THE USE OF WEBQUEST IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AS STRATEGY TO IMPROVE THE LEARNING PROCESS
The objective of this work was to promote learning by reading, analysis, and synthesis of web-based information. For that reason, a Webquest was used in the subject of Science and Technology of Materials at Defense University Center located in Spanish Naval Colleague (Marín). The Webquest allows to introduce students into the field of materials with the aim that they know the most important materials which they will have to use in the development of their profession. Thus, this research shows the use of a new pedagogical approach, Webquest, which allows to adapt the subjects to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) demands. Webquest can be defined as an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet. This instructional strategy allows the educator to integrate teaching style, teaching goals, and computer-based technology as medium for delivering instruction to achieve efficiency and clarity. Moreover, WebQuest elicits higher order thinking, foster the development of generic and transversal competences and can be easily integrated in an accumulation and transfer system based on ECTS credits.
In the Webquest, students had to investigate about the less known elements of periodic table and prepare an oral presentation with the obtained information. The used webquest included five steps: (I) introduction: it contains information about the objectives of the activity and the resources to use, (II) task: a general description of what learners are required to do, (III), description of the process: description for learners to follow a step by step, (IV) evaluation: evaluating criteria for students’ works (rubric), and (V) conclusion: a summary of the experience, that included a reminder to students of what they learned, and offers opportunities to extend or disseminate the experience. Finally, a questionnaire was carried out and data were analyzed with the aim to know the students’ opinion about the activity and the effectiveness of the webquest in their learning process.