Scenario Based Learning
From Designing Education Lab
The successful practice of engineering in today’s workplace requires the integration of a broad range of skills that often extend beyond standard engineering curricula. This involves interpersonal skills such as teamwork, communication and persuasion, and business skills such as entrepreneurship, cost management and marketing.Sheri Sheppard (as the engineering content expert) and Mark Schar (as the entrepreneurial content expert) and tested for the past four years at Stanford University. The SBL curriculum is designed to support an introductory solid mechanics or statics course. In 2014-2105 two partners have joined this research effort - Dr. Bob Witt and Jonathan Green at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Bob Rice and Duval Johnson at the University of California-Merced.
SBL Learning TheoryDavid Kolb’s Experiential Learning model. Kolb asserts that learning is “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” and happens along two continuums – a perception continuum and a processing continuum. Effective learning occurs when the student shifts internal cognitive processes along these continuums. The perception continuum encourages the learner to transition between “thinking,” a process of abstract conceptualization and “feeling,” largely based on experiences. The process continuum encourages the learner to shift between “watching,” a process of observation and reflection and “doing,” an active stage of experimentation. Kolb also posits that students have a “learning preference” – converging, associating, diverging and assimilating – and this learning preference can be used to identify differences in the learning process by discipline.
The SBL curriculum attempts to touch on each learning quadrant - converging, associating, diverging and assimilating. Research with students who have experienced the SBL curriculum shows good overall satisfaction with the curriculum and higher satisfaction among students with an associating or diverging learning style.
Scenario-Based Learning Curriculum
In class, student teams participate in a hands-on lab, illustrating the relevant engineering concepts. These labs require about 50-60 minutes of class time and includes team discussion where students must explore various ways of completing the lab tasks. The final step in the process is a homework assignment that requires students to synthesize their learning and make a choice for how they would proceed as a character in the story. The labs are supported by short videos showing the lab activities and a video lecture explaining the entrepreneurial content in each scenario.
Scenarios and ContentThese are the available SBL curriculum and curriculum under development:
- Madison Longboard - Choosing a Truck - The scenario involves two recent mechanical engineering graduates (Samantha and Adam) from the University of Wisconsin who start a company to pursue the opportunity of marathon longboarding. The first challenge is to choose the trucks and to do that the student must determine the forces on both the front and back trucks assuming different stances by the rider. The lab uses meter sticks, a jeweler scale and moveable weights to aid in the calculation. Engineering Concepts: normal force, normal stress, moments, moment center, planar systems and safety factor Entrepreneurial Concepts: business model, value proposition, revenue model, cost model, profit model
- Baby Buffalo (Under Development) - This scenario is about a recent masters-level mechanical engineering product design student who takes a job with a non-profit in Myanmar. The challenge is to determine why a treadle pump is failing prematurely and then determine if expansion should be delayed (missing a dry season) or fix in place the following season. There is also an opportunity to lengthen the treadles making it possible for children to do the irrigation and the student must decide if this change is wise. Engineering Concepts: shear force, stresses in pressure vessels, torque and moment, cantilever beams, stress/strain, ductile/brittle failure Entrepreneurial Concepts: social entrepreneurship, systemic thinking, engineering ethics, unintended consequences, funding models
Schar, M. F., S. L. Billington, and S.D. Sheppard. “Predicting Entrepreneurial Intent among Entry-Level Engineering Students,” In 121st ASEE Annual Conference. Indianapolis, IN, 2014. pdf
Schar, M. F., S.D. Sheppard, S. Brunhaver, M. Cuson, and M. M. Grau. “Bending Moments to Business Models: Integrating an Entrepreneurship Case Study as Part of Core Mechanical Engineering Curriculum.” In 120th ASEE Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA, 2013. pdf
|Materials||ML Truck||ML Deck||b-cycle||Baby Buffalo||Yosemite Bridge|