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Implementation of project-based learning approach in marine engineering
Vervoort, M.; Maes, W.; Cools, T. (2010). Implementation of project-based learning approach in marine engineering, in: Gómez Chova, L. et al. iCERi 2010. 3rd international conference of education, research and innovation, Madrid (Spain), 15th - 17th of November, 2010. pp. 2973-2981
In: Gómez Chova, L. et al. (2010). iCERi 2010. 3rd international conference of education, research and innovation, Madrid (Spain), 15th - 17th of November, 2010. IATED: [s.l.]. ISBN 978-84-614-2439-9. , more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Integration research-education; (marine) engineers; innovation;technology; research projects; project based learning

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Abstract
    An educational project is currently under implementation in the Antwerp Maritime Academy (BELGIUM) to enable marine engineering students to integrate technical knowledge encompassing social skills (teamwork, cooperation, planning, decision making, problem-solving abilities, communication skills.). The benefit of scientific research implemented with project-based learning for the education of engineers resulting in the graduate degree of 'professional bachelor in marine engineering' will be discussed. At Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA) this can be illustrated by the benefit of scientific research on projects like 'condition monitoring and preventive maintenance of (ship) engines', 'Frysian Solar Challenge 2008 and 2010'. During their study the students deal with different teamwork-related issues as, leadership, team capabilities, common purpose, team norms, communication, conflicts, team operating procedures, member integration. These activities are distributed across the curricula, considering a long-term deployment. The training in non-technical capabilities helps our students to set the pattern to become successful life-long learners. Student's main objections to the project-based cooperative learning approach were the excessive time devoted to the project and they demand more effort in supervising. We realize that, as students are not used to this kind of teaching, at the beginning of the project more continuous help and guidance is needed than in traditional teaching methodologies. Preliminary results show that undergraduate students are involved, enhance understanding, improve retention, become proficient in problem solving, self-directed learning, build decision criteria and team participation (cooperate rather than compete). The interrelationship between education and (practical) research and its specific application to engineering are an interesting example for conference participants, especially for those who want to obtain a deeper understanding of how innovation can be nurtured by education that is in itself supported, cultivated and strengthened by (practically-based) scientific research.

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