New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Assessment Activities in Mechanics: How Many of Them Are Enough?

Cristinaa Urbina Pons, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain)

Sergio Sanchez Lopez, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain)


The following presents the results of a set of continuous assessment activities undertaken in the subjects of Theory of Mechanics and Mechanisms, in order to analyze if the amount of the assessment activities performed during the course, their level and the method to perform them have influence on the student’s subject failure. During five academic years, the evaluation system have changed the amount and form of assessment exercises done along the course, or in many cases just simplifying them. The results point out that as higher is the perception of amount of work that students notice, higher is the success of the students in the subject. Peculiarly, the decrease in the number of assessment activities increases the subject drop-off. Equally, the recurrence of the assessment model during two consecutive semesters may be the cause of lack of motivation that some students show, principally, those who repeated the subjects. To reduce the level of failure in Mechanics, we are performing a new way to do the assessment activities, during this academic year 2016-17, the so-called Agile project, instead to reduce or eliminate these exercises. Consequently, we will have the first results of applying this methodology at the end of January.

The Agile is based on principles of collaboration between students, adaptability and non-stop improvement of the work done. Its objective is to deliver a product to a client at the end of the course. However, the product has to be performed in successive steps through both semesters. Each step is called Sprint. The Sprint duration is two weeks and it has a list of requests to do. At the end of each Sprint, each team shows its product increase achieved during this period. Additionally, the team has to facilitate the activities that they have done to perform the Sprint, specifying who has done each task. This methodology, thus, requires continuous work of the team.

In spite of the work that this new methodology supposes, with this way to perform the assessment activities, we may avoid, firstly, last minute poor delivered exercises and secondly, to reduce the level of failure in Mechanics.


[1] Urbina, Cristina “Ús de l’espai virtual per la implementació d’una xarxa d’aprenentatge cooperatiu a les assignatures de MTM del GEM”, CIDUI’s journal, 2, 2014.
[2] WinmecC 4.6.2, Universidad de Málaga, 2016,

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