THE ENCHANTMENT OF PENCIL DRAWING IN MADRID: GAME-BASED LEARNING AND ARCHITECTURAL SKETCHES OF “PLAZA MAYOR” SQUARE

This paper presents a part of a Research Project of Innovation named: “Aplicación de herramientas de gamificación para dinamizar los contenidos que se imparten en la UPM en relación con la historia y la evolución urbanística de Madrid, así como para la integración de los alumnos extranjeros de intercambio en la ETSEM” (The application of gaming tools to energize the contents taught in the UPM, in relation with the urban evolution in Madrid, as well as for the foreign students’ integration under the auspices of a Student Exchange).

It is an experience about introducing gamification in undergraduate education, with participants from two departments of Building Engineering School of “Universidad Politécnica de Madrid”, The main aim is to improve integration of students from different international agreements, most of them from Europe but also from Central and South America. A multidisciplinary team of lecturers and professors integrate students of several subjects related to history and urban development of Madrid, to vernacular architecture or drawing techniques through a new methodology using game-based learning.

Learning to draw has always being an important tool for engineers and architects, combining traditional instruments with new methods to increase creativity in international students. This was already approached by Flórez, Izquierdo, and Valiente [1]. Traditional education is changing towards a new systems to motivate students, to focus on them, all activities and to adapt them to the diversity within the European Higher Education Area and to the Bologna process

In this context, we believe that teaching strategies based on games and action can contribute to the development of competences, both specific and transversal, at the same time that they can increase the motivation of the students for learning. Therefore, we present a methodological proposal based on the introduction of gamification techniques or game mechanics, in the teaching-learning process in Building.

As a conclusion the researcher acts essentially as an organizer of the discussions, as a facilitator of the process, as a catalyst for problems and conflicts, and, generally, as a technician and a resource available to be consulted. As written by Alfred Gell, “The enchantment of technology is the power that technical processes have of casting a spell over us so that we see the real world in an enchanted form"[1]. The form we would like our students to perceive to make them able to transform the world around them.

The Research-Action Method, so modest in its appearance, conceals and implies a new vision of man and science, rather than a process with different techniques. For this purpose we will explain several actions developed, such as a Sketches Drawing Competition in the “Plaza Mayor” square.