The fourth industrial revolution is bringing changes in the workplace for engineers. The young generation must now update to new technologies at a faster pace than before and rely more heavily on self-learning. Engineers are required to design and develop new technologies instead of performing routine tasks, which are now being taken over by smart machines. This means that engineering jobs will require humans with capability to solve real-life problems, think critically, and develop projects and design new ideas.
Thus, the new engineering graduates need to develop sophisticated products and services so as to keep pace with this transition. From an educational perspective, there is an emerging need to develop and hone entrepreneurial and innovative mindset. Project Based Learning (PBL) pedagogy helps the students to keep up with these new demands. Students undergoing PBL develop self-learning, self-motivation and become more inquisitive about their learnings. During the PBL course, students analyze the purpose of solving a particular problem, practice autonomy by deciding what technology to use as solutions, relate the problems with real world project(s) and develop competency while working with peers.
The learning goals are identified and aligned for each project, necessary skills are developed and students work in teams. The (G) goals for a project determine the (A) activities to be undertaken, the resultant (P) products and the type of (A) assessment to be employed. These together constitute what is termed as the GAPA model analysis. The analysis is done carefully by instructors during design of projects for the course. The learning goals for projects may have different weightage, with some projects emphasizing more of hands-on skills and others prioritizing design and creativity. Disciplinary integration, Communication skills, Intrinsic motivation are identified as goals for many projects. Interpersonal skills and Leadership are inculcated in many of the projects and adherence to timelines and deadlines is practiced. Students acquire a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge of concepts as they work on the projects and achieve cognitive learning with longer retention. Thus, PBL produces graduates who can keep up with rapid advances in technology and developments in workplace and flourish at their professions.
Prof. Devika Kataria, Institute of Engineering & Technology, JKLU