IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROJECT BASED LEARNING METHODOLOGY IN THE “MATERIALS. DESIGN AND RESTYLING” SUBJECT
The implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) resulted in a change in the concept of teaching-learning, from a traditional teacher-centered model to a current model focused on student learning. In this new model, the student takes an active role in acquiring competencies to process information, while the teacher is the facilitator of learning. In competence-based teaching, knowledge is approached through its interrelationship with other elements and at the same time bringing into play both knowledge and skills, abilities, and values, thus contributing to learning of great relevance to be transferred to the professional activity. Within the framework of the EHEA, the Project Based Learning (PBL) methodology is an effective tool for the acquisition of knowledge and skills that society is demanding from students, preparing them for their professional future.
The PBL is a learning methodology in continuous growth and evolution, becoming one of the most used methodologies in the current educational systems. This methodology is focused on the resolution of projects based on real problems by the students, mainly combined in groups. The PBL methodology allows students to acquire knowledge, develop different specific skills, increase their analysis and synthesis capabilities, and the development of research skills. In addition, PBL offers a number of advantages, as it allows students to become protagonists of their own learning, encouraging teamwork and leadership, and generating an active, dynamic, and participatory teaching environment in which feedback occurs between teachers and students, contributing to improved student learning. For all these reasons, it is considered that this learning methodology can be interesting and appropriate for its implementation in university degree subjects, as it allows students to prepare for real situations that they will later experience in their professional lives.
The main aim of the present work is to describe the experience of the application of the PBL learning method in the subject of "Materials. Design and Restyling", an optative subject framed within the module of "Design and Engineering of Vehicles" belonging to the Mechanical Engineering Degree taught at the Higher Polytechnic School of Alcoy of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). In this case for the implementation of the PBL methodology, the redesign and analysis of a part of the automotive sector was proposed as a project to be carried out by the students.