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R. Balart, L. Sánchez-Nácher, O. Fenollar, D. García-Sanoguera

Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
In the last years, the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) has designed and developed a multimedia platform as support for teaching in engineering. This platform, called Polimedia could represent a great support tool for teaching and tutorship tasks. Polimedia is structured in “learning objects, LO” as individual learning concepts that can be accessed by students, teachers and/or all internet users depending on the restrictions established by the authors. Many of the Polimedia learning objects are based on two elements: a power point presentation and a teacher explanation. Both elements are recorded in an individual way and after recording, they are processed together into a video file to offer a learning object characterized by complete synchronization between the power point presentation and the teacher explanation. This learning object allows some levels of interactivity with the students since it is possible to record different questions; the student can pause the video file and try to answer. After that he can check whether his response is appropriate or not. Furthermore, the use of power point presentations allows the use of multimedia objects such as 3D graphs, photographs, simulation videos… which represent a great support for an easy understanding. We have recorded several Polimedia objects for different subjects mainly corresponding to Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Some of these learning objects are focused on the explanation of the functionality of different material tests such as tensile, impact, fatigue, hardness … These objects are very useful since the student can see the different stages of a material test and he can identify in a simple way the main parameters governing the test. Other learning objects are based on the explanation of advanced concepts on materials science that need, in many case, the use of advanced graphics, simulations or calculations; many of these concepts are difficult to understand so these learning objects are useful as supplementary material for students. Other type of learning object is based on problems’ resolution. In this case the Polimedia object is interesting since it allows high levels of interactivity with students. In a first step, the problem is set out so the student can pause the presentation and try to resolve the problem by himself. After that, he can go on with the presentation and check his answer with the solution of the teacher. We use all these learning objects as supplementary material for conventional teaching and/or for tutorship tasks. We recommend some Polimedia objects to the students one week before the concept is discussed in the class so the student can work with the concept and he has an active role in the teaching –learning process. We also use these Polimedia objects for on-line tutorship tasks, so students can formulate different questions via e-mail after viewing and working the Polimedia object. The overall results of the use of this new multimedia platform are really interesting and very useful due to the active role of the student in the teaching-learning process.