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Active Learning in Nepal: A Case Study of Effectiveness, Cultural Considerations and Student Attitudes at a South Asian University

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Implementing Transfer, Exchange, Research Programs and Professional Development; in Asia and Far East

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.137.1 - 23.137.12



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Paper Authors


James M Widmann California Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Jim Widmann is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Stanford University. Currently he teaches mechanics and design courses. He conducts research in the areas of machine design, fluid power control and engineering education. He is a past chair of the ASEE-DEED Division and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.

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Binaya K.C. Kathmandu University

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Born in Nepal in December 1981, Binaya K.C. received his M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kathmandu University in 2008. K.C. worked as a research assistant in water power lab of Kathmandu University for one year. Currently K.C. is an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kathmandu University.

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Active Learning in Nepal: A Case Study of Effectiveness, Cultural Considerations and Student Attitudes at a South Asian UniversityAbstractThe growth of engineering education in South Asia is leading to the development of moreinteractions and joint projects with U.S. Universities. A solid understanding of the differencesbetween cultures and how education is delivered and received is a necessary ingredient for thiseducational cooperation. In the U.S., elements of Active Learning are increasingly viewed ascritical to the success of educating engineers. These techniques have been tried in South Asiawith varying success. This paper presents the cross-cultural experience of introducing ActiveLearning elements into the Mechanical Engineering program at xxx University in Nepal. As partof a 2012 Fulbright project, the authors co-taught a second year (sophomore) level class 60students in Strength of Materials and the Fulbright Grantee taught a small graduate class inMechanical Design. Elements of Active Learning where introduced formally into the classroomfor the first time in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Some activities in theundergraduate lecture-based class included think-pair-share, in-class group problem solving,ranking tasks and peer-based concept exercise. The graduate class was made into a ProjectBased Learning (PBL) experience. This paper gives some background on the use of ActiveLearning in a South Asian culture, describes the pedagogy introduced into the two classes andfinishes with an assessment of its effectiveness and of Nepali student attitudes about ActiveLearning.

Widmann, J. M., & K.C., B. (2013, June), Active Learning in Nepal: A Case Study of Effectiveness, Cultural Considerations and Student Attitudes at a South Asian University Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19151

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