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Active learning in engineering education. A review of fundamentals, best practices and experiences

  • Marcela Hernández-de-Menéndez
  • Antonio Vallejo Guevara
  • Juan Carlos Tudón Martínez
  • Diana Hernández Alcántara
  • Ruben Morales-MenendezEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Universities and international organizations are adopting and promoting Active Learning strategies, respectively. Reasons are varied, including that this approach has proven to prepare competitive students who are skilled to address the main problems of society once they enter the labor market. Active Learning is a student-centered-learning approach that involves the learner directly in the process. It consists of letting students be the main actors of the learning process by performing meaningful activities and critically thinking about what they are doing. In this research, a review of Active Learning is performed. The focus is on presenting concepts and practices central to Active Learning that leading universities are deploying, universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University and Aalborg University. Also, the authors describe in this paper a case from their experience with Active Learning techniques in specified areas of engineering education at Tecnologico de Monterrey. Results indicate that this approach supports the development of in-demand competencies such as Teamwork, Problem-solving and Analysis. In addition, students’ performance and retention rates are improved. In the engineering field, students can acquire and practice different technical skills under supervision. Active Learning is a very flexible approach that can be integrated in a gradual manner by any organization. The authors have constructed this research to be a useful guide to Active Learning practices. It can support engineering professors and people interested in knowing or adopting this approach for improving their students’ results.

Keywords

Active learning Challenge based learning Educational innovation Engineering education Leading universities’ practices 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial and the technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico in the production of this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcela Hernández-de-Menéndez
    • 1
  • Antonio Vallejo Guevara
    • 1
  • Juan Carlos Tudón Martínez
    • 1
  • Diana Hernández Alcántara
    • 1
  • Ruben Morales-Menendez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Escuela de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Tecnologico de MonterreyMonterreyMexico

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