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Design and Performance of a Project-Based Learning Course for Materials Undergraduates at Southeast University

Jian Chen | Southeast University

Design and Performance of a Project-Based Learning Course for Materials Undergraduates at Southeast University

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We present a newly launched project-based learning course in the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at the Southeast University since 2013. The targeted learning outcomes are to provide the primitive research experience including analysis, experimentation, data mining, team work, seminar, presentation and project management for all 110 second year undergraduates in MSE who have limited knowledge and no practice training in MSE. Through this course, it is expected to promote their study motivation and improve the ability to apply theory to practice. Ten projects were selected, monitored and analysed during the whole course. They can be divided into three categories, including the materials theory (conceive dominated study), materials preparation and properties (design dominated study) and fabrication of products (implementation and operation dominated study). The attributes, principles and educational value of this course were discussed in terms of the learning effectiveness. Both formative and summative assessments are used during the whole process of the course. We found that the project-based learning can effectively help the students understand what and how the research is in MSE. The students have the opportunity to understand the course well and know how to apply classroom knowledge into workplace practice, especially in the �implementation and operation dominated study" types of projects. Although some students were puzzled at the beginning of the course, they adapted well and quickly. There were a large volume of positive comments and suggestions confirming the fact that materials students at SEU enjoyed this project-based learning course.