About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3951-3959
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1966

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

TOWARDS THE CHALLENGE OF COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE REQUIRED SKILLS AND THE SKILLS ACQUIRED BY THE STUDENTS. OUR EXPERIENCE EXAMPLE: BALSA WOOD GRIDS DESIGN COMPETITIONS EVOLUTION

The implementation of the European Higher Education Area has encouraged professors to develop activities designed for the students to `learn to learn’, ‘long life learning’ and ‘learning by doing’. The sentence that summaries these ideas could be ‘make the students work for it’.

Furthermore, the activities in which the students are to gain the mentioned skills, should also be as attractive as games (gamification is the application of game principles in non-game contexts as in Higher Education). The aim is to motivate them, to awake their interest in the topics they are learning because motivation is directly proportional to learning ability.

As it is widely demonstrated there are a lot of advantages in these learning methods, but there is a great challenge also: the proposed activities should lead the students to reach the required level in the subject’s contents, so the skills acquired should be the same as the stablished required skills. The closest we can lead these aspects, the more useful the activity for the students would be. Sometimes it is not easy to get this and the achievements the students get developing the activity are not as close to the subject targets as it should ideally be.

Our group of Structural Buildings Design Professors in the Architecture and Design Department of USP CEU has been developing Design Students Competitions of different types of Structural Elements since 2008. We have tested in the lab Balsa Wood Beams, Spaguetti Trusses, Vertical Supports (subjected to compression forces), Towers (subjected to dynamic forces), beams in cantilever, frames and grids. Our experience can be defined as wide in this area. The evolution of each activity throughout these eight years (designing and process rules, students reports required) and the organization of the competitions as a vertical system have a main goal: make the skills acquired in the competitions the similar as possible as the subjects stablished required skills.

We think that a good example that could clarify the previous statement is the evolution of the Balsa Wood Grid Design Competition we celebrate every year in our Institute of Technology. It was born in 2010 as a choice in the Balsa Wood Beam Design Competition. A grid is a couple of beams that intersect at one joint and form a plane. We decided to promote the designing of grids because our students should understand the structural behavior of this type of structures. In the beginning there were almost no designed requirements (only the two beams span) and the aim was getting the highest efficiency (ratio Failure Load/Grid weight). In the 6th edition of the Balsa Wood Designed Competition (April 2015) the aim was to design a grid in which the support reaction force values were as equal as possible. The goal of all the changes that we have decided to implement along these years has to do with the concepts we know the students have to understand: the bending stiffness influence in the load distribution.

In this Congress, we would like to share the evolution this activity has had (designing rules, building process, testing elements fabrication, students reports demanded) and the reasons of every decision we have taken. So we demonstrate the advantages in the students learning process of adapting the activities’ goals to the subjects’ content requirements.
@InProceedings{PEREZGUTIERREZ2016TOW,
author = {Perez Gutierrez, M.C. and Molina Iniesta, M. and Prieto Mu{\~n}oz, F. and Castilla Heredia, M.I. and Hernando Mansilla, F. and Isidro Gordejuela, F.},
title = {TOWARDS THE CHALLENGE OF COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE REQUIRED SKILLS AND THE SKILLS ACQUIRED BY THE STUDENTS. OUR EXPERIENCE EXAMPLE: BALSA WOOD GRIDS DESIGN COMPETITIONS EVOLUTION},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.1966},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.1966},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3951-3959}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.C. Perez Gutierrez AU - M. Molina Iniesta AU - F. Prieto Muñoz AU - M.I. Castilla Heredia AU - F. Hernando Mansilla AU - F. Isidro Gordejuela
TI - TOWARDS THE CHALLENGE OF COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE REQUIRED SKILLS AND THE SKILLS ACQUIRED BY THE STUDENTS. OUR EXPERIENCE EXAMPLE: BALSA WOOD GRIDS DESIGN COMPETITIONS EVOLUTION
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.1966
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 3951
EP - 3959
ER -
M.C. Perez Gutierrez, M. Molina Iniesta, F. Prieto Muñoz, M.I. Castilla Heredia, F. Hernando Mansilla, F. Isidro Gordejuela (2016) TOWARDS THE CHALLENGE OF COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE REQUIRED SKILLS AND THE SKILLS ACQUIRED BY THE STUDENTS. OUR EXPERIENCE EXAMPLE: BALSA WOOD GRIDS DESIGN COMPETITIONS EVOLUTION, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 3951-3959.
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