Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning for Engineering Curriculum
Document typePart of book or chapter of book
Rights accessOpen Access
The main purpose of this paper is to describe the process by which an initially limited-range practical experience, within the frame of a given subject in an aerospace engineering degree, might be expanded to become the mother-subject itself. Particularly, the practical experience is a Model Rocket Workshop (MRW), where students design, simulate, build, test and launch a small model rocket. The workshop is a Problem Based Learning (PBL) experience that covers a wide spectrum of educational aspects, ranging from theoretical disciplines, such as fluid dynamics and rocket dynamics, to topics more related to experimental work and hardware utilization like the certification of the rockets, as well as the rocket altitude measurements. Students get rapidly involved in the project, and acquire several practical and transversal abilities, while developing a solid knowledge of the physics underlying aerospace engineering. The case study shows some problems and improvements, academic results and lessons learned from the PBL approach. Finally, a series of new ideas related to MRW and the subject it belongs to are presented. The objective is to expand the MRW so that it embraces the totality of the activities that constitute this mother-subject. As a consequence, the former would then become a new subject entirely based on PBL. The strategy aims at enabling an optimum transition from conventional learning to PBL.
CitationRojas, J. [et al.]. Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning for engineering curriculum. A: "Cases on Technological Adaptability & Transnational Learning". IGI Global, 2010, p. 333-359.
Publisher versionThis chapter appears in ill in Cases on Technological Adaptability & Transnational Learning edited by Siran Mukerji (IGNOU, India)and Purnendu Tripathi (IGNOU, India). Copyright 2010, IGI Global, www.igi-global.com. Posted by permission of the publisher http://www.igi-global.com/bookstore/TitleDetails.aspx?TitleId=37311
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