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Formación universitaria

versão On-line ISSN 0718-5006

Resumo

MARTINEZ, Francisco J.. Cognitive difficulties in solving a fluid mechanics exercise in a virtual learning environment. Form. Univ. [online]. 2021, vol.14, n.1, pp.121-134. ISSN 0718-5006.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-50062021000100121.

The present study examines cognitive problems observed in higher-level civil engineering courses in a virtual learning context at a Chilean university. A fluid mechanics exercise with variable cognitive demand is assigned to 70 students and their answers are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The results show that students are able to provide correct answers when a task presents challenges of low cognitive demand. However, serious difficulties arise when students are forced to build deeper thinking and reasoning that involves high cognitive intensity and skills capacities in mathematical and physical thinking. It is concluded that, even in advanced engineering courses, cognitive gaps persist that cannot be resolved in the transition from high school to university.

Palavras-chave : cognitive problems; fluid mechanics; virtual learning; civil engineering; abstract thinking.

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