Development of Problem-based Learning Modules for Engineering Thermodynamics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition

Conference Name

ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that fosters active learning, supports knowledge construction, integrates disciplines, and naturally combines classroom learning with real-life applications. This approach can be described as student-centered and concept-embedded. This paper presents the development of curricular materials in Engineering Thermodynamics that are founded on PBL, supported by technology through simulations, and target higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning. Thermodynamics is restructured as modules presenting practical applications first whereas principles are introduced just-in-time and as encountered. Theoretical information is presented to support the understanding of knowledge as students apply inquiry-based learning. These modules are carefully designed to reflect traditional concepts but made more exciting as students discover the need for the laws and principles. The classroom format is interactive, cooperative and revolves around students’ needs. Formative and summative assessment tools are designed to examine the effectiveness of created modules.



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© 2004 by ASME