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Opinions of 4th-year students of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, on the improvement of studying and the reform of the educational system Prof.

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Presentation on theme: "Opinions of 4th-year students of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, on the improvement of studying and the reform of the educational system Prof."— Presentation transcript:

1 Opinions of 4th-year students of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, on the improvement of studying and the reform of the educational system Prof. Marina Ajduković, Ph.D Vanja Branica Linda Rajhvajn Đorđe Gardašević, M.A.

2 PURPOSE OF THE SURVEY To explore the causes of prolonged and unsuccessful studying in order to plan adequate improvements.

3 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTING Data have been collected in two ways: Three focus group discussions (25 students participated) Three focus group discussions (25 students participated) A special questionairre with open-ended questions on the causes of prolonged and unsuccessful, as opposed to successful, studying (55 students participated) A special questionairre with open-ended questions on the causes of prolonged and unsuccessful, as opposed to successful, studying (55 students participated)

4 THE SAMPLE A total of 25 4th-year students participated. The criteria for choosing students into groups were: speed of studying, academic achievement, number of passed exams, student status the best students: 12 students who did not fail a year, have the best grade point average and have passed the most exams the best students: 12 students who did not fail a year, have the best grade point average and have passed the most exams the failed students: 8 students who failed at least one year the failed students: 8 students who failed at least one year the part-time students: 5 students who switched to part- time studying the part-time students: 5 students who switched to part- time studying

5 Indicators of successful studying According to students, the best indicators of successful studying on the Faculty of Law are: the speed of studying, i.e. graduating inside the legal deadline (95%) the speed of studying, i.e. graduating inside the legal deadline (95%) grade point average (53%) grade point average (53%) participating in faculty-related extracurricular activities (competitions, research, papers, awards, being a teachers assistant, debate) (16%) participating in faculty-related extracurricular activities (competitions, research, papers, awards, being a teachers assistant, debate) (16%) the amount of knowledge after graduating (9%) the amount of knowledge after graduating (9%)

6 The most common difficulties of Law Faculty students excessive required reading (50.9%) excessive required reading (50.9%) poorly planned exam schedule (25.4%) poorly planned exam schedule (25.4%) lack of effective learning strategies (inability to manage the material, inability differentiate the relevant from the irrelevant) (18.2%) lack of effective learning strategies (inability to manage the material, inability differentiate the relevant from the irrelevant) (18.2%) lack of contact and communication with teachers (18.2%) lack of contact and communication with teachers (18.2%) lectures not obligatory (10.9%) lectures not obligatory (10.9%)

7 The most common difficulties of Law Faculty students uncomprehensible required reading (9.1%) uncomprehensible required reading (9.1%) teachers not showing interest and respect for students (9.1%) teachers not showing interest and respect for students (9.1%) arbitrary grading (9,1%) arbitrary grading (9,1%) poor orientation at the beginning (unpreparedness for the new way of working, difficulties with time management) (7.3%) poor orientation at the beginning (unpreparedness for the new way of working, difficulties with time management) (7.3%)

8 Teaching as a factor of academic achievement 1. Lectures The majority of students attend lectures rarely or not at all (54.6%). According to students, the most important features of lectures are: teachers motivated to present the material in an interesting way (36.4%) teachers motivated to present the material in an interesting way (36.4%) teachers motivated to clarify and explain the material (29.1%) teachers motivated to clarify and explain the material (29.1%) teacher-student interaction (23.6%) teacher-student interaction (23.6%) discussions about the material and opportunity to ask questions (20.0%) discussions about the material and opportunity to ask questions (20.0%) examples from practice (18.2%) examples from practice (18.2%) emphasis on key concepts (10.9%) emphasis on key concepts (10.9%)

9 Teaching as a factor of academic achievement 2. Seminars Students consider seminars to be the most important form of teaching. The majority (63%) find that they took only up to 25% good seminars in the course of their studying. The advantages and characteristics of good seminars are: small groups (20-30 participants) (25.5%) small groups (20-30 participants) (25.5%) practical experience (visiting various institutions) (20%) practical experience (visiting various institutions) (20%) active participation of students (18.2%) active participation of students (18.2%) opportunity for colloquia (16.4%) opportunity for colloquia (16.4%) benefits for easier passing of the exam (potentially easier questions, greater tolerance for mistakes) (14.5%) benefits for easier passing of the exam (potentially easier questions, greater tolerance for mistakes) (14.5%)

10 Suggestions for improving teaching lesser enrollment of students (e.g ) (30.9%) lesser enrollment of students (e.g ) (30.9%) organize courses in modules (14.5%) organize courses in modules (14.5%) organize work in small groups (14.5%) organize work in small groups (14.5%) distribute exams into smaller units/colloquia distribute exams into smaller units/colloquia organize (more) practice (18.2%) organize (more) practice (18.2%) encourage teachers to have more interesting lectures (9.1%) encourage teachers to have more interesting lectures (9.1%) employ a greater number of more junior teachers (7.3%) employ a greater number of more junior teachers (7.3%) organize courses on psychology, relating to students and better teaching for teachers (7.3%) organize courses on psychology, relating to students and better teaching for teachers (7.3%) allowing exam opportunities more often (5.4%) allowing exam opportunities more often (5.4%)

11 The advantages of studying at the Faculty of Law and general student satisfaction According to students, the good sides of the Faculty of Law in comparison to the other faculties are: good and broad employment opportunities (32.7%) good and broad employment opportunities (32.7%) social status (14.5%) social status (14.5%) plenty of free time (21.8%) plenty of free time (21.8%) opportunity for broad education/knowledge (14.5%) opportunity for broad education/knowledge (14.5%) lectures are not obligatory (12.7%) lectures are not obligatory (12.7%) The general satisfaction of the students with the Law School, on a scale of five points, was averagely rated 3.2, with a standard deviation of The general satisfaction of the students with the Law School, on a scale of five points, was averagely rated 3.2, with a standard deviation of 0.98.

12 Level of knowledge about the study reform and students' suggestions for the reform The majority of students (69.1%) have an intermediate level of knowledge about the current reform ( the Bologne Process).

13 Changes expected by the students passing exams through colloquia (21.8%) passing exams through colloquia (21.8%) Increase in the number of students passing exams (easier passing of exams) (14.5%) Increase in the number of students passing exams (easier passing of exams) (14.5%) closer contact between teachers and students (better communication, approachable teachers) (9.1%) closer contact between teachers and students (better communication, approachable teachers) (9.1%) less required reading (12.7) less required reading (12.7) modular/one-semester, intense courses (taking exams right after finishing the course) (10.1%) modular/one-semester, intense courses (taking exams right after finishing the course) (10.1%) working in small groups (7.4%) working in small groups (7.4%) fewer students (7.4%) fewer students (7.4%) more practice (5.4%) more practice (5.4%)

14 Outcomes of the reform expected by the students greater motivation of students greater motivation of students earlier graduation earlier graduation faster and better passing exams faster and better passing exams better training of students better training of students increased quality of studying increased quality of studying opportunities for international student exchange programs opportunities for international student exchange programs better and more contemporary required reading better and more contemporary required reading increased satisfaction of students with the Faculty increased satisfaction of students with the Faculty improvements to the School as a whole improvements to the School as a whole

15 CONCLUSION Students are supportive of the changes instigated by the Bologne reform, and their specific experiences and suggestions are consistent with ideas core to the reform, primarily: Intense, one-semester courses Intense, one-semester courses Working in small groups Working in small groups Relating theoretical subjects to practical subjects; «clinical» practice, i.e. using experiential learning in teaching Relating theoretical subjects to practical subjects; «clinical» practice, i.e. using experiential learning in teaching Constant evaluation of student progress through colloquia Constant evaluation of student progress through colloquia

16 Support to students in adjusting to college Support to students in adjusting to college Required reading modernized in length and content, adjusted to the goals of the course and the method of evaluating student knowledge Required reading modernized in length and content, adjusted to the goals of the course and the method of evaluating student knowledge Motivated teachers focused on teaching and students Motivated teachers focused on teaching and students Teachers skilled in teaching methods and grading Teachers skilled in teaching methods and grading Improving teachers' communication skills Improving teachers' communication skills Introducing course and teacher evaluation as a method of quality assurance and impetus for improvement Introducing course and teacher evaluation as a method of quality assurance and impetus for improvement


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