LEARNING EXPERIENCE ON APPLIED GEOLOGY IN CIVIL ENGINEERING CURRICULA BY USING UNIVERSITY COOPERATION AND PRACTICAL TRIPS
1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela de Caminos (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Civil e Industrial (SPAIN)
3 Consejería Obras Públicas y Transportes de Canarias, Área Laboratorios y Calidad de la Construcción (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The engineer should get theoretical knowledge enough to be applied in order to solve specific problems. This approach needs capacity to simplify and ability for taking into account factors such as speed, simplicity, quality and economy. When Geology is involved on this knowledge it is difficult to teach it like a both practical and theoretical approach. Many times, these disciplines and civil engineering are disconnected across university career. However, there is a large professional overlap
There has been much discussion on the primacy of theory over practice. Today, practice prevails, and the exaggeration of practice produces good workers but mediocre teachers. This idea forgets also that teaching problem is a problem of right balance. The approach of EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA (EHEA) guidelines framework provides a comfortable framework for such balance. Also, Applied Geology subject represents the first real contact of students with the physical environment, the practice profession and works. Besides, the subject emplacement in the first trace of Study Plans implies, for many students, the link to other subjects and topics of the career (tunnels, dams, groundwater, roads, etc)
Practical trip shows us a way in order to meet educational objectives, such are: to get basic knowledge and skills to manage, develop, design and understand civil engineering projects, to be able to integrate concepts when information is limited or incomplete, to develop abilities for communication and reasoning, to give them skills to learn in the future like a part of their educational career.
The methodology principles can be expressed like a set of different educational actions. This work shows how it is possible to get them. For example: the understanding of interaction between the geological environment and civil infrastructures.
The paper also shows a methodological perspective of practical trip into these specific competencies. Basically, concepts and techniques are presented through practical classes in laboratory or short theoretical presentations. Later, these concepts will be understood and visited in their proper context. This context is multidisciplinary by nature: civil works construction, environment, teams, contractors, designers, etc. Also, teachers involved are teaching other subjects, belong to other universities or they are professional specialists working in construction companies, consulting firms or properties of the works.
Finally the complete understanding of the concepts and techniques are given to students from the scientific point of view through chosen geological itineraries. They enable students to manage geological concepts, predict and reason behaviours and responses of terrain and infrastructures, etc.
This work shares this learning experience in Tenerife Island. It is a first-order place for geological itineraries and infrastructures have got specific features for volcanic environment. Teaching means were supported by both University of La Laguna and Universidad Politécnica under an educational agreement.
Discussion of results
Finally, works resumes results and effects that they were observed through a specific survey:
1. Significant increase student motivation for the subject.
2. Significant increase student motivation for the career.
3. Better understanding of the academic world.
4. Increasing teacher’s motivation
5. Increasing rates of achievement in learning the learning results.
Keywords: Applied Geology, Learning process, Teaching experience, EHEA, Civil Engineering.