Blended learning applied to the study of Mechanical Couplings in engineering
Computers & Education Volume 54, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This paper begins with a brief introduction to blended learning (BL), recognising the important contributions to learning that can be obtained from the use of methods which combine the New Information and Communications Technologies (NICT) with more traditional methods. The paper goes onto describe the bases, tasks and methodology for developing an online tool, using the most up-to-date technologies. Moreover, it presents an application about Mechanical Couplings (MC) developed for students of Mechanical Engineering in accordance with the described methodology. Among other things, this tool enables students to see simulations of coupling assembly, to consult data bases about the technical characteristics of very different existing couplings, to calculate and choose the right coupling for a specific application of power drive between machine shafts and to carry out self-evaluation tests.A very detailed experimental analysis is then conducted to quantify existing learning differences depending on whether the traditional mode (face-to-face instruction and note taking) is used or BL (a combination of face-to-face instruction with the online use of the MC application). This analysis is carried out using a quasi-experimental non equivalent control group design. The control and experimental groups, each composed of 30 students, were enrolled in the subject “Machine Technologies”. Exhaustive statistical treatment of the data is also included.The paper ends with the conclusions drawn, highlighting the fact that the use of the MC application, developed using New Information and Communications Technologies applied in a blended learning system, increased the level of knowledge of the students in the experimental group, since they obtained a higher average mark in the validated test. Moreover, it was shown to raise the knowledge of all students, which is of interest for an application to be useful from the teaching perspective.
Cortizo, J.L., Rodríguez, E., Vijande, R., Sierra, J.M. & Noriega, A. (2010). Blended learning applied to the study of Mechanical Couplings in engineering. Computers & Education, 54(4), 1006-1019. Elsevier Ltd.