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Project Based Learning (PBL) - Across Disciplines and Across Cultures

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 3 - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Student Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.32.1 - 20.32.10



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Pradeep Kashinath Waychal Pune Innovation Centre Orcid 16x16

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Project Based Learning (PBL) - Across Disciplines and Across CulturesProject based learning has convincingly proven its effectiveness in engineering educationacross the globe. We describe how we experimented with this idea – across cultures andacross disciplines - by conducting a joint program between a university in Japan and anengineering college in India. We initiated the program with two projects – one consisted ofdeveloping and launching a water rocket and analyzing the launch performance; the secondinvolved developing a multi-cultural portal to facilitate travel between the two cultures.The water rocket project consists of designing a rocket and a sensor system and analysis ofthe launch data. The Japanese university has been assigned to the design task. The Indiancollege has been assigned to the task of analyzing the launch data and assisting in thedesign of the sensor system. The water rocket design is undertaken by mechanicalengineering students, the sensor system by control and instrumentation engineeringstudents, and the data analysis by computer engineering students. All are thus engineeringstudents, though from different disciplines.The multi-cultural portal is aimed at helping travelers between the two cultures. Althoughthe portal is being architected to work for a number of cultures, it is being illustrated onlyfor the Japanese travelers visiting India. The portal requirements are being researched bymedical and social science students in the Japanese university and the software applicationdevelopment is entrusted to the Indian students.This program started with the Japanese faculty visiting in March 2013 to discuss the basicidea and work on a proposal. The proposal was submitted in May 2013 and was approvedin July. The Japanese faculty visited India again in Aug 2013 to detail out the plan. The planincluded the Indian faculty visiting Japan in November and conducting training sessions on“Working in India, Innovating Success and Requirements Development”.The Requirements Development workshop resulted in creating user requirements for themulti-cultural portal. These requirements have been handed over to the softwaredevelopers and the two teams are now working on freezing the requirements andembarking on the software development activity. The team of Japanese students will visitIndia in February 2014 to test the application – both in the laboratory and using real lifescenarios.The water rocket program team is in the process of creating specifications for the sensorsystem. The Indian and Japanese teams will develop tow independent sensor systems.These systems will be deployed during the launch that is scheduled in February 2014 inIndia during the visit of the Japanese students.We will conclude the overall program by analyzing the experience of both the Japanese andIndian students as well as that of the faculty members. This analysis, we are sure, will behelpful for further such experiments across the globe.

Waychal, P. K., & OHSAKI, A. (2014, June), Project Based Learning (PBL) - Across Disciplines and Across Cultures Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17195

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