Does Productivity Apply to PBL Methods in Engineering Education?

Poul Kyvsgaard Hansen
Department of Production, Aalborg University
Fibigerstraede 16, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark
E-mail: kyvs@iprod.auc.dk

Abstract:
The dominating trend in most educational programs today is converting traditional classroom teaching to variants of Problem or Project Based Learning (PBL) methods. In most programs the general experience is increased motivation among students as well as teachers. However, most programs do at the same time experience problems regarding productivity in terms of the applied teaching resources. Consequently, many programs limit the PBL elements to the senior courses and keep the freshmen courses as traditional classroom teaching. One can ask whether it is possible to run a PBL program that is competitive in terms of both quality and spending of teaching resources. Can PBL programs be competitive throughout the whole program? This paper presents experiences from initiating and driving such continuous improvement efforts in a PBL program at Aalborg University in Denmark.

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