We analyse the importance of meaningful learning and the use of a formative assessment strategy, promoted by peer learning methods centred on the students, in a curricular unit (CU) pertaining to a degree in Exact Sciences, in a Higher Education Institution. Five students from the CU were questioned, through a focus group; the teacher was interviewed. Data of 12 hours of lessons was analysed and categorised using webQDA. We conclude that emphasising the students’ engagement in teaching, learning, and evaluation, has the power to drive the methodological teaching options to incline towards active methods that involve students in activities that foster meaningful learning. And the use of systematic formative assessments, integrated in the teaching-learning process, by using effective feedback, is most likely to make students and teachers responsible for an overall improvement in learning.


Higher Education, Methods of Teaching and Assessment, Feedback, Centrality of the Student

Author Bio(s)

Susan Oliveira e Sá has a PhD in Education, specialised in curriculum development and evaluation. She is a researcher at the CIEC - Centre for Research on Child Studies at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. Teacher of Secondary Education in the Carlos Amarante Schools Grouping, Braga, Portugal. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Susana Oliveira Sá at, susanaemiliasa@gmail.com.

Maria Palmira Carlos Alves has a PHD in Education by the University of Minho and the University Pièrre Mendès France of Grenoble (France). She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minho, Institute of Education. She is an integrated member of the Research Centre on Child Studies, at the University of Minho. Her main interest areas are assessment, curricular evaluation, curriculum development, teacher training. She is the author of several books, book chapters, and articles. She supervises PhD students. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Maria Palmira Alves at, palves@ie.uminho.pt.

António Pedro Costa holds a PhD in Education Multimedia (University of Aveiro). He is an Assistant Professor at ISLA University and ULP University at Portugal. He is a Post-doctoral student at the Research Centre “Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education” (CIDTFF) at the University of Aveiro. He is the intellectual and pedagogical responsible of Ludomedia company. He is one of the webQDA software authors/researchers. He coordinates the Ibero-American Congress on Qualitative Research (CIAIQ) and the International Symposium on Qualitative Research (ISQR) that annually gather more than 300 researchers. He is the author of more than 20 publications in international conferences and journals. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: António Pedro Costa at, apcosta@ua.pt.

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