Improving Student Learning Through Use of an In-class Material Processing Design Project
At Marquette University, hybrid project-based learning has been implemented in an undergraduate mechanical engineering course on materials processing and forming using a team-based approach. The goals of the project are to 1) introduce more active and student-centered activities to improve student engagement and mastery of core concepts, 2) increase students' confidence in their ability to apply what they learned in the course to solving real-world problems, 3) enable students to gain experience using engineering software as part of the learning process and in applications context. While use of process modeling software in materials processing and manufacturing courses is not entirely new, the project has students actively developing a model around a realistic process, rather than passive users running "canned" models and reviewing the output. This paper presents details of the project and discusses preliminary results regarding its impact on student learning and confidence related to application of the course concepts. Recommendations for improving and expanding this in-class project are presented, along with a description of the assessment methods used to measure the impact on students.