IMPROVING THE LEARNING PROCESS THROUGH PROBLEM BASED LEARNING (PBL) IN MATERIALS ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
1 La Rioja University (SPAIN)
2 Basque Country University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This work shows the important role of PBL to improve a learning process in engineering education to make real the aims raised in the new European Higher Education Area. This way, the possibility of offering degrees, criteria and comparable methodologies and of developing a credit system as way of promoting the mobility so students as teaching staff, it obtains in PBL a methodology that allows to satisfy the new needs of the current Europe directed to the exchange of students and towards the team work. One of the premises of the new European Higher Education Area is the training along the life so the integration of new methods of education PBL (together with TIC’s, e-Learning, team work, and so on) become indispensable to coach competent professional inside the labour world.
This paper summarises the experience obtained and the implications to introduce similar programmes into their curriculum. The developed system is based on real engineering problems which values teamwork and the integration of information from materials engineering to different disciplines and it places the student at the centre of the learning process. The faculty has learned many things and it needs to learn many other things on how to write a real world engineering scenario, to facilitate the construction of learning environment that the students must do by themselves, to assess students' performances in a compatible way to the implemented education system, to evaluate educational programs for continuous improvement and to integrate educational activities with research done in the departments for mutual benefits of students and faculty staff. The subject Material Technology was deemed a difficult subject by students because of the amount of technical information students have to be familiar with. The subject team decided to convert part of their curriculum into PBL-based tutorials. The final draft of the problem encourages students to explore concepts in material technology in an attempt to find plausible solutions to the problem. At the end of the programme, student feedback regarding the effectiveness of the programme was gathered by means of an evaluation form. Additionally, such particular methods as design method that have been well established in engineering education, in special for teaching material engineering, are evaluated with respect to a PBL approach. For all this, we consider of great importance to focus efforts to the integration of these two elements that emerge in the current society.
Keywords: Materials Engineering Education, Problem Based Learning (PBL), European Higher Education Area.