Development of scientific competencies in Biochemistry and Biotechnology courses at Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina. A longitudinal study.

University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Supervisors: Dr. José Manuel Domínguez Castiñeiras & Dr. Héctor Santiago Odetti

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Abstract

This study is based on the framework of PISA 2006 (OECD, 2008) about scientific competency. In this thesis a sample of students from Biochemistry and Biotechnology courses at Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina) was investigated to know how they have acquired and/or developed such competency during the first three years of college-level (Basic Cycle).

The results were monitored during the three years of research. The scope and changes in levels of total performance in scientific competency (TPSC) and the three sub-competencies which constitute the TPSC were analyzed (Identifying scientific issues, ISI; Explaining phenomena scientifically, EPS and Using scientific evidence, USE).

The following questions were proposed:

What is the scientific competency level with which students enroll on the courses of Biochemistry and Biotechnology? What is the scientific competency level acquired when they have just completed the Basic Cycle of these courses? What are the similarities and differences between scientific competencies of the students in either university course? Which scientific sub-competencies are relevant in order to set the priorities to design, implement and evaluate quality teaching? How certain features of sociocultural context of the students influence the performance of scientific competency? How academic performance is related to scientific competency?

In terms of methodology, to obtain information, scientific competency and context questionnaires and personal documents, were used. In addition, analysis instruments were designed to process and categorize the information obtained.

The results and conclusions are:

- First-year students start Biochemistry and Biotechnology courses with a low performance level for all the competencies assessed.

- When the Basic Cycle ends, the level of scientific competency acquired is better than the initial.

- Differences in the development of scientific competency are achieved between Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Biochemistry: TPSC, ISI, EPS and USE performance decreased after the first year and increased in the next two years. Biotechnology: TPSC and ISI performance improved during the three years of research. EPS performance improved in the first two years and decrease in the third. USE performance decreased after the first year and then increased in the next two years.

- The scientific sub-competencies to advise on priorities for quality education are: Using scientific evidence, Explaining phenomena scientifically and Identifying scientific issues.

- The results obtained of the scientific competency are not related to the characteristics of the sociocultural context investigated.

- Academic performance is not related to the scientific competency when entering at University. However, along the Basic Cycle, those performances are positively associated.

Findings from the thesis are published

In English

Falicoff, C. B.; Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M.; Odetti, H. S. & Güemes, R. O. (2011). Students' Science Competences at the School of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences -UNL- Argentina. En C. Bruguière, A. Tiberghien & P. Clément (Eds.), E-Book Proceedings of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) 2011 Conference, Lyon France. Science learning and Citizenship Strand 10: Evaluation and assessment of student. (pp.30-36). May be downloaded from: http://www.esera.org/media/ebook/strand10/ebook-esera2011_FALICOFF-10.pdf

In Spanish

Falicoff, C. B.; Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M. y Odetti, H. S. (2012). Evaluación de las competencias científicas de alumnos de primer año de facultad. En Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M. (Ed.), Actas de la Asociación española de profesores e investigadores en didáctica de las ciencias experimentales. XXV Encuentros de Didáctica de las Ciencias Experimentales. (pp.309-316). May be downloaded from: http://www.apice-dce.com/?q=node/95.  

Falicoff, C. B.; Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M.; Odetti, H. S. y Güemes, R. O. (2012). Propuesta de evaluación de competencias científicas para estudiantes universitarios de Química. The Journal of the Argentine Chemical Society. Anales de la Asociación Química Argentina, 99, 1-2.

Falicoff, C. B.; Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M. y Odetti, H. S. (2013). Desarrollo de Competencias Científicas de Estudiantes Universitarios en el Ciclo Básico de la Carrera de Bioquímica. Educación en la Química en línea, 19(1), 44-65.

Falicoff, C. B.; Domínguez-Castiñeiras, J. M. y Odetti, H. S. (en prensa). Competencias científicas de estudiantes que ingresan y egresan de la Universidad. Enseñanza de las Ciencias.
Thesis:

Falicoff, Claudia Beatriz. (2014). Evolución de las competencias científicas en las carreras de Bioquímica y Biotecnología de la Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina. Un estudio longitudinal. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.

Phd thesis is going to be published by Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.

Contact

Dra. Claudia Beatriz Falicoff
Departamento de Química General e Inorgánica.
Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas. Universidad Nacional del Litoral.
Ciudad Universitaria Paraje El Pozo. CC 242.
(3000) Santa Fe.
Argentina

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: + 54-342-4575212
Fax + 54-342-4575212

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