Design and Implementation of an Innovative Problem-based Learning Model and Assessment Tools in Undergraduate Engineering Education
- Dr. Olga Pierrakos (Department of Engineering, JMU, Principal Investigator)
- Dr. Heather Watson (Department of Engineering, JMU, Co-PI)
- Mr. Javarro Russell (Center for Assessment and Research Studies, JMU, Graduate Student)
- Ms. Megan France (Center for Assessment and Research Studies, JMU, Graduate Student)
- Dr. Robin Anderson (Center for Assessment and Research Studies, JMU, Co-PI)
- Dr. Ron Kander (Department of Engineering, JMU, Co-PI)
- Dr. Eric Pappas (Department of Engineering, JMU, Co-PI)
- Dr. Rob Prins (Department of Engineering, JMU, Co-PI)
- Dr. Brad Striebig (Department of Engineering, JMU, Senior Personnel)
- Dr. Keith Holland (Department of Engineering, JMU, Senior Personnel)
Problem-based learning (PBL), a student-centered pedagogy, offers a strong framework upon which to build a curriculum that will teach our students the necessary problem solving and critical thinking skills to solve the complex problems of the future. Although widely used in engineering, particularly during the senior year, PBL practices have not extensively been integrated throughout engineering curricula, and limited studies exist to provide sufficient support for PBL. There are two main pitfalls of PBL practice: (1) a poor classification of what constitutes PBL experiences, and (2) limited assessment studies that are grounded on strong methodology. This is mainly because PBL enables students to develop skills that are difficult to measure. During this effort, our goals are to: (1) Expose engineering students to a broad range of PBL environments, grounded on a novel and multi-dimensional classification model (see Figure), which will enable students to experience different modes of thinking, learning, and problem solving;(2) Effectively evaluate and assess engineering students’ learning outcomes (knowledge, skills, attitudes) during these PBL experiences using mixed-methods assessment approaches; and (3) Disseminate PBL practices, assessment tools, and findings to the engineering community and establish STEM education partners.
Funding Source or Sponsor:
This project is supported by a National Science Foundation CCLI award. (Grant No. DUE 0837465)
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