Experiential Learning in the Energy Based Classroom


  • Cole Maynard Purdue University
  • Jose Garcia Purdue University
  • Anne Lucietto Purdue University
  • William Hutzel Purdue University
  • Brittany A Newell Purdue University




Engineering technology students revel in enhanced learning experiences that include the use of hands-on methods to teach the real-world usage of the tech-nical material. These learning experiences increase applied knowledge and retention in these students and others in related STEM fields. Using research-based learning theory in a project-based and team-based learning environment, the course developers transformed the learning experience from sterile lecture type courses to interactive experiences that enhance and build on the course concepts. Surveys were used to further delve into student perception of the learning experience providing faculty with an assurance that students have ful-ly developed a level of competency in the desired topic used in the interven-tion. The goal of this research is to further delve into the use of personalized learning to engage and encourage student growth. Course developers incorporated known practices of team and project-based learning theory when making changes to the course foundation. The application of project-based learning theory is based on literature reviews, and the results seen within similar technology and engineering based STEM disciplines. Course surveys were used to collect information from the students to further understand how changes to the course delivery impacted them and affected the learning environment. Initial results suggest improved student engagement, and engagement with course materials as a result of the transformation of class delivery. Evidence shows that the classroom experience is enhanced by this type of activity. Sup-porting findings by researchers in other areas show that experiential or active learning improves students’ understanding and engagement with concepts taught through project-based learning methods.

Author Biographies

Cole Maynard, Purdue University

Cole Maynard is a 1st year doctoral student in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University. Cole is an Indiana native, who was born and raised in Marion IN. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Purdue University in May of 2017 and MSc in 2019. Cole is currently working on a sponsored research project in development of new materials for 3D printed sensors.

Jose Garcia, Purdue University

Jose Garcia received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes in 2002Bogota, Colombia, and M.Sc. in Engineering and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University West Lafayette, IN, USA. in 2006 and 2011 respectively. From 2011 to 2012, he was a Research Assistant Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Since 2015, he has been an Assistant Professor with the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette. His research inter-ests include electric and hydraulic hybrid drive trains, Additive manufacturing of hydraulic and pneumatic components and energy efficiency and duty cycles of hydraulic systems.

Anne Lucietto, Purdue University

Anne Lucietto received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette Uni-versity, an MBA in Finance from Lewis University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education with a technical concentration in Materials Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. She held progressively responsible positions in industry focusing on maintenance, construction, and facility engineering in nucle-ar power, federal research laboratory, and a variety of large manufacturing/process corporations of varying sizes. During this time, she was a part time adjunct in-structor in engineering and mathematics moving into a full-time position at Purdue University (School of Engineering Technology) in 2014. She conducts research on the student population and works on projects in technical curriculum development, materials, and renewable energy.

William Hutzel, Purdue University

William Hutzel received a B.S. and M.S. degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 1986 and 1989 respectively. He is a Professional Engineer and Pro-fessor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University, West Lafa-yette, IN where he teaches thermodynamics and conducts research into building automation, indoor air quality, and solar energy for achieving net zero energy buildings.

Brittany A Newell, Purdue University

Dr. Brittany Newell is an assistant professor at Purdue University in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute School of Engineering Technology. Brittany received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University. She then worked in industry as a Quality Manager for a contract manufacturing company before joining the Purdue faculty. Brittany completed her Ph.D. in the field of electroactive polymers for industrial applications. Her current research interests are focused on adaptive structures, energy transduction, and methods of manufacturing these materials. She focuses on additive manufacturing techniques for material sensors and actuators and their characterization and production.




How to Cite

Maynard, C., Garcia, J., Lucietto, A., Hutzel, W., & Newell, B. A. (2021). Experiential Learning in the Energy Based Classroom. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP), 11(6), pp. 4–26. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijep.v11i6.16539