aetiological agents of diarrhoea in neonate pigs. Besides, in a small number of cases Kobuvirus and Sapovirus may also have an aetiological role. Even most animals were co-infected in early life, the association with enteric disease among the other examined viruses was unclear. The NGS method applied successfully characterized the RNA virome present in faeces and detected a high level of unreported intraspecific diversity.
Project description:The Sentiments, Attitudes, and Concerns About Inclusive Education Revised scale was developed to close the existing gap in measuring perceptions of inclusive education in the educative context. It has been widely used in other cultures but not in Spain. Our objective has been to analyze the psychometric properties in the Spanish sample by studying their relationship with empathy and social dominance variables, finally taking into account sociodemographic variables to observe if there are differences. The scale was applied to a total of 647 subjects: 323 university-students (18-45 years) and 324 in-service teachers (35-58 years). The scale showed psychometric properties suitable for the general group, the students, and the teachers. Likewise, the female students showed a more positive attitude toward inclusion, and these attitudes were associated with empathy and social dominance. This version of the Sentiments, Attitudes, and Concerns about Inclusive Education Revised is a useful tool for measuring the inclusive attitudes of undergraduate education students and in-service teachers.
Project description:Introduction: The Informed Health Choices (IHC) project has developed learning resources to teach primary school children (10 to 12-year-olds) to assess treatment claims and make informed health choices. The aim of our study is to explore both the students' and teachers' experience when using these resources in the context of Barcelona (Spain). Methods: During the 2019-2020 school year, we will conduct a pilot study with 4 th and 5 th-year primary school students (9 to 11-year-olds) from three schools in Barcelona. The intervention in the schools will include: 1) a workshop with the teachers, and 2) lessons to the students. The data collection will include: 1) assessment of the IHC resources by the teachers before the lessons, 2) non-participatory observations during the lessons, 3) semi-structured interviews with the students after a lesson, 4) assessment of the lessons by the teachers after a lesson, 5) treatment claim assessment by the students at the end of the lessons, and 6) assessment of the IHC resources by the teachers at the end of the lessons. We will use ad hoc questionnaires and guides to register the data. We will perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data to explore understandability, desirability, suitability, usefulness, facilitators and barriers of the resources. The most relevant results will be discussed and some recommendations on how to use, how to adapt (if needed), and how to implement the IHC resources to this context will be agreed. The findings of the contextualization activities could inform the design of a cluster-randomised trial, to determine the effectiveness of the IHC resources in this context prior to scaling-up its use. Ethical considerations: The study protocol has obtained an approval exemption from the Ethics Committee of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona, Spain).
Project description:Being exposed to good teachers has been shown to enhance students' knowledge and their clinical performance, but little is known about the underlying psychological mechanisms that provide the basis for being an excellent medical teacher. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) postulates that more self-regulated types of motivation are associated with higher performance. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) focuses on self-efficacy that has been shown to be positively associated with performance. To investigate the influences of different types of teaching motivation, teaching self-efficacy, and teachers' perceptions of students' skills, competencies and motivation on teaching quality.Before the winter semester 2014, physicians involved in bedside teaching in internal medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf completed a questionnaire with sociodemographic items and instruments measuring different dimensions of teaching motivation as well as teaching self-efficacy. During the semester, physicians rated their perceptions of the participating students who rated the teaching quality after each lesson. We performed a random intercept mixed-effects linear regression with students' ratings of teaching quality as the dependent variable and students' general interest in a subject as covariate. We explored potential associations between teachers' dispositions and their perceptions of students' competencies in a mixed-effects random intercept logistic regression.94 lessons given by 55 teachers with 500 student ratings were analyzed. Neither teaching motivation nor teaching self-efficacy were directly associated with students' rating of teaching quality. Teachers' perceptions of students' competencies and students' general interest in the lesson's subject were positively associated with students' rating of teaching quality. Physicians' perceptions of their students' competencies were significantly positively predicted by their teaching self-efficacy.Teaching quality might profit from teachers who are self-efficacious and able to detect their students' competencies. Students' general interest in a lesson's subject needs to be taken into account when they are asked to evaluate teaching quality.
Project description:This study analyzes the effects of COVID-19 confinement on the autonomous learning performance of students in higher education. Using a field experiment with 458 students from three different subjects at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), we study the differences in assessments by dividing students into two groups. The first group (control) corresponds to academic years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019. The second group (experimental) corresponds to students from 2019/2020, which is the group of students that had their face-to-face activities interrupted because of the confinement. The results show that there is a significant positive effect of the COVID-19 confinement on students' performance. This effect is also significant in activities that did not change their format when performed after the confinement. We find that this effect is significant both in subjects that increased the number of assessment activities and subjects that did not change the student workload. Additionally, an analysis of students' learning strategies before confinement shows that students did not study on a continuous basis. Based on these results, we conclude that COVID-19 confinement changed students' learning strategies to a more continuous habit, improving their efficiency. For these reasons, better scores in students' assessment are expected due to COVID-19 confinement that can be explained by an improvement in their learning performance.
Project description:Background Despite the fact that family medicine (FM) has become established as a specialty in the past 25 years, this has not been reflected in the inclusion of the specialty in the majority of medical schools in Spain. Almost 40% of the students will work in primary care but, in spite of this, most universities do not have an assessed placement as such. There are only specific practice periods in health centres or some student-selected components with little weight in the overall curricula. Objectives To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of medical students about FM in the health system and their perception about the need for specific training in FM at the undergraduate level. To explore change over time of these attitudes and perceptions and to examine potential predictive factors for change. Finally, we will review what teaching activity in FM is offered across the Spanish schools of medicine. Methods Descriptive cross-sectional survey. Each one of the different analyses will consist of two surveys: one for all the students in the first, third and fifth year of medical school in all the Spanish schools of medicine asking about their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes in relation to primary care and FM. There will be an additional survey for the coordinating faculty of the study in each university about the educational activities related to FM that are carried out in their centres. The repetition of the study every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of the cohort of students until they receive their degree and the potential predictive factors. Discussion This study will provide useful information for strategic planning decisions, content and educational methodology in medical schools in Spain and elsewhere. It will also help to evaluate the influence of the ongoing changes in FM, locally and at the European level, on the attitudes and perceptions of the students towards FM in Spain.
Project description:Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and thus represents a priority for national public health programs. Prevention has been assumed as the best strategy to reduce cancer burden, however most cancer prevention programs are implemented by healthcare professionals, which constrain range and educational impacts. We developed an innovative approach for cancer prevention education focused on high-school biology teachers, considered privileged mediators in the socialization processes. A training program, "Cancer, Educate to Prevent" was applied, so that the teachers were able to independently develop and implement prevention campaigns focused on students and school-related communities. The program encompassed different educational modules, ranging from cancer biology to prevention campaigns design. Fifty-four teachers were empowered to develop and implement their own cancer prevention campaigns in a population up to five thousands students. The success of the training program was assessed through quantitative evaluation--questionnaires focused on teachers' cancer knowledge and perceptions, before the intervention (pre-test) and immediately after (post-test). The projects developed and implemented by teachers were also evaluated regarding the intervention design, educational contents and impact on the students' knowledge about cancer. This study presents and discusses the results concerning the training program "Cancer, Educate to Prevent" and clearly shows a significant increase in teacher's cancer literacy (knowledge and perceptions) and teachers' acquired proficiency to develop and deliver cancer prevention campaigns with direct impact on students' knowledge about cancer. This pilot study reinforces the potential of high-school teachers and schools as cancer prevention promoters and opens a new perspective for the development and validation of cancer prevention education strategies, based upon focused interventions in restricted targets (students) through non-health professionals (teachers).
Project description:Nowadays, the role of a tutor is more important than ever to prevent students dropout and improve their academic performance. This work proposes a data-driven system to extract relevant information hidden in the student academic data and, thus, help tutors to offer their pupils a more proactive personal guidance. In particular, our system, based on machine learning techniques, makes predictions of dropout intention and courses grades of students, as well as personalized course recommendations. Moreover, we present different visualizations which help in the interpretation of the results. In the experimental validation, we show that the system obtains promising results with data from the degree studies in Law, Computer Science and Mathematics of the Universitat de Barcelona.
Project description:We study the relative importance of the three dimensions of need-supportive teaching (NST) and students' self-efficacy to gain new knowledge about students' achievement in higher education. NST assumes that teachers are key to the motivation of students, providing autonomy support, structure (support of competence), and involvement (support of relatedness). In turn, self-efficacy raises students' confidence in their ability to succeed in academic tasks. Drawing on 86,000 records of teaching evaluations by students at the University of Girona (Spain), we present evidence that teachers' involvement and students' self-efficacy are the two elements most strongly and positively related to achievement. Students obtain higher marks when they believe that their teachers are dependable and available to offer resources, and when they feel capable of organizing and implementing the courses of action necessary to acquire knowledge. We also find that students' experience of autonomy support and structure are negatively (or not) correlated with achievement. Subgroup analyses also indicate that students have different needs in different knowledge areas.