University of the Basque Country EHU/UPV (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 4000-4004
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1021
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
In the last decades, both Project and Problem Based Learning (PBL) have gained significant attention and pre- and primary schools as well as secondary schools have started to apply this methodology into their education system. PBL consists on solving real life problems by the students, keeping their motivation high along with the development of many useful and meaningful skills (P.C. Blumenfeld, 1991; J.W. Thomas, 2000). In this way, students learn in a more practical manner, obtaining better competences for both their personal and professional future lives. Student engagement is the main responsible for the aforementioned results. In fact, one of the most important goals of the PBL is to keep the students engaged, maintaining them motivated and making the teaching-learning process more effective.
Student engagement consists on making the student experience better and enhancing the learning outcomes optimizing the invested time, effort and other relevant resources (V.Trowler, 2010). Apart from the involvement of the students, the interaction between three dimensions is required: behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement.

However, at high-school and university the educational system tends to change. Indeed, traditional teaching methods still thrive, making the learners lose their interest and, hence, their motivation. This fact often leads to academic failure and means both reputational and financial inconvenience for the involved institution.

In this work, a seminar based on PBL was proposed in order to keep the student engagement at university via collaborative and game learning. This seminar was performed in a second year class of ten students of the degree in technical architecture at the University of the Basque Country. The chosen topic was related with the subject Material’s Science and focused on composite materials for construction. The seminar was divided in three parts: a theoretical brief and conceptual part, together with a comprehension game; a practical activity of searching and a final round table discussion. The students showed great interest and involvement, which made the seminar more fluent. Their attitude was participatory and their feedback was also very positive. From the speakers’ view, it was gratifying and it could be confirmed that this type of dynamic seminars can be encouraging for university students too.
PBL, student engagement, gaming learning, new technologies, experimental subjects.