DRAWING TO LEARN IN ARCHITECTURE STRUCTURES

A. Aznar, J.I. Hernando, J. Antuña

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
Is it possible to learn building structures by drawing? This is a topic in which the innovation group E4 (Exploración de Enseñanzas en Estructuras de Edificación) is focused on. Students of the Architecture School of the Technical University of Madrid are distinguished by a great skill to draw. In this regard, to learn something new by means of drawing would be a fantastic learning method but, in most cases, its application is not possible.

The reseach presented in this paper is focused on the subject of “Building Structures II”. This is a discipline with a strong scientific and technical component based on several rational mechanics laws. Interestingly, it has a graphical component that can be explored and exploited for teaching tasks.

In general, subjects included in building structures area of knowledge also have drawing components such as structural diagrams that represent the mechanical behavior of building structures. These graphical schemes are very important and useful for the right understanding of architecture structures.

Given all the above mentioned background and in order to improve learning performance, a new software tool has been developed in this work. It includes an on-line educational assessment tool and it has been developed for students to practice drawing structural diagrams and at the same time, to increase their motivation along the learning process.

Using this novel software it is possible to get auto-evaluation from the graphical answer of the students. Thus, the drawings made in this way are automatically corrected according both, the overall geometry and the size effect. Regarding the overall geometry, draws can be checked according to straight lines, sloping lines, second order curves, etc. On the other hand, structural draws can be corrected by sizes, depending on the specific values which define the graphics.

The educational tool presented in this work has been implemented in MOODLE (Modular Objet-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment). This platform has been chosen because it is supplied by the Technical University of Madrid and because it is a generic platform with open code software, which allows and promotes the development of new additional applications getting better performance and accounting with an easy adaptation to the specific requirements of each subject.