PROJECT BASED LEARNING OF AIRBORNE SOUND INSULATION
Since the high levels of noise cause serious illnesses, noise control has gained more importance in our lives. Understanding acoustic concepts, such as sound insulation, is important for Engineering and Architecture students. In Spain, every Bachelor´s Degree consists of 240 ECTS credits, i.e. 4 years of study.
The education leading to a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering shall provide the student with:
1) knowledge of the fundamentals of the studies included in the degree programme and prerequisites for following developments in the field;
2) knowledge and skills needed for scientific thinking and scientific working methods;
3) prerequisites needed for education leading to a master’s degree and for continuous learning;
4) knowledge and skills to understand and analyse the effects and utilisation of technology;
5) ability to cooperate and to participate in goal-oriented team work;
6) capacity for applying the acquired knowledge and skills to work;
7) adequate language and communication skills.
The Bachelor's Degree Final Project (BDFP) is the culmination of the learning of the studies taken where the skills acquired are reflected, as well as their application and development. The student develops his/her own Bachelor’s degree dissertation under the monitoring of a professor from the Faculty of Engineering. With support from the relevant specialist department, the student can write his/her dissertation or thesis in three to six months. Together with the supervisor, the student will define the targets of his/her dissertation. At the end, the student will have the opportunity to present his/her results before a group of University professors. Active learning methods can be appropriate in Engineering, as their methodology promotes meta-cognition, independent learning and problem-solving skills. Project-based learning (PBL) involves posing a ‘concrete problem’ to initiate the learning process. In this paper, we describe and analyse the results of the educational experience using the project-based learning method. The student has analyzed the origin of the most disturbance noise sources in the vicinity of an airport with a constant increase in traffic over recent years, traffic which is mainly domestic. Later the student has chosen the best alternative for sound insulation of building envelope, including walls, windows, ventilators and roof. From an instructors’ perspective, PBL strengths include better student attitude in work and increased instructor–student interactions. The student emphasised developing capacity for applying the acquired knowledge and skills to work in a good learning atmosphere as positive aspects.