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Introduction Of Project Based Learning Into Mechanical Engineering Courses

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Design in the Engineering Core

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.755.1 - 7.755.13



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Paper Authors

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Hamid Hadim

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Sven Esche

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Main Menu Session 2366

Introduction of Project-based Learning into Mechanical Engineering Courses

Sven K. Esche, Hamid A. Hadim Department of Mechanical Engineering Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, New Jersey 07030


Currently, engineering education is undergoing significant changes worldwide. In this context, the educational community is showing increasing interest in project-based learning approaches, which promise to lead to heightened student motivation, to stimulate student self-learning and to promote communication skills. Stevens Institute of Technology is currently transforming all its educational offerings. Several courses were selected for pilot implementations of project -based teaching methodologies. This paper presents an initial assessment of the experiences gained from the revision of courses on Mechanics of Solids and on Mechanisms and Machine Dynamics. The centerpieces of these revised courses are comprehensive group design projects.


Currently, engineering education is undergoing significant structural changes worldwide. The rapidly evolving technological landscape forces educators to constantly reassess the content of engineering curricula in the context of emerging fields and with a multidisciplinary focus. In this process, it is necessary to devise, implement and evaluate innovative pedagogical approaches for the incorporation of these novel subjects into the educational programs without compromising the cultivation of the traditional skills. In this context, the educational community is showing rapidly rising interest in project-based learning approaches. Over the course of the last few years, project-based instruction has rapidly gained acceptance by the educational community and is now being applied in a wide spectrum of engineering disciplines, at various types of academic institutions and throughout the different phases of the educational programs. This trend is witnessed by a rich and continuously expanding body of related information in the educational literature, some of which is briefly summarized below.

Felder 1,2 and his co-workers developed an Index of Learning Styles as an instrument that classifies the different dimensions of learning. While the traditional lecture-based teaching approach is considered as conducive only to certain learning styles, design projects are recognized as a means for providing the student with broad context to the particular body of information presented in the lectures, and thus these projects are likely to be especially effective for global learners. Furthermore, students are encouraged to assume responsibility for their learning experience and to shift from passive to more active learning patterns. This is likely to improve the knowledge retention as well as the ability to integrate material from different

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Hadim, H., & Esche, S. (2002, June), Introduction Of Project Based Learning Into Mechanical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10871

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