THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES FROM THE EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY TO THE CLASSROOM FOR LEARNING IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY
University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:In this paper we show a case study of a novel methodology for the transfer of theoretical knowledge and experiences from the experimental laboratory to classroom for learning in the field of engineering education. The aim of the project is to integrate different tools, involved in the learning process, in a compact stage based on experimental applications in the electric machine electronic control field. Each stage consists of functional prototypes developed in the experimental laboratory which are the basis for linking the theoretical issues with its practical application. This methodology leads the student through the different parts of an industrial system and shows the real functionality of the system connected on-line from the classroom to the laboratory. Using the control and visualization interface created by us over a remote platform the students can observe in real time the system behavior through different screens and IP cameras integrated in the platform.
The teacher introduces the necessary theoretical knowledge for the student to understand the system in the classroom with a simultaneous demonstration on the real system. The platform includes the basic documentation, with the description of the system based on blocks, and the photographs and videos with the behavior of the system in different control situations. The difference with other similar educational systems is that there is a total access to the hardware and software parameters and variables, we can observe and compare the real and simulation behavior of any resource that is integrated in the training tool.
Following the block diagram of a considered system we introduce the theoretical parts that are included, analyzing its on-line real behavior, the evolution of its parameter values, all of them linked in a remote platform accessible from the Internet.
The case study presented here includes concepts about motor control, energy efficiency, solar power generation, and the relationship between mechanical torque and electronic energy converter.
The objective has been to create an environment for working with experimental prototypes that allows to “view and observe” the real behavior of a quasi industrial system in different situations and, looking for the relationship with the theoretical calculus, its implementation in a simulation model and the comparison with a real behavior. Moreover, the use of commercial data sheets, the possibility of working with parameters and variables that are difficult to manage in commercial equipment promotes an increase in academic proficiency. The training tool is integrated in a hybrid virtual-experimental laboratory platform, within which students can share on-line theoretical information and practical experiences. The proposed learning methodology achieves the objectives that have been the aim of this plan: firstly, the students can obtain an instantaneous relationship between many of the theoretical questions and their practical use, secondly, the created scenario permits the student to observe from the classroom the real evolution of theoretical parameters that are included in an industrial equipment, and lastly, the shared work platform promotes the creation of a foundation of experimental knowledge.
Keywords: Engineering education, Computer applications, Control systems, Learning on distance education.