Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4351-4357
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Within the framework of the European higher education new challenges appear in the current education system. Particularly, the reduction of the student’s class time in engineering can be a problem if one does not want to lose the level and quality of engineers trained annually by European universities. In engineering, many subjects need a high degree of experimentation, and in this area, teaching practice has proved its importance and effectiveness in training students. Classes especially designed to become familiar with engineering tools allows them to acquire a practical approach to theory. However it is essential that students have prepared the laboratory session subject before and master the basic theory of the subject to get the most out of the class.

For this, and also with the idea of coping with the reduced class time, the use of Communication and Information Technologies (CIT) can be helpful. We propose in this paper the use of short, “tutorial-like”, videos to describe the basic theory of the subject and the experimental procedure needed to carry out the laboratory session, recalling the principal points already developed in theoretical conferences. This attractive format for education will help the students to get more interested in the subject, motivated and to get prepared for the practical session. In most of the worldwide universities, “easy to use” intranet structures are already available to support and stock this kind of teaching material. They also bring an opportunity to expedite the process of submitting reports, both for students and for the professor. The latter has been already experienced by the authors of this paper in the past.

In this paper, we propose some possible examples of application to the practice: “Determination of characteristic curves of a diesel engine” and “Performances of a small scale Pelton wheel”.

Regarding to the master classes, this CIT support tool could also be used to summarize weekly the most important points of the topic. Taking advantage of this, introducing some questions for the students to auto-evaluate their knowledge of the subject. This way, they would be able to optimize their studying time, knowing the parts they need to work more on.
Teaching, university, engineering, CIT, practical classes.