Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Active Learning: A Case Study of Project-Based Learning in Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering

Title:

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Active Learning: A Case Study of Project-Based Learning in Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering [Download]

Título:

Cerrando la brecha entre la teoría y el aprendizaje activo: un estudio de caso de aprendizaje basado en proyectos en el curso introducción a ciencia e ingeniería de materiales [Download]

Authors:

H. A. C. Lopera, E. Gutiérrez-Velásquez and N. Ballesteros

Index Terms:

Education;Sustainable development;Materials science and technology;Legged locomotion;Task analysis;Mechanical engineering;Waste materials;Active learning;materials science and engineering;project based-learning (PBL);learning experience design

Abstract:

The current investigation is a case study of project-based learning methodology (PBL) applied to one of the most widespread engineering basic courses: introduction to materials science and engineering. The project was conducted with first year undergraduate students of Mechanical Engineering. For this, some of the theory-based class lecture was reduced to fit 40% of a multidisciplinary project that required producing walking sticks and crutches for people with limited mobility while using inexpensive materials and the most preferred solid waste materials. Students participating in this project designed, tested, and evaluated each other’s final product. In addition, students presented a technical report with an extended literature review that included information of the manufactured part. Differing from other PBL studies, the instructor evaluated the students’ progress at four different time points throughout the semester, through a summative evaluation process in which it was certified, through a qualification, in accordance with the learning developed during the mediation process with the students. Students, faculty members, professionals, and local experts in the manufactured parts were given a survey to evaluate the fabricated parts for aesthetics and innovation. A non-profit organization also participated in sensitizing the students to provide better solutions for people with several oral presentations during the class time. To assess the effectiveness of the PBL method, the Mechanical Engineering course was compared to another one using a traditional teaching approach, where the comparison was based on the same exams administered on both study groups. The method implemented in this study has proven to be a good strategy for teaching materials engineering courses, allowing students to participate in interdisciplinary projects. From this experience, it is concluded that it is feasible to implement active methods as an alternative to the courses taught using only traditional methods.

DOI:

http://10.1109/RITA.2022.3166862

How to cite:
H. A. C. Lopera, E. Gutiérrez-Velásquez and N. Ballesteros, "Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Active Learning: A Case Study of Project-Based Learning in Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering," in IEEE Revista Iberoamericana de Tecnologias del Aprendizaje, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 160-169, May 2022. doi: 10.1109/RITA.2022.3166862