University of Santiago de Compostela (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 2370-2377
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
One of the main difficulties in the process of learning the fundamental concepts of soil mechanics and in particular of the flow of water in saturated soils, is that students don’t easily perceive its practical application and the consequences they have on the mechanical behaviour of soils in the different cases that may occur.
Taking the opportunity that provides the adaptation of Civil Engineering Curriculum to the European Higher Education Area, which increases the interactivity between students and the teacher, and reinforces practical learning, simple tests and new lab equipment have been designed that allow students to contact with common phenomena in water-soil interaction.
This paper describes the process of design, implementation and calibration of these tests by a group of students in an optional subject of last year of the degree of Civil Engineering. Under the direction of the professor, students have conducted a systematic search of bibliographic references, standards and previous experiences at other universities, to design the most efficient, economical and environmentally friendly equipment, constructing and calibrating them by performing a series of soil tests to compare them with empirical formulations widely used.
The methodology, which has combined aspects of project-based learning and cooperative learning, has allowed the training of several generic skills to perform the profession of Civil Engineer, as the ability of autonomy of learning, teamwork, of organization and planning, oral and written communication, information management, critical reasoning, etc.
The equipment designed have allowed to do experiments for the analysis of capillary rise in soils, the phenomenon of siphoning and two permeameters, one of constant head and another of variable head, for the analysis of the flow of water in saturated soils.
The equipment has been already used for teaching new students with more satisfactory results, which are presented and discussed, than in previous courses.
Soil mechanics, Civil Engineering, flow in saturated soils, lab equipment.