June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.58.1 - 24.58.10
A Hybrid Interdisciplinary Mechatronics Engineering Course Using Content Based Learning and Project Based LearningThe mechatronics engineering is essentially a multidisciplinary engineering. Bringing togethercomputing, electronics and mechanics, among other sciences, requires a long course and withoutthe use of active learning strategies the students suffer certain deficiencies, especially in relationto practical skills.This paper presents and discusses the process of implementation of a mechatronics engineeringcourse by means of an interdisciplinary model using content based learning and project basedlearning. The work involved a team of more than 20 teachers from different disciplines. Theprogram was introduced in 2001 and continues to this date.As a strategy for defining the semester projects that should include theoretical formulation andpractical results in terms of product or system, it were listed the main skills and knowledge that amechatronics engineer should acquire during the whole course, and then graded them in terms ofthe semester projects. By this way were created a series of projects with different levels ofdifficulty. These projects were, level by level, providing to the students the essential skills andcontents that otherwise would never been treated on the classical courses. There was not only atutor, but all the professors had been asked to connect their classroom contents with the possibledemands of each project. Progress was discussed at weekly and monthly meetings. The resultswere excellent and several student research and competition groups were created. Those groupswon national and international prizes.We present and discuss the main aspects related to the course implementation, including thevirtues and difficulties such as barriers created by the faculty team, problems with infrastructureand with the students themselves.
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