The Implementation and Evaluation of a Problem Based Learning Pilot Module in a First Year Electronic Engineering Programme


Lawlor, Bob and McLoone, Seamus and Meehan, Andrew (2014) The Implementation and Evaluation of a Problem Based Learning Pilot Module in a First Year Electronic Engineering Programme. In: ISEE 2014: 5th International Symposium of Engineering Education 2014, 11 September 2014, University of Manchester.

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Abstract

This study involved the design, implementation and evaluation of a group Problem-Based Learning (PBL) pilot module with a cohort of first year students on the BE in Electronic Engineering Programme in the Department of Electronic Engineering, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. The pilot module was implemented during semester 2 of the 2012/13 academic year and involved a total of 18 students working in 3 project groups. The self-selecting group sizes were 5, 6 and 7. The pilot module was based on the Aalborg PBL educational model but was adapted to take account of local contextual differences such as student demographics and prior experience of group project work. The pilot module was integrated into the second semester of a four-year conventional engineering programme such that the project theme was closely associated with previous and parallel taught module content while still allowing significant scope for student direction/ownership. The project module comprised one third of the total student workload i.e. 10 out of 30 ECTS credits which equates to a nominal total of 250 hours project work per student over the semester. A range of evaluation instruments were employed including detailed student quantitative and qualitative surveys and independently facilitated student and staff focus groups. The pilot module proved very effective as a means of enhancing student engagement and promoting effective peerlearning. Of the 17 students who completed the module, 15 expressed a preference for PBL relative to conventional teaching methods. A number of recommendations for the design of similar pilot modules are presented.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: project-based learning; problem-based learning; peer-learning; collaborative enquiry-based learning;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Electronic Engineering
Item ID: 5653
Depositing User: Dr. Seamus McLoone
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2015 16:27
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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