BLENDED LEARNING IN THE AREA OF THE ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT. AN EXPERIENCE OF ADJUSTMENT TO THE EUROPEAN SPACE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF VALENCIA
The adjustment of the studies of architecture to the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE) in the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia has supposed the introduction of pedagogical important reflections and the assumption of changes in the educational methodology. The on-site time limitation and the incorporation to the workload of the tasks carried out in a non face-to-face time, force to a precise planning that optimizes the learning resources.
In the case of subjects of the Department of Architectural Projects, education assembles the knowledge acquired in other subjects, where the aim is the accomplishment of an architectural project of increasing complexity that synthesizes the above mentioned knowledge and aptitudes. This educational methodology based on the project is traditionally developed in two stadiums: the formulation of a projecting exercise is followed by several extensive master classes about similar buildings, and continued by sessions of workshops in which the teacher evaluates publicly the individual offers of the pupils. The reduction of the on-site time and the increasing number of students per group make this process unviable, and the introduction of the new study plan forces to formulate new strategies.
The authors of this paper put into practice experimentally during 2010, and during the current academic year 2011, innovative methodologies in the course "Iniciación al Proyecto" (2nd semester of the first year), based on the blended learning and planning. The theoretical charge of the subject is offered on-line, and is scheduled in the development time of the exercises, in parallel to the realization of the architectural project. The classroom is the place for the resolution of doubts, for checking progress in learning, and for the critical vision of the set of students. As a result, the undertaken experiences allow not only to optimize the working time in the classroom, but they produce in addition other advantageous reactions. The consideration of the project as a synthetic work, the self-critical view, and the dissolution of the image of the teacher as the unique and exclusive bearer of the subject, are leading arguments to the assimilation of an autonomous learning.