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Paper Details

Ergonomic Assessment of Mental Workload in Higher Education. Effects of Education System on Student’s Workload Perception

Susana Rubio-Valdehita*, Mª Inmaculada López-Núñez and Eva Mª Díaz-Ramiro

Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal

Adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has meant a significant change in the workload of students. The main objective of this study is to evaluate and compare the perception of the workload of adapted and no-adapted to EHEA students in Psychology, and to analyze the nature of the changes produced by this adaptation considering several academic activities: attending theoretical classes, attending practical classes, conducting group work outside the classroom, searching for material and bibliography, studying and personal work, attending tutorials and other activities (attending seminars, conferences, etc.). The sample consisted of 645 students (397 no-adapted and 248 adapted). To measure the perceived workload, the NASA-TLX scale was used. The scale permits to distinguish six workload dimensions: effort, mental demand, temporal demand, physical demand, performance and frustration. The results show a significant increase in the perceived workload of attending practical classes and specially in performing group work outside the classroom. It is concluded that the adaptation to the EHEA has meant an increase in the perception of students' workload, which points out the need to develop training programs and evaluation of the teamwork competence, one of the most important transversal competence indicated in the professional profile of the degree in psychology.