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USE OF APPLIED PRACTICAL WORK AND MULTIMEDIA MATERIAL IN ENGINEERING TEACHING: IMPROVEMENT IN LEARNING TURBOMACHINE AND WATER SUPPLY NETWORK DESIGN

L. Parras, C. del Pino, J.F. Velazquez-Navarro

Universidad de Málaga, E.T.S. Ingeniería Industrial (SPAIN)
During years, students have been mere spectators of their learning. Teachers present the theoretical content in class, proposing exercises that students have to solve by their own. The only feedback in those cases is the one that teachers give when the interested student (a few percent of the whole class) asks him. Also, exercises are mostly academic in the sense that they are presented as a complement of what it is learned during the lectures. Engineering students are often less motivated because they believe (and in some sense they are right) that what they learn is not directly applicable for their future work.

In this study we have used multimedia material and applied practical works to increase the motivation of the students in a subject dealing with turbomachine and water supply network design. The multimedia material developed by other students in previous years have helped the new students to understand how a pump or a turbine works. On the other hand, practical works have been designed to use commercial codes to analyze the flow in a pump or to design a water network. This has improved the performance of the students, showing that spending more time on this practical classes instead of teaching theoretical material gave better learning results and changed the perception of the students on the utility of what they were learning. We argue that this is due to the fact that to solve these problems, the students have to return to the theoretical aspects of the subject and understand them properly.