TEACHING MATERIALS FOR ACQUISITION OF CAPABILITIES AND EVALUATION OF CONTENTS
In order to teach engineering, we often need some tools that allow us to strengthen contents and to provide an evaluation system for both students and teachers. There’s no doubt that currently we have various software that could be used to calculate and analyze multitude of situations. However, this is not always available for the students and, in most cases, these software are "closed" programs that do not allow us access to all contents or solutions. Therefore, we need a simple tool, easy to use, that allow us to look for the whole procedure step by step.
This tool will lead to a greater capacity of analysis by the student, using his critical capacity while allowing him a strengthening of the content and to acquire the necessary skills for their professional future.
In addition, it should be remembered that even when the market provides lots of professional software in every engineering area, there are lots of companies who need a software that incorporates their requirements or particularities so, in the end, they create their own tools.
The work method of this tool would be to use some practical cases, which would be monitored by the teacher and the students, or by groups of them. They will carry out a guided work, allowing them to assess the different solutions and to evaluate the work done. A series of spreadsheets have been proposed as this tool which, by its own philosophy, can be modified or extended by the students. In this way, they could fathom in the content and the skills they need to acquire. We start from an initial menu that works as an index which contains the considered topic. This topic can be changed or extended following the teacher or student’s interest. This work is intended for structural calculation, including wooden, steel, concrete, mechanical and other structured blocks, covering problems of other engineering fields. The obtained results have a color code which allow us to confirm the usefulness or not of these. Furthermore, it adds the possibility to plan alternatives to the same problem.