1 Université Grenoble Alpes (FRANCE)
2 Grenoble INP (FRANCE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 2062-2067
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.0574
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Our teaching context concerns the implementation of project-based learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of engineering education (computer science, industrial engineering, energy). This pedagogical approach aims at increasing students’ technical competences (which come from core training), behavioral competences (like professional posture or communication ability) and soft skills (such as adaptability, problem solving, time management, creativity, motivation …) thanks to the realization of a project over an extended period of time that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question.

So, project based learning can be characterized by some common elements:
1) the size of the work group (ranging from 4 to 12 students),
2) a multidisciplinary approach coupling some core technical disciplines, project management, and communication;
3) a semi-supervised activity where students need to organize themselves with the teachers’ supervision;
4) a realistic context to mimic work in industry;
5) the development of digital or physical product, thanks to the reuse and the acquisition of knowledge.

Considering all these elements, implementing project-based learning may be complex. Based on our various experiences, this paper points out two major difficulties for teachers related to this type of pedagogy namely the individual evaluation and the teacher posture.

The evaluation issue is the first identified difficulty. Indeed, a project-based learning exploits the collective intelligence to provide on a collective result while the validation of any degree is based on individual result. Then the issue is how to go from a collective evaluation to an individual evaluation? But also, how to assess in the evaluation the learning mechanism in addition to the single product result?

The teacher posture issue is the second identified difficulty. Indeed, it is possible to identify many types of posture: facilitator, coach, evaluator, facilitator, trainer… According on the teaching situation, all of these postures can be mobilized in case of project-based learning. Then what will be the posture at the right time according to the desired objectives?

These issues are at the heart of a IDEX (Executive Commission Education and Learning Innovation) project supported by University Grenoble Alpes. It is based on the observation of four training practices, three on computer science and one on industrial engineering.

This paper presents our qualitative approach to analyze current practices from the pedagogical community of the Grenoble University. The first step consists of collecting and synthesizing feedbacks to define common elements of context to laying out project-based learning. The paper details the definition of a contextualizable analysis grid of project practices (posture and evaluation) and the manner that this grid is currently experimented in the four teaching contexts of engineering degrees. It also describes the current evaluation methods and tools to identify their possible correlations and to suggest improvements.

The analysis of current practices will be followed by the definition of some good practices in terms of individual evaluation and teachers’ posture. Then these practices will be supported by a community-based sharing tool.
Project based learning, teacher posture, individual evaluation.