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Tania Acosta, Felipe Navas, Antonio Proaño, Sergio Luján-Mora. Model for Determining Pedagogical Factors Affecting the Retention Rates of First-Year Engineering Students. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (Edulearn 2017), p. 9731-9737, Barcelona (Spain), July 3-5 2017. ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4. https://doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0841
The low academic performance of students is a problem of concern to the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) worldwide. The quality of education is mainly measured by the academic performance, which is directly related with the grades. The grades obtained by students are translated into the number of passed and failed subjects. Students who fail one or several subjects in their first attempt have to decide either to repeat the course or dropout their studies. In the case of student retention, several previous studies have shown that students entering a career are not graduated in the established times. These results undoubtedly reflect an education problem that affects the development of society. Therefore, this issue needs to be investigated.
Because of the importance of this problem, some HEI have conducted studies about the causes for low academic performance. In general, the authors of these investigations agree that the causes are multi-factorial and they may be related with education institutions, students or teachers.
Several studies have proposed some variables to consider in assessing academic performance. However, the evaluation tools used to measure this variable have not been shown. In the present work, the objective is to develop a model that allows to identify the pedagogical factors directly influencing on the retention of subjects in the first-year engineering students. This study is founded on the hypothesis that the responsibility of teachers in the classroom significantly influences in the academic success or failure.
The main result from this research is the approach of a unified model, which constitutes a compilation and a combination of pedagogical factors considered on investigations carried out previously in some countries. The model is based on two questionnaires, the first one for teachers and the second one for students. These questionnaires contain similar questions that collect information from different points of view. The opinion collected from both teachers and students is to be compared and contrasted, with the purpose of identifying the factors directly affecting student retention.
The research certainly presents a contribution with regard to the previous work carried out. The results will help both teachers and academic authorities to raise awareness and decisions to improve the teaching-learning process and decrease student repetition rates.