ENHANCED TEACHING OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING BASED ON REAL-TIME AND ONLINE SHAKING TABLE TESTS: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GRANADA
University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The study of how to design structures against ground motions is an important issue in earthquake-prone areas such as the southern part of Spain, especially the area around Granada. Such importance justifies the inclusion of earthquake engineering in the syllabus of architecture and civil engineering studies in the University of Granada (Spain). Teaching structural design requires the inclusion of theory and experiments. In the case of earthquake engineering, the experimental part is particularly important since, in contrast to the case of gravity loads, students are not usually familiar with experiencing earthquake actions. The best way to awaken the interest of the inexperienced students in learning earthquake engineering is to expose them to the physical behavior of a model structure subjected to an earthquake up to collapse, through shaking table tests simulated in a laboratory. However, testing a structure on a shaking table up to collapse can be dangerous: it requires restricting access to the laboratory and giving special attention to safety issues. In contrast to testing structural models under static loads, shaking table tests cannot be carried out with the physical presence of inexperienced students. It is here that the technologies used in virtual education can play an important role.
This paper presents a recent innovative educational experience conducted at the University of Granada with a recently installed shaking table 33m2 in size. This new infrastructure includes the latest technology in control and data acquisition systems, so that experiments can be broadcasted online and in real-time to the students. In this paper a project for virtual learning about earthquake engineering is proposed. The experience involves using synchronous and asynchronous technologies. The synchronous technology involves "video streaming" to transmit the real-time online broadcasting of the shaking table tests, which are taking place in the laboratory. The asynchronous technology consists of a web platform that allows students to: (i) participate in test preparation, (ii) download information measured during the test (i.e. history of acceleration measured in the shaking table, etc.); (iii) upload a prediction of the response of the tested structure carried out by the students; (iv) compare their prediction with the test results provided online; and (v) discuss the predicted and test results.
Keywords: earthquake engineering, experiments, video streaming, shaking table.