THE USE OF VIRTUAL MODELS IN TEACHING ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

The present paper analyzes the results of a teaching method that has been applied with the objective of helping our Engineering students to acquire knowledge of the process of a wastewater treatment plants in the Environmental Engineering course in a simple and effective way.

The educational tools used to teach complex theory concepts are supported by the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Traditional learning aids are based on photographs and illustrations and, in order to overcome physical restrictions, a computational tool was used that offers 3D animated and interactive models (SketchUp). The didactic material was elaborated to supplement the learning process. The new ICTs make it possible for students to learn about environmental engineering and wastewater treatment plants by means of multiple media and learning environments.

Thus, students can obtain a real look at to the processes that are currently used in environmental engineering, and also have a tool that will aid the achievement of the course's learning objectives.