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The impact of using project based learning in Natural Gas Engineering.

Dan Duşe, Carmen Duşe

Vol. 30, no. 1 (2013), s. 57-63, [1]

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This paper sets out to present an application of learning by cooperation in a bachelor study program of Natural Gas Engineering. Starting from the idea that students' abilities to understand new things are enhanced when they are tied to significant problem solving tasks and students are helped to understand why, when and how these facts become relevant competencies, we have organized the didactic activities of the last study year of the bachelor level, specializing in Natural Gas Engineering, using the projects method. The goal was to see how students perceive the efficiency of learning by applying this method and if an increase in learning efficiency has been noticed. Having these goals in mind, the students were organized into groups, each group having the task of presenting a project with a certain theme. Inside the group, roles were cast and then the strategy for doing the project was discussed. The research was done over a period of 3 semesters. In the first semester, traditional teaching was used, while the second and third semesters were dedicated to projects. In the traditional teaching part, students were encouraged to discover critical thinking methods. For this purpose, they were presented with the thinking hats method, the cube, the "I know - I want to know - I have learned" technique etc., but also methods to assist learning (mind map, cluster etc.). Doing the projects also involved presenting and defending them in front of the class, which has led to highlighting the pros and cons of the project. Also, students have received an evaluation questionnaire on evaluating key aspects during the presentation. Teamwork was evaluated by each student team member. The final evaluation of the students was comprised (in various proportions) by the contribution of the students during the semester (as a method of formative evaluation), as well as a final exam (summative evaluation). The general conclusion of applying this method highlights the fact that students have become aware of the pros and cons of their behavior, have gained new motivational support for learning and have managed to increase their performance in the field of Transporting Natural Gas.