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E-LEARNING AS A TOOL FOR IMPROVING THE LEARNING OF "MACHINERY & MANUFACTURING" SUBJECT

The subject Machinery & Manufacturing (M&M) belonging to the Master of Industrial Engineering at the University of La Rioja, is a complex subject to teach. Some students come from the specialty Degree in Mechanical Engineering and therefore, they possess certain knowledge since they have studied subjects related to Machinery and Manufacturing subject (such subjects are: Calculation, Design and Testing of Machines and Design Advanced of Machines). Other students coming from other specialties (Degree in Electrical Engineering, Degree in Industrial Electronics and Automation Engineering) have not taken these subjects, and therefore do not have as much knowledge acquired as students from the Degree in Mechanical Engineering. The different level of knowledge and skills that students have acquired depending on the Degree of Engineering that they have completed will significantly influence the learning of these students when they take the subject M&M. In these circumstances, traditional learning based on master classes (theoretical) and problem classes is not appropriate to teach this subject.

The use of the E-learning methodology over the years has proved to be a very useful tool to solve the problem caused by the different levels of knowledge and skills acquired by the students depending on the degree of engineering studied since: Disappear the space-time barriers; Flexible training; The students are the center of the teaching-learning processes and participates actively in the construction of their knowledge; The teacher, instead of being a mere transmitter of content, becomes a tutor who guides, The contents of the subject are always up to date; Constant communication (forums, chat, e-mail, web platform etc.).

This paper proposes the application of E-learning methodology to M&M subject in order to facilitate to all students, regardless of the Degree of Engineering they have completed, a better assimilation of general and specific skills related to this subject. The objective is to ensure that students from any Degree of Engineering can acquire correctly and balanced all the general and specific competences of this subject. The proposed E-learning methodology was applied as follows: first, the lecturer made a “test of prior knowledge” the first day of class in order to know the level of knowledge that all students possess.

The result of this first knowledge test showed that only those students from the Degree in Mechanical Engineering answered most of the questions correctly as expected. A Moodle platform was enabled, in which the entire content of the course of M&M was available. A summary of the subject, solved problems, proposed unsolved problems and multimedia applications were posted on the platform to students. The participation of the students was quite active. Many of students correctly solved most of the proposed problems and delivered them in time. These problems were considered as part of the final grade of the subject.

The vast majority of students visualized the content of the videos and correctly answered the questionnaire after its visualization. Also, once the course was finished and before the final exam of the subject, the test of prior knowledge was again proposed to be solved again. The results of this test showed that almost all the students had correctly answered most of the questionnaire regardless of the degree of engineering they have completed.