A FRAMEWORK FOR BOOSTING THE AUTONOMOUS AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING FOR UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS UNDER BLENDED LEARNING

D. Santillán Sánchez1, J.C. Mosquera Feijoo1, L. Cueto-Felgueroso1, B. González Rodrigo1, F. Suárez Guerra2, I. Chiyón Carrasco3

1Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Jaén (SPAIN)
3Universidad de Piura (PERU)
This work forms part of a collaborative project carried out by professors from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad de Jaén (Spain) and Universidad de Piura (Perú). The scope of the project is to share techniques, methods, resources and strategies for autonomous and experiential learning. It is easily implementable for diverse courses of the undergraduate STEM disciplines and aims at helping students to master some key concepts of Continuum Mechanics. Such concepts sometimes involve rather complex formulae, physical interpretations and spatial reasoning, so may become elusive for students.

The renewed boost on the techniques that comprise the merged learning, under the convergence between distance and face-to-face learning is applied in this work to undergraduate students of fundamental subjects in civil engineering. Our target is to integrate their autonomous homework with the classroom involvement, while saving class time and improving both their achievements and the role of the instructor. Two types of tools are presented, one for Structural analysis and one for Hydraulics. Both are available in Spanish and English, favoring the internationalization purpose. On the one hand, we present a repository of web-based interactive exercises and problems on structural analysis. It is written in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, based on a problem-solving strategy. This tool is adequate for self-correction, self assessment, peer assesment and flipped classroom. Some results after two years of implementation are shown. On the other hand, we present some tools for helping students in their experiential learning in Hydraulics: once they have attended the regular lab sessions on open channel flow, they can use these apps in their computers or tablets in order to simulate the various concepts previously glanced in the lab.

These fundamental concepts encompass the relations among the channel depth, slope, discharge, hydraulic jump, as well as the flow properties after converging, throat and diverging sections, among others. In this way, students can envisage the working of a channel section under certain circumstances at their own pace, so that the classroom sessions may become more efficient.