Challenge-based learning: an I-semester for experiential learning in Mechatronics Engineering

  • L. C. Félix-HerránEmail author
  • Adrian E. Rendon-Nava
  • José Manuel Nieto Jalil
Original Paper


An Educational Innovation approach denominated, “I-semester,” for Mechatronics Engineering students was designed, implemented and evaluated. The teaching–learning concept applied herein is interactive, experiential, motivates students and encourages their creativity to provide solutions to real-world challenges. Within the frameworks of competency-based education (CBE) and challenge-based learning (CBL), learning experiences were designed consisting of educational modules and challenges focused on developing disciplinary and transversal competencies during an academic semester. The modules provided theoretical and practical knowledge, whereas challenge activities promoted the development of competencies and the generation of creative–solution proposals. This educational research effort included a formal methodology that started with a problem statement and a hypothesis, followed by the method and an experiment that consisted of the I-semester implementation with a sample of students enrolled in the Mechatronic Engineering program at Tecnologico de Monterrey. The methodology, the development of the experiment and the findings through the analysis of gathered data could contribute to educational research focused on CBE–CBL approaches in educational programs for undergraduate engineering students.


Challenge-based education Challenge-based learning Educational innovation Evaluation I-semester 



Authors are grateful to all the professors who participated in the implementation of the Mechatronic Engineering I-semester at Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Hermosillo, Mexico. The complete team consisted of: Laura Yolanda Quiroz, Carolina Félix, Arturo Gil, Arturo Encinas, Ricardo Quihuis, Sixto Velarde, Enrique Martinez, Adrián Rendón, José Manuel Nieto, and Luis C. Félix-Herrán. This gratitude is extended to Mr. Kurt Gerhard, owner of THERVAL S.A. of C.V., for having participated very actively as the partner-trainer during the whole challenge implementation. Also, special thanks are given to the directors of the School of Engineering and Sciences and to the Curriculum Innovation Department of the Academic Vice-Chancellor of the Tecnologico de Monterrey for their support during all stages of this educational research effort. The authors would like to acknowledge the financial and the technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs and 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

  1. 1.School of Engineering and ScienceTecnologico de MonterreyHermosilloMexico

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