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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010005

Experience in the Use of Social Software to Support Student Learning in University Courses of Science and Engineering Degrees

1
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences, Alcalá University, 28871 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Polytechnic High School, Alcalá University, 28871 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 15 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer-based Learning in Higher Education)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4406 KB, uploaded 28 December 2018]   |  

Abstract

A wiki is an easy-to-use online tool for teachers and students, as it is a collaborative website that provides the opportunity to develop and modify its content to every member in an interactive and fast way. This paper comparatively describes experiences in the implementation of wikis as voluntary activities in first-year courses in a degree in Chemistry and third-year courses in a degree in Telecommunication System Engineering. The main goal of using the wikis was to achieve collaboration among students to generate knowledge. The developed methodology was applied to the resolution of exercises, problems, and test questions, as well as to the elaboration of class notes and a bilingual glossary. The approach turned the students into active learners, increasing their interest in the course contents, promoting knowledge exchange among students and encouraging the self-management of their learning process. The role of the teacher was to provide feedback to the students in order to ensure the accuracy of the contents. Four different patterns were distinguished among the students according to their participation level in the wiki. The students who were most committed to the courses were also the most involved in the wikis, and the combination resulted in the students’ success. The results obtained for the degree in Chemistry were better than those of the degree in Telecommunication System Engineering, which was ascribed to the increased connection among the first-year students. The didactic strategy was very positive, although the percentage of participation in the wikis was somewhat low, in particular for the third-year students, who were more independent and self-organized. Initially, the number of wiki visits increased suddenly, and then moved to a long period of lower activity in the degree of Chemistry and lethargy in the degree of Telecommunication System Engineering. Therefore, it is desirable to introduce modifications in the approach, such as flexible and consensual planning with the students in order to ensure their full engagement. View Full-Text
Keywords: wiki; methodology; collaborative learning; social software; feedback; student engagement wiki; methodology; collaborative learning; social software; feedback; student engagement
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Díez-Pascual, A.M.; García-Díaz, P.; Peña-Capilla, R. Experience in the Use of Social Software to Support Student Learning in University Courses of Science and Engineering Degrees. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 5.

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