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DIT Teaching Fellowship Reports 2014-2015.


The benefits of problem based learning for students are a deeper understanding of lecture material, and the development of problem solving and collaboration skills which will greatly enhance their educational experience. This approach has been successful in other programmes as it departs from the traditional ‘what I am told I need to know’ to ‘what I need to know to solve the problem’ promoting self-directed learning. Lecturers in turn transition from the giver of information to the facilitator of learning through support, guidance and monitoring. This project introduced an active learning element into two concrete technology modules by replacing traditional laboratory exercises with a project requiring students to design, test and report on a series of concrete mixes and aggregate samples in the context of a real life assignment. Previously, the details to conduct the laboratory were provided to the students. This project, carried out in groups, required students to apply the theoretical knowledge from lectures thereby increasing their understanding of the material, developing their learning and teamwork skills and appreciating the context in which engineers work.