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Developing Real-life Problem-based Learning (PBL) Activities through Partnership with Industry

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Teams, Capstone Courses, and Project Based-Learning

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28148

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28148

Download Count

268

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Paper Authors

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John M. Mativo University of Georgia

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Dr. John Mativo is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. His research interest lies in two fields. The first is research focusing on best and effective ways to teaching and learning in STEM K-16. He is currently researching on best practices in learning Dynamics, a sophomore engineering core course. The second research focus of Dr. Mativo is energy harvesting in particular the design and use of flexible thermoelectric generators. His investigation is both for the high-tech and low tech applications. In addition to teaching courses such as energy systems, mechanics, mechatronics, and production, he investigates best ways to expand cutting edge technologies to the workforce.

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Nicola W. Sochacka University of Georgia

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Dr. Nicola Sochacka is the associate director for the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) at the University of Georgia. Her research interests include STEAM (STEM + Art) education, empathy, diversity, and reflection.

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Kathryn Marie Youngblood University of Georgia

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Kathryn Youngblood is an undergraduate researcher and environmental engineering student at the University of Georgia. She has worked with CLUSTER to study a variety of engineering education topics such as empathy development and student-centered learning.

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Doug Brouillard Eaton Corp. Supercharger

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Doug Brouillard has 18+ years experience in the manufacturing of HVAC and Supercharger components. He has spent this time in Maintenance, Engineering, and Operations roles as both an individual contributor and Manager of People. Currently he holds the position of Engineering Manager at the Eaton Corporation Supercharger plant in Athens, GA. This position is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and continual improvement of the manufacturing equipment as well the ownership of the process to manufacture the superchargers.

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Joachim Walther University of Georgia

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Dr. Joachim Walther is an Associate Professor of engineering education research at the University of Georgia and the Founding Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Education Transformations Institute at UGA is an innovative approach that fuses high quality engineering education research with systematic educational innovation to transform the educational practices and cultures of engineering. Dr. Walther’s research group, the Collaborative Lounge for Understanding Society and Technology through Educational Research (CLUSTER), is a dynamic interdisciplinary team that brings together professors, graduate, and undergraduate students from engineering, art, educational psychology, and social work in the context of fundamental educational research. Dr. Walther’s research program spans interpretive research methodologies in engineering education, the professional formation of engineers, the role of empathy and reflection in engineering learning, and student development in interdisciplinary and interprofessional spaces.

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Abstract

Developing real-life problem-based learning (PBL) activities through partnership with industry Abstract

Dynamics is taught as part of what the National Science Foundation describes as the engineering “core” – i.e., the middle two years of the four-year undergraduate experience. It is widely recognized that these years are critical to the technical formation of engineers; however, core courses also present a number educational challenges around knowledge transfer and integration. For example, many students find it difficult to recall relevant material from previously taken calculus and physics courses; while others lose interest due to the perceived lack of connection between fundamental engineering principles and “real-world” problems.

To address this challenge, this paper describes the development and implementation of real-life, industry-inspired, problem-based learning (PBL) activities for a sophomore dynamics class. The research team comprises the instructor of the dynamics course, two engineering education researchers, and an engineering manager at a local car part manufacturing plant. In collaboration with the industry partner, the team identified aspects of the manufacturing process that demonstrate core principles of engineering dynamics. These aspects were developed into three ill-structured problems, which were given to students to solve in the Spring of 2016. This paper describes: i) the process that was used to develop the problems, ii) the structure, implementation, and facilitation of the problems, iii) impacts on student learning, and iv) lessons learned. A second iteration is underway that takes into consideration lessons learned from the initial implementation. Ultimately, our goal is to build a portfolio of “real-world” problems that will be shared on a web portal; making the problems, and the process for developing the problems, widely accessible to engineering faculty and students.

Mativo, J. M., & Sochacka, N. W., & Youngblood, K. M., & Brouillard, D., & Walther, J. (2017, June), Developing Real-life Problem-based Learning (PBL) Activities through Partnership with Industry Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28148

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