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Dealing With Student Profile Diversity in an Industrial Engineering and Management Program: PBL vs “Non-PBL”

[+] Author Affiliations
Anabela C. Alves, Francisco Moreira, Celina P. Leão

University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Paper No. IMECE2018-86368, pp. V005T07A007; 10 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Engineering Education
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5206-4
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


The Integrated Master in Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) program has been implementing Project-Based Learning (PBL) for more than 15 years in the first year, first semester. The IEM program is currently attracting students from different programs, using transfer mechanisms, who normally already have passed some of the courses on their original program. Additionally, this program also attracts a number of students already working in some companies. These students are a bit older and their profile is also distinct from that of their fellow colleagues, which enter the university using a regular national ingress process. Thus, distinct situations are identified that demand a different learning approach. The teachers have come-up with one such distinct approach and called it “non-PBL”, since the PBL model is structured in a way that students must have a specific profile, namely, to be first-year IEM student and enrolled a similar set of curricular units. With this in mind, this paper presents these situations, and describes the solution found to address this diversity. The solution must promote similar competences on both PBL and “non-PBL” students. A heavier workload is imposed on the teachers, given that the number of “non-PBL” teams formed can be as much as the number of PBL teams. Nevertheless, the results demonstrate that the “non-PBL” students successfully conclude the first year and that they value the solution proposed, in spite of the difficulties raised with this process.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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