Application of Problem Based Learning in Mechanics of Machines Course

Jacek Uziak, Venkata P. Kommula


The predominant educational methods in engineering education follow traditional classroom teaching, with some elements of tutorials and lab work. Although, there has been a growing tendency in recent years to introduce elements of active learning, and in particular problem-based (PBL) and project-based learning (PjBL). The paper reports on an attempt to use PBL in a topic on kinematics analysis of planar linkages, in a 3-credit course on Mechanics of Machines, offered in Year 3 of a 5-year BEng Mechanical Engineering programme. The aim of this study was to investigate the students’ response and perception to such a learning environment. A survey was administered to investigate students’ views on the application of problem-based learning in the course.
The survey proves that the students responded well to the new approach en-joying activity (72%), trying hard (94%) feeling positive (68%), considering time spent to be beneficial (90%) and believing in instructor having best interest of the students in mind (74%). The response was also positive to interest generation and motivation towards the topic; 82% and 78% positive responses, respectively. The students were convinced about the learning new knowledge aspect of PBL. The majority declared learning more by gathering information themselves (66%) and especially more details on the topic in comparison to the traditional lecture/tutorial approach (72%).


active learning, problem based learning, students’ survey

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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