Group projects to induce active learning in introductory Material Science courses for Chemical and Mechanical Engineering students

Zhihua Xu, Victor Lai, Ping Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

While an introduction to Material Science and Engineering (MSE) course is part of the core curriculum in many Engineering fields such as Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, many students often display a lack of interest in the subject matter, and struggle to see the relevance of the material to their Engineering field. To address this issue, the authors adopted a project-based learning approach in two introductory material science classes. The goal is to stimulate interest in the subject matter by providing students with the opportunity to apply fundamental Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) principles learned in the classroom to a material of their choice and interest. The student learning outcomes of this project are: (1) apply key concepts of the Material Science tetrahedron (processing, structure, properties, and performance) to their material of choice; (2) organize research material obtained from internet and book resources into a cohesive written report and oral presentation (including hands-on demonstrations); and (3) demonstrate good teamwork and interpersonal communication skills between group members. In this paper, the effect of group projects on stimulating students learning interest and improving their learning effectiveness is evaluated based on the direct outcome (reports and presentations) of the group projects, questionnaires, and student performance in exams. Our results suggest group project is an effective complement to traditional classroom lectures to improve student learning motivation and performance for introductory MSE courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2017-June
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Group projects to induce active learning in introductory Material Science courses for Chemical and Mechanical Engineering students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this