Teaching projects

Jaime E. Villate. University of Porto, Portugal

MAFIQUI
2004 – 2005. A new course was introduced in the Engineering School in 2004, called FEUP Project, to be attended by all freshman students during their first month at the school. As part of that course, students were required to take quizzes to assess their knowledge in Math, Physics and Chemistry (MAFIQUI: MAtemática, FÍsica e QUÍmica); the results of the first quiz was used to place the students in different level courses that run for a few weeks, followed by a second quiz. The aim was to prepare the students for their programs. I was in charge of preparing the logistics of the quizzes and coordinate the work of the Professors writing the quiz questions and the work of the teaching assistants conducting the recitation sessions. In the first year (September of 2004), there were 170 students enrolled and in the second year (September of 2005) all 850 freshman students were enrolled. The course was suspended after that second year. I developed a system to prepare written multiple choice quizzes, whose answers were then transferred to the Moodle server by the teaching assistants, allowing students to see their graded quizzes on-line. I have been using that same system in the courses I teach since then.
Experimenta@FEUP
2006 – 2008. A project approved by the dean of the School to support the creation of virtual and remote laboratories for teaching. The project was led by a group of professors from the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Physics Engineering, supported by a group of undergraduate students and technical staff.

Externally funded projects

Experimental and virtual tools for teaching structural mechanics
Grant number: IPG104/2007
Funded by: University of Porto/ Caixa Geral de Depósitos (Undergraduate Research Program)
Period: 11/2006 – 10/2007
Amount awarded: €3 500
Principal investigator: José Couto Marques (FEUP)
The goal was the creation of prototypes to aid the teaching of mechanical concepts in Engineering.
Medição remota de micro deslocamentos
Grant number: UP/CGD/13
Funded by: University of Porto/ Caixa Geral de Depósitos (Undergraduate Research Program)
Period: 9/2005 – 8/2006
Amount awarded: €5 000
Principal investigator: Teresa Restivo (FEUP)
A collaboration was established within this project among undergraduate students majoring in Mechanical Engineering and in Informatics and Computing Engineering to make a Michelson Interferometer, at the Physics Department, accessible via Web. The Mechanical Engineering students undertook the structure to control the interferometer remotely and the Web interface. The Informatics students created a virtual version of the interferometer, which can be used to conduct virtual experiments on interferometry (Teixeira et al., 2006).