SIMULATION TOOLS AS ACTIVE METHODOLOGIES FOR THE LEARNING OF ELASTICITY AND STRENGTH OF MATERIALS
Current university degrees are focused on promoting autonomous learning of the student. In this respect, active learning methodologies (in general) and technological resources (in particular), play a fundamental role in this process, alongside providing an undeniable support to the teaching endeavors.
The aim of this paper is to describe a set of tools for computer simulation, called virtual laboratories, which have been specifically developed to support teaching and learning related to the subjects of Elasticity and Strength of Materials. These subjects are ubiquitous in many degrees in engineering and architecture.
Virtual laboratories allow simulating many problems and case studies through a user interface in a simple and direct way. These teaching and learning tools facilitate the assimilation of the underlying concepts in every simulation performed. Virtual laboratories offer ease of use, great interactivity and graphical output.
The authors of the aforementioned tools are a multidisciplinary group of lecturers from the departments of Continuum Mechanics and Theory of Structures, Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics at the Universitat Politècnica de València. This experience of joint work also constitutes an ideal framework for cross-departmental collaboration, which in turn contributes to vertebrate the contents of an engineering degree. These virtual laboratories are available in the institutional repository RiuNet of Universitat Politècnica de València, which enables access by students of the subject from any terminal connected to the network of the institution.
It is intended in the future to increase the number of virtual laboratories in order to cover the maximum possible number of aspects of the referred subjects. Furthermore, the collection of opinions from users, will allow feedback of the process and the consequent improvement in these tools.