APPLICATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING TO ENGINEERING TEACHING

M.D. Víctor-Ortega1, D. Airado-Rodríguez2

1University of Granada (SPAIN)
2Universiy of Extremadura (SPAIN)
This paper investigates the application of a problem-based learning (PBL) teaching methodology to a course entitled “Raw Materials and Energetic Resources”, the third-year undergraduate Chemical Engineering students (around 90 students). During this course, students solved real-life industrial engineering problems using PBL to compare PBL with traditional problem-solving methods. In the experimental design, the students were randomly divided into two groups.

Traditional teaching sessions were imparted to the first group, which was designated as the control group, whereas the “technologies for using air as raw material” (TARM) was taught to the second group via the PBL teaching methodology. After the classroom sessions, an evaluation tool was applied: responses were analyzed using SPSS, and a set of open-ended questions were qualitatively analyzed. The results for the group that utilized PBL were favorable; this finding demonstrated the efficiency of this tool for teaching the utilization of TARM.

In addition, the results for the students that applied PBL methodology demonstrated a high degree of acceptance of the TARM methodology, which motivates its implementation for teaching other subjects related to project scheduling in Chemical Engineering.