III Conferences for professors of the Spanish Higher Schools of Arts Confederation. Reflections and conclusion.

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The sessions have been of service for teachers of Spanish Higher Schools of Arts to share our experiences and to learn from our colleagues.

The theme was centred on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching. It is interesting to note that the learning method has a determining influence on how we approach work in the professional field.

My job in private enterprises after graduation in 1994 was heavily influenced by my training and learning system at the University of Valencia. When I started to teach at the School of Art in Valencia in 2007, my style of teaching was similar to that I had lived in University in the early 90s. Before, my working life in the private sector since the year 94 was limited by my lack of traverse competences and English language skills.

In both experiences there were lights and shades, all shadows have something to do with the system of learning the subjects. I lacked capacity to adapt to new situations and contexts quickly.

The historical point where we are is far from that of a few decades ago. Generations passed away while technology and customs hardly changed. There were guilds, where knowledge and rights were jealously guarded. It seems centuries ago, but I have been a witness. Learning to live with change and social transformation has to be the focus of higher education.

The papers presented by colleagues show different approaches to teaching, all non-traditional, that help to see the world from different angles and lead to different solutions to the same problems of design.

Innovative teaching is necessary to instruct students in order to make them more able to live fully in the professional, intellectual and personal scopes.

Examples like the work of Victor José Socas, from Tenerife, working the ’emotional skills’, making the students provide three different solutions to the same problem: an assertive, another inhibited and other aggressive, demonstrate that genius lies in the approach.

Victor Socas, Tenerife: mLearning for emotional education

Victor Socas, Tenerife: mLearning for emotional education

We have attended presentations of teaching approaches centred in the process and the external companies as the proposal GastroMODA by Alice and Naomi, School of Burgos and Rachel Cabrero, School of Segovia; or activist and social content works like Nacho Clemente’s proposal, from Madrid and Miriam Tello, from Soria. David, with his presentation of Food Design, showed us how to work students motivation.

David Azpurgua, La Rioja. Food Design.

David Azpurgua, La Rioja. Food Design.

Others focused on the historical heritage: the team of Cantabria with Jesús, Eva and Sheila; on interdisciplinary Project Based Learning: the team of Gran Canaria with José Martín, Pilar, Oscar and Beatriz and another of introspective inspiration by Basilio, also from Gran Canaria.

José Martín, Pilar, Oscar y Beatriz, Gran Canaria. Interdisciplinar ABP applied to studies of Graphic Design

José Martín, Pilar, Oscar y Beatriz, Gran Canaria. Interdisciplinary ABP applied to studies of Graphic Design

The ‘alternative’ methods generate ‘different’ professionals who can transform the design process and also the lives of people.

The document Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015), published by ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), links the quality of learning and the interaction between students, teachers and institutions. It puts the focus on research and innovation as a quality criterion. The standard 1.9 urges that programs respond to the needs of students and society.

Colleagues invited by the CEA to these conferences for teachers have tried to put their part to foster ENQA’s approach. It has been an honour to share with them Design in English.

Salvador Ros, Orihuela. Design in English.

Salvador Ros, Orihuela. Design in English.

Professor Gerhard Curdes told us that in the 70s, at the Institut für Umweltplanung of Ulm, they debated whether the interdisciplinary contents had to be imparted before or after specialization. The conclusion of the conference is clear: they have to be imparted ‘while’.

Gerhard Curdes and David Oswald, Ulm

Gerhard Curdes and David Oswald, Ulm


ENQA. (2015) Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. Retrieved from: http://www.enqa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ESG_2015.pdf [Revised: 27/05/2016]


International workshop on furniture decoration in EASDO

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The workshop, proposed by our collaborators at the Technical University in Zvolen, Igor Želtvay and Julia Kaštierová, consists on incorporating decorative forms of our local culture that can generate a geometric pattern. It will be incorporated on dismissed or replaced furniture, giving a new value to the object in order to make it of special interest.

Igor and Julia searched the store and decided to work on these three stools:


The challenge has two aspects: firstly the projective approach, that is, the creative idea that solves the problem, secondly the technological issue which involves techniques that combine craftsmanship and design software to materialise the final product.


Three teams were arranged, each of which developed their project.

The Mastieni Stool

The group formed by Tina Casanova, White Good Barberá, Maria Reyes Mula Molina, Remedios Martínez Martínez and Juanjo Pérez Doménech have been inspired by the symbolism of the Tartessian ceramic communities of the Iberian ethnicity Mastia that inhabited the Bajo Segura area between centuries VI and IV BC.

They have transformed the plant and zoomorphic motifs found in prehistoric pottery in a repeating pattern. For scaling Corel DRAW and PhotoPrint software have been used.


It is printed on adhesive paper, then cut for using as a resist coating.


To give more strength to the symbol polychromy is incorporated using pencils.



The finish with varnish provides shine and protection to the work.


The Knot Stool

The team formed by Nacho Vazquez Chica, Violeta Castellanos Benitez, Rosario López Vazquez, Sandra López Cayuelas and Nola Corral have been inspired by the traditional crafts crochet and using of wicker basketry and furniture.


The wool work done by students of the Association of Disabled Children of Alicante, who line construction elements using crocheted fabrics, is another source of inspiration.


The combination of primary and secondary vivid colours suggests a mixture of pop-art and op-art.


The Diamond Stool

Igor and Julia teamed and implemented two different techniques on the same object: pyrography and embroidery.


The basic form of the repeating pattern used is the diamond, hence the name of the piece.


The pyrography is performed with a soldering tool, which in this case adopts a new utility. The embroidery is done on the basis of wire and fixed with spiked.


Symmetries and engraving fade into a beautiful imperfection.



With special thanks to the teachers Nola Corral and Juanjo Pérez, without whom this work could not have been done.

Bibliography and resources

Abad, Lorenzo y Bendala, Manuel. Las producciones meridionales del arte ibérico. ARTEHISTORIA PROYECTOS DIGITALES, S. L. Madrid. Retrieved from: http://www.artehistoria.com/v2/contextos/3527.htm [Accessed: 13/04/2016]

Abad, Lorenzo y Bendala, Manuel. Sombrero de copa de Archena. ARTEHISTORIA PROYECTOS DIGITALES, S. L. Madrid. Retrieved from: http://www.artehistoria.com/v2/obras/19403.htm [Accessed: 13/04/2016]

Asociación de niños y jóvenes discapacitados de Alicante. http://www.andalicante.org/

Moreno Padilla, María Isabel. (2014, December). Sobre ornamentación y simbolismo. Algunas reflexiones en torno a la cerámica ibérica con decoración geométrica y abstracta. Paper presentado en el XIII Encuentro de Jóvenes Investigadores de Historia Antigua – 7-8-9/05/2014, Madrid (Spain). Retrieved from: http://www.antesteria.es/resources/12.+Moreno.pdf [Accessed: 13/04/2016]

Page del Pozo, Virginia. (1984). Imitaciones del influjo griego en la cerámica ibérica de Valencia. Madrid: Instituto Antonio de Nebrija.

Ramos Folqués, Alejandro. (1977). Cerámica ibérica de La Alcudia de Elche con figuras animales a tinta plana. XV Congreso Nacional de Arqueología, Lugo 1977, Zaragoza 1979, 797-802.

Valín, Beatriz. (2014, November). Cestería de esparto. Retrieved from: http://tixvalin.blogspot.com.es/2014/11/cesteria-de-esparto.html [Accessed: 13/04/2016]

The structure of metals

The metal atoms are placed in a repeating pattern called 3D crystal structure.

The molten metal solidifies forming solid nucleations on which crystals grow within the fluid. Each nucleation forms a grain. The orientation of the rows of atoms in each grain is different from its neighbour. Micrographs show the lines of grain boundaries.

A medium-size grain of metal has a length between 32 and 62 microns.

image from en.wikipedia.org

Micrography of a metal. Image from en.wikipedia.org

The approximate volume of a grain of 32 microns is 2·10^(-11) litres, that is, two hundred thousand millionths of a litre. That’s the reason why techniques such as micrography are necessary to determine the dimensions of the grains.

But if the grains (single crystals) are so small and randomly oriented, why don’t we could consider that metals are amorphous materials? Well, somehow metals have many isotropic features like some glass or vitreous materials, but think of the following:

The iron atom has a volume of 1’15·10^(-32) litres, ie 1’15 hundred millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a litre. This means that in every grain of 32 microns there are about 1.5·10^(15) atoms, ie 1500 million of million atoms lined up in perfect order in a 3D structure.

Metals are certainly crystalline. They are called polycristalline materials because they consist of sticked grains. That structure, together with the peculiarity of the metallic interatomic bond, is what determines their properties.

Learning by visiting enterprises of decor and building materials

From 20th to 24th of February, the CEVISAMA Expo has taken place in Valencia. The EASDO has organized a visit for students to know the last innovations in building materials and décor.

Also, interior design spaces, furniture, machinery, equipment and ceramics were exposed.

Info about some of the stands we visited comes below.

Verniprens is a Valencian company that manufactures stone materials and installations. Caroline explained us the advantages of their hydraulic cast stone, specially treated for waterproofing in order to use indoors and outdoors. Also, care is taken to prepare the surface for achieve the proper adhesion on the wall.

Carolina explains the properties of this product to our students: Lenka, Maria, Ivana and Nikola.

Carolina explains the properties of this product to our students: Lenka, Maria, Ivana and Nikola.


Voghe Ceramiche is a brand of Casa Tiles, an Indian manufacturer of vitrified ceramic. Kunal Patel is the director. The tiles in the photo have a unique décor. He explained us they have to run three consecutive firing processes for each tile to obtain those results. He also said they can beat their competitors: it can be sold less than half the normal price.

Kunal Patel, the director, showed the stand.

Kunal Patel, the director, showed the stand.


La Escandella is a company from Agost (Alicante, Spain). They are masters in tiles for roofing. Alma Gomis, the marketing manager, explained us the manufacturing process and how they prevent the tiles from touching each other during the firing. Their strengths are the flatness and the low water absortion: less than 5%, when the normal amount is around 8%. It makes the difference regarding durability. Alma also invited us to visit the factory.

la escandella


Kerajet is an enterprise situated in Almassora (Castellón, Spain). They are leaders in innovation of digital décor for ceramic tiles. We learnt details of the equipment.



Das Tech Solutions is a company from Almassora (Castellón, Spain). They design and manufacture equipment for surface finishing and cutting stone materials. Vicente Alcácer, their industrial engeneer, explained the bevel and miter cutting techniques for tiles.

das tech


Wayon is a company from Shanghai. They produce quartz slabs. Two factories operate in China. Juan Lorenzo Murphy is the sales director. He explained us how the product is manufactured: First, quartz is smashed to the appropriate grain size, then mixed with resin and colorants, pressed to compact and finally a thermal treatment for total adhesion.


Juan Lozano shows us the sample book


We will have the opportunity to deepen the technological aspects in class during the semester.

Fostering our collaboration with the Technical University in Zvolen

presentation zvolen 1

image processing by María Font Cubedo

This year we are going further with the cooperation between the EASDO and the Technical University in Zvolen. New Slovak students have come to study subjects and we also have two masters of arts: Igor Zeltvay and Julia Kosterova. They are in the research phase of their dissertation theses and they are be working here as teachers in practice giving workshops and working with me on the activities of project-based learning in the second-course-subject Materials & Structures.

On Wednesday October 14, Igor and Julia gave a talk about the Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology of the Technical University in Zvolen.

presentation Zvolen 2

image processing by María Font Cubedo

They showed us several aspects of their studies in their Faculty: methods of study and learning, facilities, activities, etc., and we talked about student life in Zvolen. The audience was very interested and asked many questions.

Yesterday they gave a lecture in which the most representative of their portfolios and the work being carried out in their doctoral thesis were exhibited.

This is the work of Julia in her final bachelor degree: a storage system of lightweight materials. Julia had already worked on eco-design projects before.

Bachelor final project Julia

The thesis of Julia, The design trends in furniture and home culture in the context of art movement in the 20th century, focuses on art of the 60’s (pop art and op art). The aim is to find relationships between art and design, and finally create a design that reveals her research results.

Igor is a graduate in two specialties: Interior Design and Furniture Design. He also enjoys graphic design. His work has attracted much attention.

This is his final master studies work.

Master final project Igor

Igor’s thesis, Transformation of Historical Elements in the Modern Furniture Design, aims to find applications of motives and historical elements to contemporary society. Igor wants to innovate using variability and functionality to develop new forms.

thesis lecture

Activities that Igor and Julia are conducting stands for a new approach to the sharing good practices in higher education. In this case, highly skilled graduates of foreign universities move here and share with us their learning experiences and their views. The fact that in the EASDO has been taught courses in English for several years facilitates interaction with our Slovak partners; today, our students feel comfortable with academic communication in English.

farewell and close Zvolen lecture

Image processing by María Font Cubedo (teacher at EASDO). —- Photography by Estívaliz Almagro Rocamora (student at EASDO)

Teacher assessment criteria according to students

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The first step when developing active learning (student centred teaching) is to know what they need. A teacher that respond to their needs as learners is important. Whether or not a teacher responds to that can be expressed in terms of assessment criteria.

There are a lot of studies and survey forms for teaching assessment. However, I have to consider what the students I teach; that is, those who study this particular speciality, in this Higher School, in this social-cultural-economic context; care. The reason of this approach has to do with the action-research-in-education values. Click for more info.

Two brainstormings have been carried out among two group of students to know their opinions. A group of 2nd course of Décor Project and a group of 2nd course of Interior Design.

Here you are the results for the teacher assessment criteria:

Criteria the two groups agreed on:

  • Interest and knowledge of the subject
  • Lesson preparation with up-to-date materials
  • Design and carry out activities related to the speciality and their professional future

Interior Design students subscribed:

  • Quality presentations and use of media
  • Clear explanations and synthesis of information
  • Solve students doubts
  • Arrangement of extracurricular activities adapted to the subject

Décor Projects students also supported:

  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Empathy toward students and active listening
  • Availability beyond the teaching hours
  • Design and arrange activities adapted to the context: cultural, social and the classroom (number of students, facilities, etc)

We miss everything about learning assessment, however, this is a first contact and our purpose is to deepen into the matter and to include more groups of students, as well as consider other focus groups, in the educational and also social fields.

Education in cooperation with external technicians

Today, a technical demonstration related to décor materials has taken place at our Higher School.

Technicians from PORCELANOSA GROUP visited and gave us a talk about natural materials and the last generation product called KRION.

The event was arranged by our teacher Pedro Pablo Miralles.


Pedro introduces the technicians: Héctor, Andrés and Pedro Antonio

Héctor Enguídanos Adsuara, responsible of the commercial department of L’ANTIC COLONIAL, showed natural products as marble and wood and other traditional ceramic and glass elements. Projects where those materials have been used along the world were explained and discussed.


Héctor shows us projects using natural stone, vinyl on PVC, wood, etc.

Pedro Antonio García and Andrés José Martínez, from the delegation of Alicante, showed and explained the features of KRION (used for the top of The OriTable).


Pedro Antonio explains the KRION performance

Students of Interior and Graphic Design paying attention.

Students of Interior and Graphic Design paying attention.

This spectacular material, made of alumina trihydrate and resin, has particular characteristics for designers to take advantage. It can be molded at any shape, used indoors and outdoors, backlit and coloured according to each project.

The powdered petrous component: Alumina Trihydrate

The powdered petrous component: Alumina Trihydrate

Cooperative learning +. Results and comments.

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OriTable_2 The system of cooperative learning in collaboration with external entities has paid off. An assignment that included an advertising campaign designed by the students of 1st course of Graphic Design, and an Interior design project, conducted by the students of 2nd Decor Project and Management has been carried out. Click for previous information. The company acting as a client (a distribution company of ceramic material) demanded a comprehensive solution to launch an activity of co-working. Furniture, distribution and lighting had to be projected so that architects and designers could meet their clients in a space next to the showroom. Graphic Design students designed the posters, cards and web image for the campaign and the furniture consist of a table for architects meet their customers. “The OriTable” prototype has been manufactured side by side with a blacksmith. The company PORCELANOSA provided with white Krion for the top. OriTable_1 The students have put that name because they were inspired by the Japanese art of folding paper (Origami). They also decided to give importance to the geometric purity and created a spatial shape from a two-dimension-simetric figure: the equilateral triangle. The returned object has an impressive elegance.

The OriTable

The OriTable

The experience has served to learn to apply the cooperative work as a lever for creativity. My sincere thanks to Professor Pedro Pablo Miralles, who acted as facilitator in the classroom and beyond, giving his time and enthusiasm in this teaching experience.

Evaluation of the research team-work method as a teaching tool

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What do students think of this system for learning? What did they learn? Can it be improved? How?

This post presents the evaluation results of the cooperative learning method through research team-work. Once the experience took place, results are analyzed and a student opinions poll will show how they value the method.

8 teams of three groups-class with different subjects were formed:

  • 2 teams of Decor Projects. Module: Technology and Construction Systems II.
  • 2 teams of Interior Design. Subject: Materials and Structures.
  • 4 teams of Graphic Design. Subject: Scientific Fundamentals.

Evaluating the method involves two things:

  1. Compare the results of this method, which incorporates active learning techniques (students choose the research topic, develop evaluation criteria and evaluate themselves), with traditional methods.
  2. Analyse all aspects in order to improve.

The method was fully described in previous posts (link). It consist of:

1.- Selection of research topics and distributing students into teams.

2.- Team-work:

  • Establish assessment criteria of both individual work and the results (report and presentation).
  • Organize tasks and times. Teams have an online verification table to control their work.
  • Carry out and submit the report.
  • Perform the presentation.

3.- Self and peer assessment of: personal work, the report and the presentation.

Tools to collect the data:

  • report and presentation results (from the current year and the past).
  • a poll for students about the methodology.

Results and conclusions of the work (reports and presentations):

8 teams have been assessed. The quality of 6 of them were similar to previous years. The surprising thing was that 2 of them were brilliant; the best I have ever seen since I started to teach in 2006.

One of them, a team of Decor Projects, submitted a report about sanitaryware for hygiene. Quality and approach of writing, layout and infographics were really remarkable.

The other, a team of Graphic Design, performed an impressive presentation: good use of English, media and, best, created an hologram for all us.


  • 25% of works were excellent in contrast to the previous years. The method has been able to make the best of a quarter of the students.
  • 75% showed a normal level. There is still room for improvement.

Results and conclusions of the survey to students:

Data reflect opinions of 22 students. They had to write about the following 5 items:

1.- Method aspects to change or improve.

  • 2 participants suggest finding a mechanism to compensate teams some of whose members leave the course before finishing.
  • 1 student suggests there should be ways to prevent others from not fulfill tasks on time.
  • 1 student suggests there should be ways to balance workloads within teams.
  • 9 students confuse the purpose of the question. They thought it was about their own team organization while working.
  • The rest does not suggest areas for improvement.


  • 45% does not understand the question. It has to be changed by another that clarifies the aim: to assess the method proposed by the teacher. More, it reveals they feel responsible of their organization and how relevant it is for the achievement.
  • I have to find a formula to prevent dropouts undermine the work of the teams involved. A way to solve it may be starting the activity later since those who leave often do so during the first weeks.

2.- The teacher’s work. Things he has done that should not and viceversa.

  • 3 students suggest I should have called to order to those who did not carry out tasks on time.
  • 3 students say that I should be clear at the beginning regarding the format of the report.
  • The rest agrees with my work.


  • The format of the documents must be specified at the beginning. Even, it could be included in the assessment criteria.
  • A control system of the verification tables has to be established: forcing to put weekly tasks and record who carries them out on time and who does not. Records must affect the final grade.

3.- Something that should to be included in the assessment criteria and has not been included.

  • 5 students say the workload and individual effort should be taken into account.
  • The rest does not suggest anything.


  • Students attach great importance to workload. It must be included in the criteria.

4.- Something that I have learned from the experience.

  • 4 students highlight the specific contents.
  • 4 of them emphasize teamwork, planning and organizing.
  • 3 students say they have learned not to trust others.
  • 2 of them have learned that team-work allows to be aware and solve mistakes.
  • 2 students highlight their learning of English.
  • 2 individuals have learned to search for information.
  • 1 emphasizes that when you strive, it is valued.
  • 1 to apply things learned in the past.
  • 1 what necessary is to expose more to gain confidence.
  • 1 how hard it is to investigate and compare the information.


  • Students emphasize they have learned new content and to work in team. The system proves to be effective for learning concepts and new ways of acquiring knowledge (learning to know, to do and to live together).
  • Few of them highlight learning English. Strategies for greater use of English should be develop.

5. Whether the activity should be repeated or not and why.

Everyone says it should be repeated.

  • 2 said this way they learn specific things in more depth.
  • 2 because it eases learning from peers.
  • 2 because it eases learning to work together.
  • 2 say yes, but they prefer individual work.
  • The rest did not specify the reason.


  • 10% of students prefer individual work and despite this answered that it should be repeated.

One last thought:

14% say they’ve learned not to trust others. This is due to others fail in performing assigned tasks.

In recent years coordinating projects, the same has happened to me. When working on unpaid projects, usually happens that many members suffer ‘bad luck or forgetfulness’ that prevent them from performing their duties. This creates frustration in those who are engaged, “What a shameless guy!”; and indignation in the non engaged when they are criticized: “What does the smart ass think? As if I had not more trouble!.”

The experience should serve to learn to overcome these situations, which will occur on countless occasions throughout life. Empathy can give the key. It is not about to approve or understand the reasons for not having carried out their tasks, which is ultimately a matter of personal priorities; it is about to understand that this can happen and … not to get upset.

Ferran Salmurri, clinical psychologist and pioneer in Spain in the research of strategies to educate the emotions, in an interview with journalist Susana Golf Wednesday March 25 says: “Since long time ago I have been saying that happiness must be teached at schools … Empathy should be teached … Empathy is the only way to control selfishness and corruption.”

Cooperative learning gives a perfect opportunity. Teachers have to facilitate that empathy is one of the learning outcomes, and to do this we must begin with ourselves.

In short, it was a very intense experience for all. It has made us think, we have learned and we have room for improvement and ideas to do so.


Golf, S. (2015, March 25). Hay que preguntarse para qué vivimos y contestar: para ser felices. Diario Información. Retrieved from: http://www.diarioinformacion.com/sociedad/2015/03/25/hay-preguntarse-vivimos-contestar-felices/1613692.html [Accessed: 03/25/2015]

Study of the results obtained when using the research team-work method

by Salvador Ros

(leer en español)

The cooperative learning methodology based on the research team-work method that has been implemented in the classroom (the ten stages procedure explained in former articles) has, as a final stage, the evaluation of the methodology itself.

This last stage is crucial due to it allows us, in an analytical way, to value the results, to come to a conclusions and to propose improvements; aspects that are central in order to carry out a field investigation and innovation project which consist of learning from the experience and using it to innovate.

There is a parallelism between the methodology that teachers implement to develop this educational project and the cooperative learning methodology used in the classroom. In fact, we teachers, as a researchers, are using tools that are common to those used in the proposed system for students. A success condition when working is to believe in what you do. Using a method whose effectiveness we trust makes easier to transmit enthusiasm to students because we apply in the classroom the same method.

The question is:

Why do we trust so much in the efficacy of the method?

Months ago, when I started to research in order to develop the teaching methodology, one of the most relevant references I met was the Delors report where the commission concluded with the four pillars of education.

  • P1: Learn to know
  • P2: Learn to do
  • P3: Learn to live together
  • P4: Learn to be

Cooperative learning, and specifically the formula used herein, is intended to students acquire the four pillars.

Firstly, learn to know means to have achieve mastery of tools that ease learning or, put another way, to have learned to learn. Research team-work makes individuals learn alternative ways of creating knowledge through interaction with peers.

Secondly, learn to do involves the acquisition of skills, which are reached by carrying out tasks that imply to test their talent, such as the proposed activity of research.

Third, learn to live together suggests to take awareness of other human minds, come to understand and respect different points of view, develop empathy, respect and acquire skills to resolve conflicts. In this regard, one of the things that has most impressed me during the experience is the improvement of the relationships among students. In some of the teams, there were previous situations of antagonism that have been happily solved as a result of the team-work, sometimes mediated by the teacher. Also, the activities have sometimes generated tensions among students, some of them difficult to manage, but today I can say that the atmosphere in the classroom is quite better than three months ago. Being aware of their happiness, their calmness, optimism, trust in the teacher and involvement in the learning contents turns out a really worthy experience for a teacher. This paper aims to offer the gathered data, their analysis and to come to conclusions, and that is what I am going to do. However, I could not help but remark the above experiences because their relevance and the fact that a system for their quantification had not been forecasted. Therefore, the data will not refer to the satisfaction that the students and I have perceived. A conclusion I have come to is the need of exploring ways to quantify the mentioned satisfaction. Though, considering the sentence of sociologist William Bruce Cameron: “not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”, some perceptions, by its nature, may be better describe them rather than quantify them.

Finally, learn to be is related to the development of the individual. The knowledge of oneself and reflection about the relationship with others are fundamental. The stage 9 of the procedure consist of a self assessment and the a peer assessment to compare the the results. This stage not only reveals the achieved learning outcomes but also fosters reflection on the own behaviour and the personal contribution to the team-work. Students know that their work will also be quantified by their peers. This situation, in my opinion, encourages students to objectivize themselves.

The assessment is carried out giving a score between 0 and 3 to the LO (Learning Outcomes). Let us review the 10 LO and connect them to the four pillars:

  • LO 1: Provide with good information sources. (P1)
  • LO 2: Contribute to synthesize information and make it more understandable and organised. Offers useful selection criteria. (P2)
  • LO 3: Contribute to the team not disperse and lose track of the target. It focuses on the scheduled task for each stage. (P3)
  • LO 4: Provide with solutions for obtaining the best results based on the evaluation criteria of the project or final result. (P2)
  • LO 5: Use English and does so in a sympathetic mode towards those who have difficulty for understanding. (P2)
  • LO 6: His/her attitude encourages the team members to use the English language. Teaches how to use resources or strategies for language learning. (P3)
  • LO 7: Recognize mistakes and acts accordingly. (P4)
  • LO 8: Contribute to team cohesion with communication and mediation. (P3)
  • LO 9: Propose workable solutions to problems. Offer good ideas when planning how to carry out the tasks. (P2)
  • LO 10: Adequately understand the research methodology and proposes appropriate actions when blockages or uncertainties arise. (P1)

It has to be noted that the activity of assessing relates to P4.

The first objective of this activity, which is to be part of the tools for the evaluation of each student, has been fulfilled. In addition to the scores, the most relevant result is the difference between self and peer assessments. This difference leads to overvaluation, if the self-assessment score is higher than that given by teammates, or undervaluation, if the opposite happens. Thus, the strength of this tool is that it provides a measure of objectivity of each student about their personal labor. Furthermore, the results seen together characterize the group.

Data from two class-groups of students are offered below: a group of 16 students of Graphic Design distributed into 4 teams of 4 members each (of which 13 students participated in the survey) and a group of 6 students of Decoration Project Management on two teams of three members.

The percentage of overvaluation of each individual is obtained by the difference in points between the self assessment score and the average of the scores of peer assessment. Then the result is divided by the overall average obtained (for calculating this average, the score of self assessment and all of peer assessments are used) and multiplied by 100. If a negative result is obtained, it indicates undervaluation.

% Overvaluation = (score self-assessment – score peer assessment) / (average score) * 100

When characterizing the individual, as a criterion, three ranges of overvaluation percentages in absolute value have been considered, both positive (if overvalued) or negative (if undervalued):

  1. Less than or equal to 10% → objective individual: Category 1
  2. Difference between 10 and 20% → individual moderately subjective: Category 2
  3. Differences of more than 20% → subjective individual or personal perception of reality somewhat distorted: Category 3

Within each category there may be individuals who overvalue or undervalue themselves. The higher the Category, the greater discrepancy between their opinions and the peers.

Obtained results of the Graphic Design group-class: Population of 13 students, 7 males and 6 females.

The overall percentage of overvaluation is 5’41%, which shows that there is not a strong tendency to overvaluation.

Lets see now the results of objectivity classified by ranges of percentages.

The following percentages have been obtained:

  • 46% of individuals into Category 1 (differential between 0-10%), 33% of which overvalue themselves and 67% undervalue.
  • 31% of individuals into Category 2 (differential between 10-20%), 25% of which overvalue themselves and 75% undervalue.
  • 23% of individuals into Category 3 (differential greater than 20%), 100% of which overvalue themselves.

Objectivity is majority in the group, although there are considerable differences since percentages of categories 2 and 3 are significant.

Lets see now the results of overvaluation of the group.

  • A) 46% of individuals overvaluate themselves
  • B) 54% of individuals undervaluate themselves

In this sense the group is balanced.

The study considering genders gives the following results:

Results of objectivity:

  • A) 57% of males were objective (Category 1), 14% of Category 2 and 29% Category 3.
  • B) 33% of the females were objective (Category 1), 50% of Category 2 and 17% Category 3.

No major differences were observed as objectivity regards. There are more males in Category 1 (the most objectives) but also in Category 3 (the least objectives).

Results of overvaluation:

  • A) 29% of the males overvalued themselves compared to 71% who undervalued.
  • B) 67% of the females overvalued themselves compared to 33% who undervalued.

This indicates a more generalized overvaluation in females (67% versus 29% of males). In this case, the data of my students contrast with the latest PISA report “The ABC of gender inequality”. Regarding that, Borja Robert in his article: The education gap is triggered: gender differences between students have increased in recent years (newspaper La Verdad, Friday March 6, 2015) says: “Although (females) showed equivalent skills to those of their peers, they considered themselves less capable.” In our case, the females do not consider themselves less capable because they value their skills more than males do. It is true that the report refers to individuals 15 years of age and our students are in higher education (about 20 years of age).

Obtained results of the Decoration Project Management group-class: Population 6 students, all of them are females.

Results of objectivity:

The overall percentage of overvaluation was 7.8%. 60% were Category 1 and 40% of Category 2. Therefore, no case of subjectivity that leads to distorted perception of reality appeared.

Results of overvaluation:

In this case we have 60% of females who overvalued themselves. The other 40% showed great balance, since the self-ratings scores coincided exactly with those given by the peers. Therefore, there has been a 0% of undervaluation. Also in contrast to the PISA report.


This procedure can be used to characterize the students of our studies. It should be further studies with a larger population and more teachers involved to reach certain conclusions. The results will serve primarily as a first test to evaluate the quantification methodology.

The cases of overvaluation above 20% must be registered and pay attention to the evolution of these students. 3 individual cases have appeared. I have not observed any problem of adaptation to the group, living together or academic results. Therefore, having fluid communication with them should be enough. It is important to note that it was just a test, besides experimental; no more relevance than it really means should be given.

In general terms, the 10 items (Learning Outcomes) of the rubric are adequate. However, their modification is going to be taken into account based on two considerations:

  1. The possibility of including, for different subjects, items directly related to the subject matter. (Now, only transferable and general skills are assessed. Specific skills are not).
  2. Changes based on the results of the survey that was handed to students for the assessment methodology (a future article will focus on the results obtained in this survey) will be proposed.

Finally I conclude that, regarding a qualification by the teacher based on the self and peer assessment scores, the results of objectivity are relevant: the global overvaluation is less than 10% (around 5 and 7%). Moreover, is the teacher free from subjectivity?


UNESCO, (1996). La educación encierra un Tesoro. Madrid: Santillana.

O’Toole, G. (2010, May 26). Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted. [Web log post]. Retrieved from: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/26/everything-counts-einstein/

Robert, B. (2015, March 6). La brecha educativa se dispara. La Rioja. Retrieved from: http://www.larioja.com/culturas/201503/06/brecha-educativa-dispara-20150306010608-v.html