University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 7881-7891
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
The convergence process within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has involved a great revolution in higher education. An important change has produced in the teaching-learning paradigm where the educational strategies methodologies are designed to evaluate the student effort. Motivation is essential in the teaching of various knowledge disciplines, especially the associated with the Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. The incorporation of active-collaborative methodologies such as: the Project based Learning, Challenge Problem or Experimental Learning allows that the student should reach a much more significant learning assuming, in turn, the responsibility of his own learning. In this sense, the incorporation of active methodologies together with the development of small experimental prototypes allow students to achieve a more significant learning and to develop other educational competences. Factors to considering in this type of active methodologies are the curiosity, present and relevance of the raised problem.

Engineering is a practical profession, a profession devoted to harnessing and modifying the three fundamental resources that humankind has available for the creation of all technology: energy, materials and information. Thus from the earliest days of engineering education, instructional laboratories have been an essential part of undergraduate and, in some cases, graduate programs. The emphasis on laboratories has varied over the year. Most science and engineering educators believe that the hands-on experience of the science laboratory is a necessary supplement to the relatively passive experiences of reading textbooks and listening to lectures that comprise a large part of the student experience in universities. These early engineers had to design, analyse and build their own creations - "learning by doing".

Laboratories have a crucial role in the education of future engineers, yet there is disagreement among educators about which types of labs technology must be used. Advocates of real and experimental laboratories always have argued that engineering students need to be exposed to learning situations in real environments. Students need to have contact with the devices and measuring equipment, just as laboratories should include the possibility to unexpected data appear as a result of noise or other uncontrolled real variables. Applications focused in learning by-doing, experimental learning or hands-on laboratory allow to speed-up the learning process; this facilitates the design and implementation of active strategies in the classroom. Learning by-doing is a very effective idea for students to acquire knowledge, if they are well motivated. Low cost educational kit and multimedia elements not only intensify the hands-on laboratory experiences, but also help motivate to the student to learn an active and fun way. Thus experimental learning constitutes an educational strategy that develops a collaborative learning focused on real and experimental approach.
Experimental Learning, Hands-on Learning, PBL Project Based Learning, Knowledge Integration, Motivation, Challenge Problem, Autonomous Learning.