1 La Rioja University (SPAIN)
2 Basque Country University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 3390-3394
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Materials Engineers, and in general engineers, who were traditionally shaped by technological experience in real life situation, are currently expected coming from engineering education. A significant measure of an engineering education, in special in the European Higher Education Area, is the degree to which it has prepared the graduate to pursue a productive engineering career that is characterized by continued professional growth, and continue with a Master degree and Professional Doctorate (or Ph. D.) in Engineering. Global change has challenged engineering educations to reflect their role. Traditional approach that has been used in engineering education for many years has been no longer productive to supply today’s demand of engineering graduates. One of the new approaches that may enhance engineering education is Problem Based Learning (PBL). It was known that the approach, which was formally originated from health science, had not only changed the teaching and learning process but also shifted the medical education towards more integrated study program.

The present paper aimed at evaluating the importance and the rationale, purpose, advantages and limitations of PBL are reviewed in the context engineering education. The relationship between the characteristic of PBL and the nature of engineering profession is revealed. The correlation between the purposes of PBL and that of engineering education as defined in the criteria for engineering graduates is reviewed. 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.

In this paper we try to show the very important role that will occupy PBL in engineering education like means 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.
Materials Engineering Education, Problem Based Learning, European Higher Education Area.