Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 9586-9590
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.2312
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
The current teaching model in the context of university classrooms must evolve towards the integration of new computer tools that make it possible to make classes more dynamic. Nowadays, the use of computer design and calculation programs has become a highly valued requirement for engineering students. In such a way, the traditional engineering classes in which they bet on teaching a lot of content and solving complex problems with no more help than a pencil and a calculator, tend to incorporate more and more the use of software that allows the modeling of physical statements and complex mathematics and enable their resolution in an intuitive and easily understandable way.

In this sense, the university education of engineering students must develop digital competence transversally in the different subjects of the degree. And it is that the management of computer programs not only expands the job possibilities of students but also favors more significant learning of the concepts of greater complexity. Undoubtedly, the possibility of visualizing in real-time the results derived from an equation, creating dynamic graphs, or simulating the behavior of physical phenomena, helps to understand the theoretical developments taught in the classroom and visualize their possible applications.

On the other hand, if you bet on the universality of education, it seems logical to think that the use of these computer tools should be available to all students. For this reason, the use of free software in the classroom has become an excellent option for the development of distance learning and a very useful pedagogical resource for learning. Open access programs allow any engineering student to have design and calculation tools to solve complex problems, working online or offline on their desktop versions. In this way, educational resources that use free software not only facilitate access to professional work tools for all students but also reduce the costs of education and allow the quality of content to be improved daily thanks to the contributions of the academic and professional community that uses them.

This paper shows an example of the application of free software in university education. More specifically, it shows how it is possible to develop the syllabus dynamically and interactively for subjects with a high mathematical content in engineering courses with the help of the SMath Studio software. In short, it shows how once the software is known, it becomes an ideal tool for teaching or writing research articles that require a visual and attractive appearance that facilitates the dissemination of knowledge. To do this, a series of practical application examples are shown that have been used with the students of the Double Degree in Computer Engineering and Business Administration of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. At the same time, the guidelines followed for its implementation in the classroom and the way to evaluate the contents of the subject with the help of SMath Studio are collected. In such a way through a practical example, future teachers interested in the application of free software in engineering courses can take advantage of the learning that has been derived from this experience.
Innovation, Engineering Students, SMath Studio, Text Editor, Mathematics.